Monday, September 14

Municipal thugging

Q. is in his seventies. A good humoured elderly man from Jaffa. His wife died several years ago, his children no longer live near by. He lives on social security (payment for the elderly)  in addition to a tiny income from selling pencils on Jaffa's streets.
Whenever i see him i buy a pencil or two. Not that i need them, but i enjoy the talk, the smile, the "salamat habibti" at the end of our conversation.
The Tel Aviv municipality has its own goon squad of controllers. Selling on the streets is not allowed. Usually Q. notices them before they see him. If it's the other way around, they will take his pencils away and warn him.
Lately they have started fining him. After all it is a punishable crime to sell a pencil n the street. His income is very low, so a fine means hunger. If you don't pay, the municipal goon squad can actually break into your home and take whatever pleases them.
Q. has very little money. He cannot afford the fines.
Of course he could stop selling pencils. But selling pencils is what he enjoys. He LIKES selling pencils.
He does not like the clubs for the elderly. For him selling pencils is part of his life as a travelling salesman, something he did when he was younger. So, NO he cannot stop selling pencils. He enjoys it, it's has become a necessary part of his life.
The simplest solution would be to make the thugs look into the other direction when they see the friendly old man and his pencils. Or maybe a friendly doctor could prescribe selling pencils as a medicine.

1 comment:

J.P. said...

You do have a nice hand of writing.