As I was leaving the house to go to work tonight, I was surprised to hear sotto_voce speaking to someone. When I made it out front and asked, she said "There were people." meaning, I thought, the generic Asian neighbours. I quipped that she shouldn't speak, it would startle them. A few moments later while were bemoaning the early November Christmas decorations at some retail store, I was addressed unclearly by a man in a bulky winter coat and fuzzy hat who was walking up the sidewalk holding what looked like a large bag of potato chips. I somehow encouraged him to repeat himself and he intoned "Need your car cleaned for the holidays?" (I think).
To which I repiled with some sharpness, as above, "No thanks. You can leave now."
And, to her exclamation of mild dismay, I climbed in the car and we both left. This kicked off an entire complex of ethical and political thoughts.
At first I thought of calling the cops. Certainly his presence is undesired, and I quite doubt he is a resident. What did he do wrong, I asked? Well, it is posted private property and there's a 'no soliciting' sign too. I think his greatest crime is making me feel like the neighbourhood is suddenly going to hell. I expect that kind of crap downtown, and it's part of why I don't live here. Just about everyone in our little hideaway drives a rather expensive car, and I expect they nearly all have at least one job.
And then back the other way. Is trespassing really a crime? No .. Did he actually harm me or anyone? No, just perhaps discomfit. Did he scare me? So are my feelings of violent speech towards him just? Why do I believe our neighbourhood is somehow safe from bums and crime? It's not, really. What is so compelling about the idea of moving away from it/them? Why did/do people keep trying 'White Flight'? Should I have given him the "Class War not Race War" t-shirt and then run him out of the community?
And although this specimen in unlikely to be in any need, what does a remotely just society do for the homeless, for charity cases who are strangers? Is this what people like big government for? If they have no family, and no affiliation, are they somehow someone else's responsibility? .. and then there's teaching versus giving fish.
Aaaaaaaugh. Shut up brain!