I was just a little sad when the Sun Sentinel did an exposé on our intersection “vets,” those guys who dress up in camouflage and carry collection buckets emblazoned with the stars and stripes.
It was only a matter of time, I knew, before word of the scam would spread through the region, and virtually every motorist would know that little of the money they give to these guys actually ends up in the hands of our honored veterans.
In a jaded environment like ours, where you need an original shtick to stay afloat, the vet routine has been superb street theater.
I watched one of our intrepid roadside warriors march between the lanes of cars (calling out a cadence, “Hup, toop, thareep, four), execute a spit-and-polish left face, and proffer the bucket to a driver as though he were presenting his weapon for inspection. It would have made a drill instructor proud.
Rather than passing laws preventing this kind of thing, we should be encouraging it. Make our intersections Darwinian—let the best act survive. We cast our ballots by the amount of change we give them, and those that don’t measure up get voted off the island.
Then, we sell it up north as a tourist attraction.