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Pennies From Heaven

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If you're one of LA's least fortunate citizens, you're probably feeling a little down right now. The holiday season is upon us, and yet, for you, it brings no joy. You're jobless. Homeless. Hopeless.

But wait: what's this?

Someone approaches, a kind, gentle soul with a smiling face and a tailored Italian suit. He's reaching out to you! Maybe he's going to give you a job, or a housing voucher. "A turkey sandwich, at the very least," you think, "with cranberry sauce!"

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You extend one shaky, grubby paw to accept this stranger's generous gift, trembling with anticipation, eager to see what this beneficient angel has bestowed upon you. You slowly open your clenched fist, extending the big reveal as long as humanly possible, not wanting to rush... this... moment.

And there, lying in the palm of your hand is-

A dollar bill? One lousy fucking buck?

A buck is nothing!

You could score a buck in 15 minutes of panhandling outside the Coffee Bean on Fig, fer Godssake's. A buck is just four easily bummed quarters, garnered while lying on the sidewalk in front of the 7th/Metro subway station, an empty styrofoam cup at your feet. Hell, a couple of times you've spotted a greenback just lying there, right on the street, yours for the taking.

You could be forgiven for flying into a fit of righteous indignation. For telling this guy to go right back to Brentwood, and to take his holiday-season guilt with him. One might even understand it if you angrily crumpled the offending dollar, and threw it at your would-be benefactors's fleeing luxury sedan.

But you don't. You sigh, and place the dollar in your pocket, the one without the hole. You might even manage a sullen "Thanks, buddy."

After all, a dollar will almost buy you a Thanksgiving beer.

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