One of the constants of Universal Hub Twitter feed is that people regularly send me updates on the whereabouts of Sob Story Guy and Sob Story Girl (actually, should be plural, since there's more than than one of each).
People really, really hate being confined to a metal tube underground (or just sitting in a restaurant or theater) while an angry or seemingly distraught person demands money to see her kid in Portsmouth or his parole officer in Worcester - especially if story tellers are heading the wrong direction from the train station you'd take to get to those places or if they're repeating the same tear-laden spiels veteran Bostonians have heard for years.
But are these story tellers people with mental disabilities who shouldn't be pointed out and mocked in a public medium? Here's an exchange on Twitter yesterday:
I'm thinking there's really a difference between your average homeless panhandler on the Common and these people. One really has fallen on hard times and deserves help; the other is just a mean grifter preying on tourists and newcomers who don't know any better. Telling sob stories for them is not a symptom of mental illness for them - it's what they do for a living. And I'm thinking sharing sob-story sightings is not a way to mock the less fortunate, but a way to let off steam about some really annoying people (some of whom might be criminals).
But what do I know? Your thoughts?