“Talk with your mouth, not your hands, honey. It’s not classy.”
One of the perils (or adventures?) of sidewalk dining, especially in a big city, are the characters you might meet. While waiting for an inattentive server to take our check, we met Chippie, a dramatic homeless man who used a number of very effective non-profit fundraising techniques. If you could bottle his enthusiasm for love and humanity and god and the world, you could fund anything.
Homeless by choice, Chippie espouses a Buddhist-like Zen of giving up one’s personal property, and the virtues of charity, as a path to happiness. He quoted poetry, scripture, and bible mythology, and was very funny and compelling. How can you argue with someone who tells you, “You’re fabulous! Guess why…just because you are!” He also encouraged us to come to his church, St. John’s the Evangelist, which upon investigation is a beautiful Catholic church that has been in existence since 1830. I might take him up on going to Sunday service just to visit the building. It also helps that we were a captive audience, since we could not leave without paying our bill.
One last thing, our mothers would be thrilled to hear a complete stranger was encouraging us to have children. Chippie was shocked to hear that we had no children after five years of marriage, and further proselytized against the dangerous hormones in birth control.