Last week I was on my way home after a day’s fishing when I stopped to refuel the boat. While I was topping up the tank, a scruffy-looking homeless guy wandered over to me.
“Been fishing?” he said.
“Sure have.” I replied.
“It’s alright for you,” he said, “I haven’t been fishing for years. How about giving an old man some money, so I can buy myself a hot dinner?”.
I looked at him and was about to reach for my pocket when I hesitated.
“Hang on a minute,” I said, “If I give you money, how do I know you won’t you buy alcohol with it instead of dinner?”
“I wouldn’t do that”, he said, “I stopped drinking years ago.”
“How about cigarettes?” I asked. “How do I know you won’t go and buy a pack of cigarettes instead of getting yourself a meal?”
“I haven’t smoked a cigarette for as long as I can remember,” replied the homeless man. “All I want is a good meal.”
“In that case,” I said, “I’ll go one better. You can come home with me and have a shower, I’ll give you some clean clothes, then we’ll eat a fantastic meal prepared by my wife. She’s a terrific cook.”
The homeless man looked at me wide-eyed. “Won’t your wife be furious with you for bringing home a filthy beggar like me?” he asked.
“Leave that to me,” I replied. “I think it’s important that she sees what a man looks like when he gives up fishing, drinking and smoking.”