You: Excuse me sir, "can you spare...," "can you help...," "do you happen to have...?"
Me: No, sorry.
You: Go fuck yourself (over or under your breath).
The begging in this city has reached epic porportions. Sometimes I wonder if I'm in Tiajuana. Now, besides the guarantee of being panhandled multiple times a day, I can rest assured that a seemingly polite request will be followed by a shaming and/or rude response.
How about this? How about YOU go fuck yourself? That would be a much more productive use of your time. How about you hold your fucking sign and shut the fuck up? If I wanna give you something, I will. That pathetic look, with an equally pathetic voice, has no effect on me. Why you ask? Because I know you have some stupid fucking comment after I say no. How about this one girl who keeps telling me to smile after everytime I turn her down? Ok, I'll smile while I turn you down.
And to the asshole today, who told me to fuck off when I didn't give him a cigarette... It felt fantastic to stop, turn around, and ask you to repeat yourself.
When you did; it felt even better telling you how good my cigarette tasted, blowing the smoke in your face, and then ashing on you.
If you bums and street rats know to phrase your appeal politely, then you should have the awareness to accept your disappointment without animosity. Good luck in your struggle to attain subsistence level living.