I’ll never be mistaken for a fashion model and I’m not usually one to judge people based on their looks so maybe that’s why it bothers me just a little that I’ve started basing my generosity on what a panhandler is wearing. I didn’t used to. I see a lot of down-on-their-luck regulars near the mall downtown, in front of the local liquor store or fiddling a merry tune outside a nearby grocery store and I generally throw some cash into their hat or cup. A quick, friendly greeting accompanied by a smile and a thank-you helps lift my spirits and theirs.

But lately it’s irked me that a few younger newcomers are seeking donations with an off-putting air of entitlement while outfitted in what appear to be $180 sneakers, designer T-shirts, high-end jeans and expensive logoed ballcaps. Don’t get me wrong — you’re certainly entitled to clean, appropriate clothing and I don’t expect you to live in tattered rags. And far be it from me to tell you how to spend your day’s collection, Mr. or Ms. Panhandler, but don’t look at me with a scowl when I walk past without dropping any money your way because I’m too busy envying your attire.

THE TIMES, THEY ARE SPARE-CHANGIN’ Queen City Confidential is an open forum for Prairie Dog readers to anonymously share their petty rants, workplace gripes, romantic woes and complaints about friends and family. You can say nice things too. E-mail your submission to confidential@prairiedogmag.com (type CONFIDENTIAL in the subject field). Change everyone’s names and identifying details. Submissions must be 100-200 words and be dressed appropriately for their station in life.