Irony, however, is usually lost on our local River North bums. I think there is probably a more politically correct word to use than "bum" but "bum" is most apt. They could be homeless but they probably have a home somewhere else, and they pop up here in River North due to the number of friendly tourists and their open hearts and wallets.
The irony is that very often there is a bum panhandling outside the Jewel grocery store on State and Grand. The bums usually panhandle right in front of the door, trying to catch you on the way in or the way out.
And what sign is on the door, about 2 feet away from their head? A sign for open positions, at Jewel! Jewel has a variety of positions, some skilled, but many unskilled. Could they learn to be a bagger, or work maintenance, or stock shelves? Probably. And right through the door are people working hard for a living, at jobs that aren't that great, while they don't do anything for themselves and harass passer-bys.
I was particularly irate this morning because when I headed over to Jewel to do some shopping the streets were mostly deserted of tourists. Due to the fact that the "absolute" level of bums is relatively constant, the "bum to citizen" ratio was highly out of whack and I got hit up for money 4 times on the way over and a few times on the way back. The typical aggressive bum tactic is to try to strike up a conversation by asking a question and demand your attention; thankfully the iPod drowns them out, and sunglasses avoid eye contact.
Maybe next time they want to ask me a question I'll ask them if they've heard of the concept of Irony. Probably not...