One time, someone had a large quantity reportedly stolen from Florida. They were being sold on the street in New Orleans. They did not seem to go to those in need since even being sold for half price, they required an investment to begin. Those like me who had to scrounge for a smoke, could not invest in half price food stamps. Besides they were illegal--not a good deal. Another time, In Wenatchee, Washington, a fellow obtained some while on the road. He qualified because he had a permanent residence and was only away from home seeking work. I tried once to get some in Alabama, but failed since I had no place to prepare food.
Now I was visiting Karl, and he encouraged me to get some, in order to help with food expenses.
Karl had just separated from the US Navy and he and Bonnie were beginning to settle in Florida. Besides providing for me they had two young kids to feed. They agreed to let me use kitchen facilities and that made me eligible to receive food stamps. I marched off to apply. I filled out the required paperwork. One question asked me my annual income. It did not provide room for explanation, so I just wrote $300. That seemed about right for income I stumbled across while focusing on not having a job. The young social worker, shook her head in disbelief. “ How do you live on this?” she asked.” Curtly, I replied, “ I just eat, sleep, breathe, pee, shit, fart, and sometimes fuck. It’s a simple life style.” She was intrigued but not amused. After consulting with her superior, she announced, “I’ll give you stamps this month, but before I can give you any next month, you need to explain how you get by on so little money.” I wasn’t sure I would be around next month, but agreed.
I took the book of stamps and went back to Karl and Bonnie’s trailer. I was supposed to keep separate food, but instead gave the stamps to Bonnie to assist with shopping. It probably more than made up for the food I used, since it was only shortly after that I felt the urge to move on. I never had to go back and explain to the nice young social worker how I managed without becoming beholden to the beast.