Why beg? Because I am hungry. Because I have no money. Because I have no home. Because I have no friends. Because I am hungry. Because I’m hungry!
“Lady, can you help me? I am hungry.” “No time for you. Find your own food.”
“Sir, I just need a few morsels of food. Can you help me? “Here. Have a half of sandwich. It’s salami, you will like it.”
“Lady, I need food. I have nothing to eat.” “If you took a bath, you could get a job. Then you could buy your own food.”
“Boys, I like your skateboards. I had one once. Can you spare some chips and a burger?” “Yeah man. Have some chips and a burger. We always get enough to eat.”
“Kind sir, could you buy me a meal at the diner?” “That’s asking too much. You’re a beggar. I don’t want to be seen with you.”
“Lady, may I have half of your pastrami on rye with everything on it?” “Well, since you know a good sandwich, and for someone who has good taste, this one’s for you.”
“Nice looking men you are. I see you are dressed in designer, tailored fit suits. I particularly like the double breasted charcoal jacket and slacks, and the light chalk blue pinstriped brown suit. You are wearing designer shoes. Classic cotton shirts. Silk ties are my favorites. They denote a debonair man. Your ties are quite dashing. Wearing expensive timepieces and designer eyewear. And you look happy and successful.”
“How do you know so much about us? You have class and very good taste.” “I was once like you.” “I don’t understand, can you explain?” “I was once like you. I used to be a businessman at one time. Actually, I operated a fine men’s clothing store. I was a tailor. I dressed men in the best of clothes and accessories. ”
“Where were you a tailor?” “Here in town in the garden district. I’m Herb Bergenstein. I was once somebody and now I am nothing. I was a noted tailor at one time. Anyhow, I fell on hard times. I lost my business and I lost my self worth. I was once like you.”
“Man. Hey guys, this man needs help. He was once like us.” The other man, “This man has class. He knows a lot about us.” The third man, “Sir, you are the man! How about joining us for lunch? Like steak? How about a New York strip sauteed with onions and mushrooms and covered with the finest of steak sauce? The Gentlemen’s Club for you.” “All I need is a burger and fries. Also, I’d like a thick malted shake.”
“Herb, buddy. Are you hungry?” said Jake. “Of course I am. I wouldn’t be begging otherwise.” “You like smorgasbord, a food buffet? It’s all you can eat,” said Mel. “I think the ‘Pig Out Place’ would be good for him,” said Zell. “Yeah, the ‘Pig Out Place’ sounds good to me,” said Herb. “Let’s go to the ‘Pig Out Place.’ Need to hurry before all the other hungry men get there,” said Jake. All laugh.
“Before we go, Herb, we’re going to stop by our shop to get you cleaned up. Here we are, ‘The Finely Dressed Man,’ this is our business. Let’s go in, get you a shower and cleaned up. You’re about my size, Herb, you can wear my tee and jeans,” said Mel. “We’re ready, Mel. You and Herb ready to go pig out? We are all dressed in our pig out tee shirts,” said Jake. “See Herb, the pig’s head is on the front of the shirt and the back is his rump and it’s curly pink tail. Oink, oink!” said Zell.
“We have arrived, the ‘The Pig Out Place.’ The place to pig out. Let’s get in before the herd. It will be fresh and ready just for you, Herb,” said Zell.
“Wait til you see the spread of food. If you’re hungry, this is the place. I pig out on the baked chicken, and just about every vegetable. My grand finale is the cherry cobbler. Yum, yum. And I have a frozen soda,” said Mel.
“What can I choose? I don’t know where to start,” said Herb. “You can choose anything you want. This is the ‘Pig Out Place.’ Have at it and eat plenty. We start right here with the vegetables,” said Zell.
Jake to Herb, “I could eat everything in here. I worked out hard at the gym this morning, I need to refuel. I pig out on baked salmon, the broccoli casserole, and a teriyaki salad. I can just taste it now. And my dessert, apple pie a la mode. I think I’ll move ahead. See you guys at the table.” “Oh no, you’re last in line. Herb is first in line,” said Mel followed by Zell.
Zell, a southern boy. “I’m southern grown. I like everything out of the frying pan. Fried chicken, fried catfish, fried and savory pork chops, and fried okra. My favorite dessert is banana pudding with plenty of vanilla wafers. And doused with vanilla. Mmm, Mmm. Let me at it,” said Zell.
“They have everything. Fresh vegetables. I see eight of them. Creamed corn, buttered corn, green limas, stewed tomatoes, asparagus spears, broccoli casserole, peas and carrots, and my favorite, artichoke hearts. This is a bounty for a beggar, ” said Herb with an awesome expression.
“Go ahead, Herb, the meats are next. Fried chicken, sirloin tips, baked chicken, sizzling pork chops, honey glazed ham, and steak grilled kabobs of steak, onions, and tomatoes. That one is hard to pass up,” said Jake.
“I’ll have one of each. Look so appetizing. A beggar’s feast,” said Herb. “I thought you were kosher,” said Mel. ” When you’re a hungry man like me, everything is kosher!” said Herb. All laugh.
“There’s every type of salad, Herb. My favorite is the tossed salad of spinach and tomatoes with oil and vinegar,” said Mel. “My favorite is the Waldorf salad. Diced red apples, chopped celery and walnuts with a thin coating of mayonnaise and served cold. There it is,” said Herb with glee. “This is really a bounty for a beggar,” said Herb again.
“Herb, we’re near the end of the line. Select the beverage of your choice, and they do have shakes. You can make your own dream shake. Plenty of natural ice cream and malt to add. See you at table number seven,” said Jake.
“Fellas, awfully nice of you to recognize me on the street. Most ignore me. They think I’m a bum. Useless and worthless. What was it that made you help me?” said Herb.
Jake to Herb, “You said, you were once like us. It made me think. This man has class and is a gentleman. My kind of man.” “Our type of man,” said Mel and followed by Zell. “Did I say anything of interest?” said Herb inquiring more from these men of class and style.
Mel to Herb, “You said you were once like me and that you were a tailor. That really made me take notice.” Zell to Herb, “You said you once dressed men in the best of clothes. Then you said that you were Herb Bergenstein. I could not believe it. I thought, what happened to Herb? I knew then that we had to help you up and restore your dignity and self-worth,” said Zell in a very caring tone of voice.
“Mr. Bergenstein, I know my business and I know you knew your business. We are exactly alike. You know the ups and downs about the business, I’m a tailor, too. Then I thought, he knows about the ups and downs about life. That you are and it is a pleasure to meet you, sir,” said Mel in a warm and friendly manner.
“Herb, I’m a tailor, too. It is my craft. I really like fitting men in a well-fitted suit,” said Jake. “I sell the clothes to our customers. I pay close attention to what they want and make suggestions to what will make them look their very best, said Zell.
“I’m the proprietor of the business. I own the business,” said Mel. “We all work there and have managed to get along all these years. I don’t know how, but we like what we do,” said Zell laughing with a smile. “Oh my, you really know about me. What can I say?’ said Herb.
“Herb, I think you still have something to contribute to life. I believe that tailor is still in you. We could use a fashion consultant there. Maybe I’ll even make you the ‘Master Tailor.’ What do you guys think?” said Mel. “Well, since you are a tailor, you’re in. You got my vote of confidence. Just don’t show me up. I like to think that I’m the best tailor in town,” said Jake with a smile and with a jeering smile at Mel. “Well, Zell, do you think Herb knows how to sell clothes?” said Mel. “If he is Herb Bergenstein, and I believe you are, you would be a perfect fit in our store. A fine fashion consultant for ‘The Finely Dressed Man.'”
Jake, Zell, and Mel to Herb, “Will you join us?” “You made me feel like a man again. I do know the business, and yes I would enjoy coming aboard,” said Herb.
Mel to Herb, “Welcome home, Herb. You’re just like us and we’re just like you. And we like to eat, and so do you.” All laugh including Herb. “You will never be a beggar again,” said Mel.
“You mean we will pig out every day?” said Herb with a laugh and a smile. “Only on Friday, Herb, only on ‘Pig Out Friday.’ We try to eat in moderation for the rest of the week,” said Jake.
“Sound like a good fit to me. I was hungry, now I am fed. I got purpose in my life again. You gave me hope. Good friends that care. Thank you for restoring my life,” said Herb.
Mel to Herb, “You are a tailor of a man. You will fit in well here. Just our style. See you on Monday. By the way, we have a place for you. It’s upstairs above our business. We all live up there, but for you a store floor private suite. Welcome home and welcome back to life.”