Mean Eggs and Pan

Last week a City Council committee approved a bill that would prohibit panhandling not just on the median strip of the road, as the bill's sponsor, City Councilwoman Rochelle "Rikki" Spector (D-5th District) originally requested, but also within 10 feet of an ATM, on buses or trains, within 5 feet of anyone using a parking meter, on a pedestrian bridge, or within 10 feet of any place where people are paying for goods or services with cash or credit cards.

The bill goes before the full City Council at its next meeting, on Nov. 4.


The list of prohibitions, most of them suggested by the downtown council and all of them approved by the city's homeless services director, brings to mind the children's classic "Green Eggs and Ham." So with apologies to Dr. Seuss, we give you "Mean Eggs and Pan."

Mean Eggs and Pan

I am Pan

I am Pan

Pan I am

That Pan-I-am

That Pan-I-am

I do not like

That Pan I am!

Would you let

Me handle-pan?

I'll not allow it


I do not like

the handle-pan


Would you let me

Here or there?

I will not let you

Here or there!

I will not let you


I do not like

the handle-pan

I won't allow it,

Pan I am.

Would you let me

In a park?

Would you let me

In the dark?

I will not let you

in a park.

I will not let you

in the dark

I will not let you

here or there.

I will not let you


I do not like your handle-pan.

I won't allow it, Pan-I-am.

How 'bout a bank or ATM?

Can I do it close to them?

Not near a bank.


Not in a park.

Not in the dark.

You can't pan-handle here or there.

You can't pan-handle anywhere.

You must not dare to handle-pan.

The law's against it, Pan-I-am.

Would I? Could I?

to a car?

Beg! Solicit!

Here they are.

You would not,

could not,

to a car-

Nor in a bus

or train or bar

You can't beg near an ATM

Outside a store, nor with a friend

The council's spoken, Pan-I-am

You mustn't dare to handle-pan.

It could be needed

You will note

A nickel? Quarter

On a boat?

You may not, could not on a boat.

They'd think you're there to cut their throat!

You'll never do it near a bank.

If I can help it-please and thank.

You'll never do it in a park

You're not allowed to in the dark.

You'll not pan-handle here or there.

The ordinance is very clear.

You must not dare to handle-pan.

For your protection, Pan-I-am.

I can't pan-handle

SO you say.

Research! Research!

And you may

Discover it's a civil right!

Free speech, or something, not so trite!


If you will stand aside,

You may solicit

Without pride

And get arrested;

Thrown in jail

And who'll come down

And post your bail?

Well. . .

I cannot promise

But I'll try.

To make a fuss,

A hew and cry!

I'll tell the story

Of my fight

The People-

They'll protest my plight!

They'll raise a racket

Oh, they'll shout!

In only weeks

They'll get me out

To beg upon these streets


And I'll pan-handle

Good and loud!

And all police will let me be

At last! At last! I will be free!

Then again . . .

Could you get me an apartment instead?