"Let me tell you a story about this Tupperware." The homeless man said, as he he turned the Tupperware around in his achy looking hands.
"This Tupperware isn't just plastic, it's magic. All you have to do is close the lid, push the bubble on top, and wish for whatever food you want. When you open it up, there the food will be."
The way the old man said this, Charlie could tell he really believed what he was saying. Charlie was what some of his friends called "a soft touch," meaning that he was gullible.
He supposed he was, in a way, but the obvious poverty of this lonely old man made Charlie doubt his story.
"If this Tupperware gives you free food, why don't you use it?"
The old man chuckled.
"Why do you think I'm still alive? You can probably tell that I don't sell very much of my wares. Only the kindest hearted people even give me a single glance. It"s only the most deserving people that I would sell my wares to, anyway."
There was something in the man's manner that made Charlie believe that he was telling the truth. Perhaps he was gullible, but at least a few dollars would help out a little bit.
"OK, I'll take the Tupperware." Charlie said, taking out his wallet. "How much?"
"As much as you're willing to give." The old man peered up at him with a shy smile.
Charlie took the largest bill he had, a twenty, and held it out to the man.
He held his hands up and waved the money away.
"No, no, don't give the money to me, give it to the first person that you think deserves it."
With that, The man gave Charlie the Tupperware, and retreated into the big packing crate that he lived in.
Charlie put the little container in his pocket and headed home.
As he opened his apartment door, he heard the single mom across the hall, singing her baby to sleep. She worked two part time jobs to feed and clothe the little one. He sometimes babysat when her mom wasn't available. He never took any payment.
It occurred to him that no one was more deserving of the twenty dollar bill than this poor struggling girl. He got out an envelope, put the money inside, and walked across the hall. He slipped the envelope into her mail slot, and went back home.
As he headed toward the fridge, he wondered if he had the makings for a good sandwich. When he opened the door, he saw what looked to be the homeless man's Tupperware container, only it looked bigger, and a good deal cleaner!
He opened it, just out of curiosity. Inside, he found a delicious looking roast beef sandwich, with a dill pickle on the side. It was his favourite light lunch.