May 29, 2009

sybarite \SIB-uh-ryt\,

A person devoted to luxury and pleasure.

Today's word-of-the-day subject is Mike. Mike, a homeless man from Raleigh, sits on this bench at the bus stop and sells chocolate, hot dogs, buns and other things out of a big duffel bag. (I bought a giant chocolate bar for $1.)

For those of you who can't tell, I'm doing something different today: using an antonym to illustrate a point. Mike is one of a whole slew of homeless people who live in Raleigh. You can't walk through downtown without being asked for change.

What's the solution? I don't know, but I'll tell you what it isn't: $6,000 Segway scooters for cops. Get a bike, jerks, and send some of that public money somewhere useful.

"Can't catch me, pigs! I'm going up these stairs!"

Anyhow, Mike seemed like a good guy. He buys his food from Kroger and runs his little business from the bus station. Though I might not buy a hot dog from a duffel bag, I would highly recommend his chocolate bars. Delicious.

If you've got any sybarite or antonym photos, send them along to me in an email!

Update: This photo from Amy; looks like she caught on to the antonym thing for today.

"I went to the Dominican Republic in February for a week for a medical mission trip; basically we set up clinics that consisted of tarps and sheets hanging from trees (for privacy) at a woman’s house in a town called Veron, which is about 10 minutes from Punta Cana, a beach resort area that I guess you could say is visited by sybarites. It was a humbling experience seeing the social status change so dramatically in a 10 minute drive, but it was also really great that we had so many people willing to help (non-sybarite students tens of thousands of dollars in debt, and doctors hundreds of thousand dollars out of debt)."

Thanks, Amy!

Update #2: Thanks to Amber for sending this very sharp, well composed photo.

"This Honduran fisherman is a good example of a sybarite antonym. He was fishing in the crocodile and snake infested Cuero - Salado river to provide some food or income for his family, and not for luxury or pleasure. This photo was taken in December 2008 near the Cuero y Salado Wildlife refuge in Honduras."

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