ever been to the kotel? i can't remember the first time, because i was so young but i had the good fortune to go countless times.
you walk through security, towards the women's section, already thinking about what your going to pray for, maybe it's your sister's friend who can't have kids, maybe it's your cousin whose 32 and single, your friend whose having a little bit of trouble keeping shabbos lately-
"'allo, giveret!" a sharp cry interrupts your thoughts. you look down, at tiny wizened old lady sitting in a small chair, with her hands outstretched. why not? you think, it can only help, right? so you dig into your purse...oh no! all you have are a few coins! you pray that at least you have a few shekalim...no such luck. it's all agurot. (and you were saving them for your emergency iced coffee fund) what should you do now? she saw you digging into your purse, you can't walk away now!
so you almost apologetically drop the coins in her cup, and try to slink away-
"plink!" something lands at your feet. you look down. it's the agurot! you look back at her. she looks at you disgusted, and then leans over and spits on the money, and shakes her fist at you. too embarrassed to retrieve your coins, you slink away, and approach the wall, trying to collect your train of thought. oh well, maybe that embarrassment will give you an extra merit.
NOTES: this post is based on a true experience that happened to me last year.
i was inspired by child ish behavior's post about collectors