So why is it that every homeless person has a story for you? And why do they think that you actually want to hear it? Like I have the time to listen! I know this guy has all the time in the world to tell his tale, because, well, he is fucking homeless!!! He has nowhere to go, except maybe down the alley to urinate, while I have things to do. Stories, stories and more fucking stories! Well hey, Hobo Joe, join the club and write a best seller about your downfall. Who knows, maybe you will become an F-list celebrity and end up on some shitty “celebrealty” show on VH1. Or maybe you can write a screenplay about your woes, because everybody in Los Angeles writes a screenplay. Oh and before, and before you ask, no you can't borrow my screenwriting software. Maybe one of your bum friends using the computer in the Public Library and helps smell the place up has Final Draft! Oh, and that story of yours? Sorry, I don't have the patience to listen.
"My name is Sheldon, and I just took the bus from Detroit and have no money. Can you help me out?"
No, I can’t. And to be honest, I don’t care. But here's some advice, Sheldon. Next time you plan a trip, allow for spending money. For Christ's sake, go to AAA or something, they have a lot of ways to save on your travels. I mean shit, Sheldon wants some sympathy. He actually wants sympathy from me? Damn, he's on vacation and I'm not. He should be giving me some change so I can plan a cruise.
Living in L.A., I've noticed there are the most untalented bums in America out here. I grew up back East, and damn the talent pool was great. These motherfuckers perfected their craft and you'd gladly give them some change. And they had to be good, top of their game because of the competition. Everyday was like the NFL pre-season trying to impress and make the team. Dudes just trying to keep their fucking job! One guy would have a picture frame over his head, and say, "I've been framed!" Another would have a sign that said, "I just want what America needs," and then he'd flip it over and it would say, "Change." I mean shit, these dudes were smooth. They would be gold medal winners in the Homeless games.
Best story I ever heard, though, and it was great, was in good ole' NYC. Shit, bums will do anything there. You can throw change at their feet and they'll dance for you. Just like the way Spider did it to bullets from Joe Pesci in the movie Goodfellas. Hell, a bum would jump through a flaming ring if the price was right. Shit, if you had lots a change and a big top, you could create a Bum Circus!
Anyway, back to the best homeless story I have ever heard. This guy comes up to me dressed in rags and starts saying how he came up to the city to work on his thesis, because he is a grad student, and he got jumped and the guys took everything. So he then goes on to say what they stole. His books, his TI-30 calculator, his glasses, his back pack, etc. And he says, he says he had to get the rags he was wearing from the shelter. It was a pretty touching story, but then he closed the deal. He pulled out a fake I.D. card from the University of Maryland. Now that is a bum who is trying. When you go to lengths of making bogus identification material, you get an "A" for effort. Of course I could tell it wasn’t real, because it reminded me of the ones I'd make when trying to get into bars when I was underage. (The bouncer would always laugh at me, and say, putting a picture, with typewriter typing and a piece of letterhead from a college through a laminating machine isn't cutting it.)
Well I ended up giving that guy with a great story some cash, even though I knew he was making everything up. Oh, and it's not that I'm totally cynical, and thought he was completely full of shit and a complete liar. I just found it odd that I saw him telling a parking meter the same story a few hours earlier.
Do you know what I also hate? I hate when these people ask for "spare change." "Got any spare change? Come on man, give me some spare change! Spare change, I need spare change!”
Actually, “no, I don’t.” I plan to use it all, so it's not "spare." But I do have a spare tire. Maybe you can go to Venice Beach, use it as a Hula Hoop and make a living entertaining people. You can be called “The Incredible Rubber Spinning Vagabond!” Hell you can now call yourself a Performance Artist.
To be continued...