Chapter 2 in this ongoing series is a
very serious threat to the world around us. Something that grates on
my nerves everyday and every night, while I’m out and when I’m home
attempting to relax. What is this scourge that I speak of.

to put it as honestly as possible, I hate bums who don’t do any
tricks for money.

First off, let me tell all of you that at
one time, for a brief period, I was actually homeless. I didn’t have
an actual house or apartment, I was between places and had to sleep
on my share of cold park benches in the middle of December. And this
was in Ohio too, so amplify the cold by about 20 percent. It was one
of my bad spells in my life (I’ve had plenty of terrible times in my
28 years on this wide wide world.) But I never begged for money. Call
it pride or call it stupidity, but luckily I had a few friends who
just felt obliged to give me some free food every day when I needed
it most. And Ramen noodles and a little pot found in a garbage can do
wonders for your salt intake.

Where was I? Oh yeah, homeless
people. I feel bad for them, I really do. Relating to them, the ones
you know who are trying to get a job and to better themselves, I love
those guys. Those are the ones who will probably get out of the world
of homelessness. Plus, if people don’t know already, being homeless
doesn’t just include those of which you see on the streets, living in
Frigidaire boxes and being their vagrant selves. No, it also includes
anyone who doesn’t have a legal residence and aren’t in the census.
So a lot more people are homeless than we assume. So let’s just say
homeless bums. The ones that just sit there in their own filth and
just beg for money.

Or better yet, expect money from anyone
who isn’t a sloppy mess. The ones who will come up to you, grabbing
at your shirt (or your hair, which happened to me once) and not ask,
but DEMAND money from you, because you have it and they don’t. Even
though you’ll notice that their shoes are newer than yours. Or that
they have cleaner teeth than your own. It makes my mind go bonkers,
to be honest. I just don’t understand the audacity of some people in

Or the guy who came on the Long Island
Rail Road once to offer me a newspaper that the homeless of New York
produce. Cool, I thought, why not support a good cause like their
journalistic escapades. So I give the guy 50 cents for it and he
demands 3 dollars. 3 dollars! What the hell did I do to deserve such
smart alecky bums? And I get this all the time. I must look like I’m
worth a lot of money because they’re drawn to me like flies to a pile
of shit*.

So why do I demand more from my bums?
Because if you’re really at that point of your life where you reduced
to the notion of begging for change to feed yourself (or feed your
habit of choice) then you should be able to find out if you have a
talent. In NYC, we have enough of the homeless who have figured out
that they sing terribly, but will do it for a buck. Some find a beat
up guitar and bang on it til we all weep. Then there’s some that
perform in doo wop groups. I love that type of stuff. At least
they’re giving back to society, no matter how meaningless it is to
everyone else. It’s the new renaissance of creativity. Bums know how
to entertain, so why would I give money to a guy with one arm who is
just looking sad when I can give the guy with no legs a buck because
he’s somehow break dancing better than my own self?

We need to let the bums know that we
want more from them. Therefore we’ll give them more.