So I’m on my home from the Costco up on the I-17, eastbound toward the ‘hood on GangBanger Parkway. To amuse myself while driving up the concrete riverbottom and through the dreary low-end commercial districts, I’ve been counting the panhandlers. Four on the way up there. Seven on the way back.
At the corner of Conduit of Blight Boulevard and Gangbanger Parkway, I spot a fellow who clearly has just jumped off the train at the end of the line, where the bums, nodders, tweakers, and panhandlers are required to get off.
He’d be a handsome sort of fellow, tall and wiry with a beard just going to gray, if only you could catch him long enough to bathe him and break him of his meth habit. Oh well.
He’s pushing a wheelchair toward the stoplight, at a fast pace. Not wanting to miss the signal, he breaks into a run (a near-athletic run) and tears into the crosswalk, zipping along behind the wheelchair, which is loaded with a cooler and his “Disabled Vet” beggar’s sign.
Undoubtedly coming from or going to his favorite spot to take up his panhandling position! 😀
Pore, pore, pitiful me! How much do you suppose a man can earn, posing as pitiful on a street corner?
Ah, Linda…how we miss ye!
Also in the Department of Ludicrousness, I’m on my way out the door, headed for said Costco Run, and as I pull out of the driveway, what should come stumbling up the street but two tough-looking broads (pace, honored feminist friends! If it’s OK to call a sh!thead a sh!thead, it’s OK to call a broad a broad).
At first glance they look like idle teenagers, but closer up, not so much: they’re in their late 20s or early 30s, and they’ve got some serious roadwear on them. They watch me pull out of the garage, and as I head up the street they come to a stop in front of my house, where they loiter.
I go up the road, watching this in my rear-view mirror. Turn around in the neighbor’s driveway, come back, go back in the garage, close the garage door, and go inside to wait for them to leave.
Only…they don’t leave. Now they sit down on the curb in front of the house, one of them with her head between her legs looking very tweakish and the other on her cell phone.
Shee-ut. I need to get my errands done. My son is soon to be on his way over to drop off Charley the Golden Retriever for some dog-sitting, and I would like to be finished with these tedious chores so as to be here to greet him and the Honored Dog. Plus, believe it or not, I have things to do this afternoon.
I wait. They stick around.
Finally, I call WonderAccountant, who lives & works across the street and whose office window looks directly out onto my front yard, and ask if she would keep an eye on the Funny Farm for an hour, whilst I run to the Costco. She reports that she can see the laydeez. She agrees to glance up from her Tax Prep now and again to check on the shack.
An hour later, I get back. She has watched. She has e-mailed:
The curbsitters were evidently representing a window replacement company called Kasich?? Or something like that. One came to my door and the other one went to Terry’s door. I saw them both walk down towards 16th avenue again together.
No further excitement to report!
Not yet, anyway…