By Max R. Weller
Sign held by panhandler on the northwest corner of Broadway & Canyon this morning: 2 UGLY 2 PROSTITUTE. It seems to me that 90% of these chronically homeless panhandlers don’t have a clue about how to gain the favor of passersby, which explains why many of ’em are so mistakenly intent on coming up with some catchy phrase for their scrap of cardboard. They behave aggressively, marching right at drivers and thrusting their signs at these poor folks who are already distracted, and way too many of these bums are filthy and/or under the influence. No wonder they probably average less than $5 per hour, and would be better off going to Labor Ready if they’re physically fit (and most of ’em are). They don’t know how to stay warm and dry while camping out, either, but that’s another story . . .
Since the homeless shelter/services industry in Boulder, CO seems unable to cope with housing the hordes of homeless people here, why don’t they teach Life Skills to their clients so that their lives would be a bit easier on the streets? Even the program people at Boulder Shelter for the Homeless have a real struggle with something as simple as catching the SKIP bus, which stops right there. Almost every morning, I see these characters wait until the last second to leave BSH, and the bus often pulls away without them. They need to be able to read and comprehend the bus schedule, then drag their lazy butts out to wait at the bus stop so they won’t be left standing there looking foolish. There are literally dozens of other examples I could cite, all of which are indicative of a lack of common sense — and nobody is teaching these poor souls what they need to know to get along on their own. It’s pitiful!
I’ve discovered that the Campbell’s soup people make a very tasty canned sausage gravy. Unfortunately, the biscuits available at King Soopers are not nearly as good as homemade, and are overpriced as well. Perhaps I’ll use plain white bread, instead. Speaking of bread, I remember my first efforts at making bread when I was 12 or 13 years of age; it turned out hard on the outside, and filled with huge air pockets inside. I considered it a FAIL. Then, I came here to Boulder, CO and encountered the same sort of “artisan” bread being sold at various pretentious grocery stores for extortionate sums, and it frequently gets donated to homeless services providers along with fossilized scones and other barely edible baked goods. Toss in granola bars, too, and homeless people who have bad teeth are out of luck. Such fare might be put to better use in carpet bombing suspected terrorist hideouts.
Hmmm . . . I wonder if my friend from the Real World who wants to camp out with me in a couple of weeks, then shadow this Homeless Philosopher as he makes his rounds the following day, would want to try her luck at flying a sign on the corner of N. Broadway & U.S. 36? All proceeds to charity, of course. I’d be interested in observing the reactions of passersby to someone who bears no resemblance to the typical panhandler found in our fair city.
Has anybody seen Uncle Joe Biden lately? Some have criticized him for being drunk frequently, but we need comic relief in these trying times of the Bush/Obama Great Recession. (This is as close as I’m coming to political commentary).