Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Bum ba bum bum bum

It’s been a rough couple of days. I’ve become preoccupied with the (please-dear-God-please) fall of Ashlee Simpson. I’ve had trouble sleeping and I start every conversation with, “Did you hear what happened to that worthless bitch?”
I’m forcing myself to move on. I’m not going to talk about acid reflux disease and doing jigs on national television.
I think instead I’m going to talk about squirrels. I think I’m going to do a study about the changing of the guard as squirrels overtook monkeys as the funniest animals on the planet. I think the tide really started to turn with that commercial where the squirrels cause the accident and do their little celebration handshake. The culmination of the transition was probably the Jimmy Dean sausage commercial. Monkeys were played out after Dustin Checks In bombed at the box office. Then again why would anyone open a film with a monkey the same week as a Leo film dropped? Obviously the studio wasn’t thinking about Dustin’s career. Mirimax knew enough to move Jersey Girl from the same weekend the final Matrix film was set to open. Not a February opening could erase the fact that Gigli had been made. Fuck. Not even God could erase the fact that Gigli was made. How do I know that? Well, if He could have He would have. No almighty being would ever wish that upon its most fucked up and demented creation.

So I was walking home from work today and a guy with a huge duffle bag full of cans who was picking through the garbage cans on my street asked me for fifty cents. I of course lied and said no and kept walking. As I passed him by he explained how he was just trying to help himself. Looking back I can appreciate his honesty because I otherwise would have been under the impression that he was saving up cans and quarters to help the Old English brewers from going out of business.
About 10 minutes later I walked back up the street to go to Ben’s and he accosted me again. I again explained how I had no money on my person and kept walking. Then he commented on my shirt and asked if I was going to call security on him. I remember thinking, “Yeah, this is definitely a job for Dave.” Just picture Dave and Joe Muir chasing bums down State Street. Then picture Dave, Joe, and the bums running the other direction being chased by squirrels.

Sorry about that. I couldn’t stop laughing.

Anyway, these conversations with my nomadic friend got me to thinking. What are some good ways to alleviate confrontations with the domically challenged? Here’s what our crack staff at 6(8)9 State has come up with thus far. I’m not going to take credit for all of them as we were spitballing ideas in the living room earlier. Don’t worry though, we’ll take care of them next clean-up day.

If somebody asks you for fifty cents, use a poker mentality and go over the top. Ask if they have a dollar you can borrow.
What if they have a story and it involves bus fare? Ask if they go to Saint Rose and explain that the student ID gets you on certain CDTA buses for free. If they say no (which is likely in most cases) tell them that its not too late to get in an application for the Spring semester.

If they are looking for gas money inquire as to the whereabouts of their car. Use a line like, “Kind of putting the horse before the wagon, eh, friend?” Bums love analogies.

TIP: If you are out carrying around beer when presented with a derelict do not offer them one. She will most likely end up making fun of you and accuse you of “not knowing what to do with a pussy if you had one.” Ask Justin and Mike about this one.

What if while playing beer pong in your backyard a filthy couple wanders up to the fence? Explain that you don’t have a spare bed, but you have an air mattress, a big living room, three couches, and a lot of friends who like to watch. Since they’ll probably agree to it for a warm place to sleep, keep a tiki torch lit nearby to light them on fire.

Here’s one for a fifty cent request: Explain that the guy around the corner asked for 50 cents as well, but all you had was a dollar. Why don’t you split it with him? After all, he only needed 50 cents.

Remember, the best defense is a good offense. If you see him or her coming, make the first move and ask them for money. Give them a hard luck story about getting jumped by some guys on the way back from the bar last night.

Tell them you don’t have any cash on you but you’ll write them a check. Then after you ask how much they want, explain that you don’t have two forms of ID on you and rip up the check right in front of their eyes. But make sure there’s a nice round dollar amount like twenty bucks or so to really get a reaction.

When asked if you have a quarter get really excited! “Oh, are you in the scavenger hunt too?” When they say no, explain that one of the items on the list is a bag of cans and bottles. Then tell them you do have an extra quarter if they have multiple bags of cans. Offer a fair trade.

I think I could stretch this into an entire chapter of a book. That would give me one chapter done. Two days in a row. Chew on that.

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