Tag Archives: homeless

Peeing is tough enough.

I don’t like being mad-dogged at the urinal.

Let me pee in peace.

There is kind of an unspoken etiquette at the men’s room urinals.

It is a lot like being in prison.

For the most part, guys are convinced that a possible prison rape seen could happen at any moment.

Its a tense atmosphere for most guys. Except the guys that are in the men’s room, looking for love.

Me? I don’t need any new friends.

That being said, could you look lovingly into someone elses eyes for 2 minutes?

No offense. This is a don’t ask, don’t tell. I don’t ask because I don’t want to be told.

Let me set the scene.

There are four stand up urinals against the wall, with the door on the right.

If I take the one 2nd from the left, that leaves one between me and the wall and two between me and the door.

If you come in, please take the one furthest from me, it causes the least trouble.

If you take the one next to me, on my right with the door, you will interrupt my urinating as I wonder if there is an attack coming.

And god forbid you take the one between me and the wall. At this point, I am done urinating and I KNOW you have an agenda.

And I don’t need to have my urinating interrupted. I am at that age where any issue with the flow has me worrying about my prostate. You have to watch that sucker like a hawk.

Back to the urinal.

I realize how all of this sounds. There are some of you screeching “Homophobe!”


I think a little fear is good for you.

So is guilt.

Keeps you on your toes, your head in the game.

I was raised Catholic, so the whole fear and guilt thing goes with it and I get that.

We keep getting away from the urinal and I am starting to think that it is an ok thing.

Urinals smell horrible.

Ladies don’t realize how bad men’s rooms are.

I always refer to them as the Monkey Hut.

Like at the zoo.

Shit on the walls is unpleasant, but not all that unexpected.

Men will pee on the seat, on the floor, the wall.

You name it.

I once read a news article about a man who had never used a public toilet. He spent a huge amount of time travelling from work to home to use the bathroom.

The more I think about that one, the more I think that it would be awesome.

It would be clean.

It would smell nice.

And no one would maddog you mid-pee.

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Posted by on October 14, 2011 in Uncategorized


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A homeless coffee break

My new homeless guy, Juan Carlos, is on a break. He is sitting quietly on his corner with a blanket pulled over his head.

For those who have no idea who that is, Juan Carlos is the new crazy homeless guy on the block.

He just kind of showed up a few days after my previous favorite homeless guy, Garrett, died.

RIP Garrett.

He is still learning the crazy homeless game. He doesn’t put of a cup for change most days.

He also has the odd habit of singing loud Portuguese fishing songs.

It scares the mothers walking by with their kids.

Bad for business.

My deceased friend Garrett knew the game. His move was to argue with himself about corporate environmental policy all day long, but he always stopped to say thank you when people put money in his cup.

They should have some sort of homeless bootcamp for new homeless. Just something to show them the ropes. Kind of a “How to maximize your profits” workshop for the crazy and unemployed.

Like anything, its a business.

I could never make it as a homeless person. I have a thing about showering and especially about my hands being dirty.

I would be one of those starving homeless that no one would give any money two because my sign would suck. I would get too sarcastic.

Real quick, top 5 homeless signs in recent memory.

5. “Natalie Portman is pregnant and I need money for a nice gift.”
This one I find hard to swallow. Natalie is a bit of a bohemian, but she did go to Harvard and when you roll with that crowd, the stick up your ass is not optional. So the thought of her having a homeless friend to the baby shower is slim.

4. “I slept with Lindsay Lohan last week. Please help.”
Entirely possible, that girl turns into a half naked, hot mess when she gets shit-faced. The homeless guy’s sign is more likely true than not true.

3. “Why lie? I need money for a cold beer.”
I will not give money to this, but at least its honest. The question is, does honesty pay? Historical evidence says that it does not. You get no cold beer from me.

2. “Bet you can’t hit me with a quarter.”
I actually did this. He didn’t even move, so I threw another one.

And now for number one, drum-roll please.

1. “Ninja’s killed my family, need money for kung fu lessons.”
This guy got an entire dollar out of me for shear originality. I walked passed him, saw the sign and lost it. The guy just put his hand out and I paid. He had me and he knew it.

I have an old school mate who posted the following on Facebook. “I am shocked that people are so accepting of the homeless problem. The homeless is a modern problem.”

Thats so cute. Actually, the social voices of every generation back into the dark ages make comments like that. These voices always live comfortably and are always outraged, but not to the point of giving up their own comforts.

I usually slap down that kind of ridiculous comment whenever possible, however, she is hot, and I am just an evil sexist at heart, so I will continue to be nice, but essentially treat her like hot useless furniture that you might get to sleep with if you bide your time.

Some of you are now laughing, some of you are just pissed. But, ask yourself this.

Are you laughing/angry because its bullshit, or because its true?

Me, I am laughing because I find the whole thing amusing.

But that’s just me.

The long and the short of it is, I started putting a cup out for Juan Carlos the other day, starting it off with a dollar of my own. It has stayed out since, and the money disappears.

See, I am not heartless.

I’m just an asshole.

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Posted by on October 5, 2011 in Uncategorized


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Open Seseme…

Oscar the grouch.

Represent, bitches.

Oscar was a grumpy shit way back when. Back when you were young enough to get in trouble for being in a bad mood.

I think it had to do with living in a trash can and being the unspoken homeless guy on the show.

Bert and Ernie had a house and they didn’t seem to have jobs at all. They were either mediocre kids, living without parents or retarded adults who might be gay.

Take your pick.

Back to Oscar.

I seem to end up dealing with the homeless a lot on this blog and I can’t figure out if it is an obsession or just good choices on writing content.

I saw a new Muppet Movie is coming out and it got me thinking about Oscar.

Oscar came at us during a time in our life when we were being bombarded with vanilla, black and white views of life. The cartoons reflected either a good guy or a bad guy. The good guys were always good and the bad guys were always bad.

And then there was Oscar.

Oscar was a good guy that bitched about everything. but everyone seemed to like, and he was just kind of made fun of, but he spoke his mind and was more or less accepted by the majority.

All without getting a time out.

I am seeing scary similarities between myself and Oscar.

And, in a way, I kind of like that.

Oscar pretty much demanded that you accept him and his shitty attitude at face value. He taught us to be pushy and outspoken way before that was allowed by school or our parents.

And never once did he get the recognition.

Hell, some of us have personalities based on it.

Willy the grouch.

Has a nice little ring to it, ay?

When my kids were growing up, I started watching Sesame Street again. I was a little twisted up by it at first.

The Muppets were puppets and never aged, so all my old friends were still vibrant and funny.

But the people changed.

They were older and what was once friendly and helpful was now kind of creepy and moist? and made me afraid to leave my kids alone in the same room with them.

But I got over it and sat with my daughter and clapped and sang. Daddy stuff.

And then your kids grow up and, at least mentally, you put the Muppets on the shelf again.

Until the grand kids show up. Then you can watch again.

And I will still be creeped out by the overly sugary-sweet delivery of the cast of humans then, too.

But the Muppets will still be there.

And, fuzzy pound for fuzzy pound, Kermit the Frog is the elder statesman of childrens television. He kicks the shit out of Spongebob with one thin furry arm held behind his back with a little black stick.

And he will bitch slap Hello Kitty without working up a sweat.

Although, Hello Kitty has a Japanese following that is fanatical and well monied, so maybe that’s a bad comparison.

Getting back to Oscar the Grouch, I like to think he was a roll model for some, if not all of us.

He catered to the inner asshole.

Thank you Oscar.

I would follow you into Muppet hell, you magnificent fuzzy bastard.


Posted by on September 14, 2011 in Uncategorized


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Fun with the homeless.

I have a fondness for the homeless as you may well know.

However, I cannot stand someone who is a rude drug addict.

If you want money, ask me, don’t give me some long drawn out lie or convoluted story.

At that point, I have no morals that drive me to help you.

For example, there is a section of Portland, that the homeless will flock around you like moths to a bug zapper the minute you step off the train.

But I have a fix for that.

Drug-addled beggars live in crazy enough, they tend to shy away from crazy outside their own head.

For example.

I had just exited the train in Downtown Portland, near the convention center, when a young guy, probably in his early 20’s, approached me. He looked like shit. 20 going on 55. He was thin, dirty, hair a messy mat. He had several “Crack boils” on his face. A crack boil is when someone is tweaking for their drug so bad that they scratch holes in themselves because their skin is crawling.

The best defense is a good offense. Go crazy first.

I speak before he speaks.

“John? Good, your here!” I am smiling and happy to see him. You can see the gears turning in his head. Does he know me? Is my name John? Before he can come to any conclusions, I hit him again.

“Mom’s party is at three, don’t be late. Did you get a gift?” Once again, he is thoroughly confused. When is Mom’s party? A gift? Odds are his mom is not his daily confidant at this point, so having her birthday current in his thoughts is iffy at best.

“Tell you what, give me the money and I will get the gift for you.” I hold out my hand.

His brain has ground to a halt and he cannot focus. Way to much weird info and he is overwhelmed.

At this point, he walks away. Really it is the only option, otherwise, he has to begin sifting thru the questions shrieking in his head.

I would feel bad but I honestly don’t. We have been over it, you and I, and you need to accept that. I don’t see things changing any time soon.

It is odd that I never felt the desire to treat Garrett like this. For those who haven’t read the tragic tale of my friend Garrett, he was a homeless guy that I ate bagels with and discussed Coffee shop corporate environmental policy with. A gentle soul who was unable to shake drugs and, in the end. they killed him.

But I never felt like messing with him. He was polite and usually coherent.

I have a bit of a sales background and presentation is everything.

Maybe its just like real estate. Location, location, location. Run into a homeless guy down near the beach, surrounded by million dollar homes, it feels safe enough to take him serious and get to know him.

Run into a guy in a crappy part of town and they only thing I feel like doing is be an ass for my own amusement. (Its kind of a recurring theme). No idea who this guy is other than some poor druggy with holes he scratched in his own damn face.

Plus, I didn’t have any change.

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Posted by on August 31, 2011 in Uncategorized


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The sound…….of Silence.

There is a vicious, scorched-earth, fully bi-polar argument going in Starbucks right now. Shit is being thrown out there that you should never say to someone you are sleeping with, much less a loved one.

In total silence.

There is a guy at a corner table who is deaf. He has his Iphone propped up against his coffee cup, and if I casually lean over, there is a dark haired woman signing furiously and angrily into her webcam.

I have no clue whats being said other than the expressions, unlike Spanish, which I can sound out. I don’t even know how to sign what day it is.

He has been signing furiously for thirty seconds and now slowly licked several of his fingers and it has seriously pissed off the woman on the phone even more than before. Sign language seems to have newer options for going dirty.

This is absolutely fascinating.

And then its over, he gets up and leaves, in total silence.

He may be deaf, but he still has the same issues we all do. Some more than others.

I couldn’t be deaf, I would go insane. Anger demands noise, that is basic human nature.

But on the same note, being deaf would make me impossible to be around as well. Most deaf people accept it and grow to enjoy it.

Not me.

For me, it would be like having a permanent case of the shits. Always there, always annoying. I would exist in this permanent cloud of pissy that would make me even more unpleasant than I am.

And I can be pretty unpleasant.

But I started wondering why the deaf guy has an Iphone to begin with, its not like he can use it.

And then it hits me like a smack with the big “Hey dumbfuck!” stick.

He is using his phone.

Maybe not how I would, but now everyone can use a phone. The technology has now caught up with the needs of the deaf.

In other words, the people that don’t need phones? They now need phones. And not just any phone, but one of the most expensive, high end phones on the market, with one of the costliest rate plans.

Very clever, AT&T. Or shall I just call you Mr. Jobs?

I can see it all now.

This is world wide conspiracy shit. This is like an Internet grassy knoll, data plan goes back….and to the left, broadband-Da Vinci code type thing.


Should I suddenly meet with some sort of suspicious accident, be aware that “They” had a hand in it.
(And by “Accident” I don’t mean like a child fouling himself. I have only done that once and it involved a lot of grain alcohol.)

I have begun poring over my cell bill, looking for some sort of code. Unfortunately, I think I have a better chance to crack the Beale Cipher, (Google it), than I do of figuring out the AT&T/Apple master plan.

But at least we know there is one.

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Posted by on August 18, 2011 in Uncategorized


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Life happens…

“Hola, Signor.”

I stop and stare.

I am one block from Starbucks and Garrett, my favorite homeless man, is speaking Spanish.

This is unique in that Garrett is a six and a half foot tall man of obvious Nordic decent.

I Hola back and ask him why the hell he is speaking Spanish.

“I want to be able to thank Mexican people who give me money.”

I am floored.

This is a game changer. Garrett sits on the corner and talks to himself for the majority of the day about the corporate policies of the major coffee houses in the US. We’ve had this discussion before, he finds that Coffee Bean is insincere in its green policies.

The homeless have gone global.

Why the hell not?

I wrote the proceeding a day ago, planning to finish it today.

And then shit happened.

Garrett the homeless guy, my bagel friend in the morning, the corporate politically conscious patron of Starbucks, died this morning.

I was talking with a friend on the phone, no more than a block from my office, when I saw two cop cars, 1 ambulance and a paramedic, all cluster parked around the corner.

He was on a stretcher, with a paramedic working on him the whole time they were loading him into the ambulance.

I found out from the store owner who knows one of the paramedics, that Garrett died on the way to the hospital either from a heart attack, but they suspect overdose.


I had talked and broken bread, or at least bagels with the man. He was a fascinating mix of drugged out crazy, and intellectual.

I will miss him.

Garrett the homeless guy, RIP.


Posted by on August 17, 2011 in Uncategorized


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My Eviction Notice.

Am I being evicted?

An article on Rueters news service says that the Starbucks in New York City are taking action to get rid of “Squatters”

A squatter is a customer that comes in and stays for hours, takes up space, uses the free wifi and buys minimal.

People like, well, me.


New Yorkers are notorious for being inhospitable, but this is a new low. The economy is tanking like Armageddon, and New York has decided that they don’t need your business? Do us all a favor, shit head and take your purchase somewhere else?

But where?

In terms of legal crack houses, I prefer Starbucks. Coffee bean is nice, but a little bland. Starbucks straddles the fence between elitist but quick and dirty coffee version of fast food quite nicely.

And something about the place. I have never been able to put my finger on it, but it almost tries to be like a modern hipster version of those folksy coffee houses from the 60’s, but with a pretentiousness that they would be ashamed of having achieved.

So, if they do kick me out, where do I go?

The mere thought of it makes me break out in a quick case of nervous swamp ass, which is never pleasant.

There are a few places I could relocate to, but they all have their set crowds.

Coffee Bean has a more sedate, older clientele. I can walk thru the front door and lower the average age by ten years. And they play muzak. Its like drinking coffee in an elevator with your grandparents.

Noah’s Bagels is across the street. Noah”s exists in this permanent stench of burnt bread as your walk thru the door and has a lot of harried people trying to get their breakfast on in the shortest amount of time. Not a lot of eye contact and little chit chat, a lot like getting coffee in a men’s bathroom. No wifi and the coffee tastes suspiciously of teabagging. (I will not explain this. You’re on your own.)

Peets coffee is right next store and unfortunately has the shared stench from the bagel shop. Also, I am not sure what they serve there, despite the name “Peet’s Coffee”. Their coffee might be good, but I will never know, because it is served in non-heated coffee urns and therefore cold.  Its like getting coffee at a gas station.

Also, every time I go in there, half of the customers are mothers with no less than 3 children in tow. Maybe it is some sort of cold coffee and fertility clinic.

Oddly enough, Jamba Juice makes a good cup of coffee, go figure. However, no wifi, no seats and no one over the age of 17 works there.

My mother’s house is always an option for a quick cup of coffee. Mom however has been a professional psychic for about 45 years, so you get coffee and some psychoanalysis. If you are not used to it a psychic picking your brain can be every bit as uncomfortably invasive as picking a total strangers nose. She doesn’t mean anything by it, it’s second nature by now. Mom is a serious force of nature in my book, not to be fucked with unless you are ready for war.

Which leaves me with only one alternative, I could just go to work early.

You can have my seat when you pry it from my cold dead ass-cheeks.


Posted by on August 16, 2011 in Uncategorized


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Garrett the homeless guy.

When a forty-something woman pushing a dual stroller with two toddlers in it can walk into Starbucks in a pair of daisy-dukes and a wife beater, and looks hot. You know you are in southern California.

This is one of the busier Starbucks in Down town Manhattan Beach, 1 block from the pier.

As folks roll in for their morning fix, you cannot help but notice the style of dress and how radically it can change from one person to another.

In line right now. A woman in her late forties, business suit, severe heels and may have been a playboy bunny in her twenties, that hot.

A girl in her early twenties, heavily texting. She is dressed in sweats, t-shirt and hair is pulled back into a messy ponytail. She rolled out of the rack and came here. She has to be going home after this, mainly because you cannot go anywhere but Starbucks while looking like this. Starbucks has a more flexible atmosphere.

The bike people. Three of them, men, in their fifties maybe. They must have missed the cut for the Tour de France this year, but it was not for lack of equipment. The bikes they leaned up against the news racks out front cost the same as new economy cars.

The aforementioned hot mom has now been joined by a friend in a pair of yoga stretch pants and a skin tight top. Were forty-somethings always this hot?

There is a homeless guy in line, silently waiting for his morning coffee and donut. He sits on the corner about a block away and talks angrily to himself all day, but when he is in Starbucks, he is quiet and polite. Like he realizes that its an odd place to be. He just wants his stuff with a minimum of fuss.

I was more than a little intrigued. I followed the homeless guy as he left. He noticed me walking behind him and stepped off to the side to let me go by. I stop and stare.


We talk and kind of meander down the street for a few moments. He recognizes me. I have given him some change a few times as I walk by at lunch. His name is Garrett. He likes Starbucks because of their atmosphere and corpororate policies. He dislikes Coffee Bean because he feels their environmental policies are disingenuous. Evidently when he mutters to himself he is wading thru corporate policy.

As we walk, I am kind of amazed at how lucid the angry homeless guy that talks to himself is. We walk up to Noahs bagels and I buy bagels with creamcheese.

As we sit out front and eat, the look of total disdain being heaped on us by the other patrons is huge.

I find myself enjoying it more than is proper. I think I may be doing this more to be an ass than to do something nice for Garrett, who it turns out is pretty cool for a crazy homeless guy.

And I’m ok with that.

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Posted by on July 20, 2011 in Uncategorized


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I have missed them.

My favorite couple were waiting for me this morning when I got to Starbuck’s.

I hate coming in after the movie has already started, but here is the basics. There are two arguments going on. Make that three.

The first argument, which seems to be the one that has been going on the longest, is concerning the twins. Should they be in soccer or lacrosse camp this summer. (If I were those kids, I would take anything that gets me out of there for more than an afternoon.) Best comment so far? He wants the boys to take lacrosse. She fires back: “You just want them to become violent assholes, like you and your brother.” What is it with attacking his family? In my family, this would become a physical war.

The second point of contention seems to be that he somehow instructed the barrista to make her soy latte too hot. How he did this is unknown at this point in time. She is still drinking the aforementioned soy latte.

The third issue seems to be a long running one. He wears surgical scrubs and has mentioned he is a doctor in the past. As he is a partner in his practice, it sounds like he has three partners. They each are on call in a rotating shift, once a month. She evidently keeps planning weekend getaways on his on-call weekend. She is of the opinion that, because his partners covered for him to be off 9 years ago the weekend the twins were born, they should cover all of his weekends. The logic of this escapes me, but,according to her, it seems to boil down to him not caring about her feelings.

The sick thrill of listening in on this is not an easy thing to accept of myself.

I will get by somehow.


Posted by on June 29, 2011 in Uncategorized


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