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No Such Thing As Homeless

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Do you like to argue over semantics? If you answer yes, then I dedicate this blog to you.

I use to work at a furniture store located downtown that faced a major street and had an alley behind that separatedthe store from the warehouse. I spent most of my time in the warehouse. A lot of “street folk” would walk through the alley. For some reason, most of them were rather friendly with me and some would even stop by for an occasional visit. I was always friendly to them and I guess they appreciated that someone actually talked to them like they were just a regular person.

I use the words, “Street Folk” because I don’t believe that there is such a thing as “the homeless”. It’s the most stupid thing I’ve ever heard. OK, that’s a complete overstatement. It doesn’t even come close to being the most stupid, but it’s dumb all the same.

Oh, I know what you’re going to say. I know what your definition of “home” is. When you hear that word “home” you think walls, doors, plumbing, temperature controlled air, the works. To me, that’s not a home, that’s your home.

Perhaps you’ve never heard the saying, “Home is where I lay my head”? If that’s true, then I have an immeasure amount of homes. Seriously, even the person that most would describe as “having nothing” indeed has “something”. I’ve yet to encounter a naked person that never sleeps and is constantly on the move, because that’s what it would take to truly have nothing.

The most down and out “homeless bum” that you can think of has, at the very least, clothes. Maybe a blanket stashed somewhere? I knew a guy that had made himself a pole with a one sharp end, (like the things people use when stabbing and picking up trash in the park). So everybody has some amount of personal belongings. You can’t escape from it and who’d want to?

Just because these “street folk” don’t go home to the same kind of place that you call home, doesn’t mean they’re homeless. These people are going back to some kind of shelter, be it a box between buildings, under a bridge, in a dumpster, a bush or an abandoned house/building. They have to go somewhere for the night to sleep it off. They’ve got a big day of panhandling tomorrow, they need there rest and time to go over their sob story and practice running their lines. “Excuse me sir, do you have a dollar to help a man out. I haven’t eaten in three days.”

Don’t let them fool you either. Don’t let them tell you that they’re homeless. If they try and pull that with you, don’t be to ask, “Where do you live?” If they fire back, “I’m homeless” ask, “Well where do you sleep?” If they say something like, “An old refrigerator box, behind Steve’s Appliance Super Store on 86th Street.” You say, “Well then that’s your home.” If they try something like, “I move around a lot and sleep in a lot of different places.” say, “Well then I guess the City is your home. How exciting. You’re so lucky.”

Being of the street I’m sure can be stressful, but it has it’s rewards too. No taxes, schedules, bosses, acquisition of a unique odor and free time like you wouldn’t believe.

Can I crash in your basement tonight?

Egg On!

Ramblin’ Rooster

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Written by Ramblin' Rooster

November 3, 2008 at 4:46 am

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