Friday, July 14, 2006

Not quite popcorn reading. More like reading for peanuts.

I had only just begun to imagine what my summer hobo travels might entail and I came to an unfortunate realization. As much as I hate to face the truth of the matter, the summer will be over before I know it.

With that in mind, I decided I should probably get my pipes in shape. You know, my "instrument"--my TEACHER VOICE! And, since I'm broke, I thought why not kill two birds with one stone and utilize the only real talent I have. I decided to head down to the bus depot and read literature aloud for spare change.

Don't laugh. It's an honest living.

I took a milk crate of some of my favorites (Fitzgerald, Twain, etc.) but, unfortunately, it didn't go too well. The hubs of transportation are full of wisenheimers when a guy is trying to make a buck (or a nickel, or a penny, or whatever).
"In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I've been turning over in my mind ever since."

"Oh yeah?" quipped a passerby, "I've got a piece of advice for ya'. Get a job!"

If he only knew.

"There are some people who leave impressions not so lasting as the imprint of an oar upon the water."

"How's about I imprint my foot onya' ass?"

"This is my letter to the world..."

"Oh yeah? I've got two letters for ya'--F and U!"

"It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen."

"Hey jerk! Try buying a watch. It ain't even 12:30 yet."

"I think there's just one kind of folks. Folks."

Well, I think there's just one kind of nut job. You!

"Should we distrust the man because his manners are not our manners, and that his skin is dark?"

"Are you calling me a racist, ya homo?"

"To the red country and part of the gray country of Oklahoma, the last rains came gently, and they did not cut the scarred earth."

"You suck, weatherman!"

"Some one had blundered!

"Yeah they did. I gotsa' feeling you wasn't exactly planned. Ask your mom about that one!"

"Robert Cohn was once middleweight boxing champion of Princeton."

"And I was once the king of jolly ol' England! What's your point?"

"I am living at the Villa Borghese. There is not a crumb of dirt anywhere, nor a chair misplaced. We are all alone here and we are dead.

"Oh, here it comes. Uh, good for you, sir. We're very happy you're getting clean. No, we don't have any money to help you with your rehab at the Villa Borzey or whatever. Please leave us alone."

"The horror! The horror!"

"You've got that right!"

"'Grub, ho!' now cried the landlord, flinging open a door, and in we went to breakfast."

"Did you just call me a ho? Maurice! This chump just called me a ho!"

"so much depends/upon /a red wheel/barrow /glazed with rain/water /beside the white/chickens."

"That's it? That's the whole freakin' poem? I could've wrote that!"

"Whoever you are - I have always depended on the kindness of strangers."

"Twenty bucks and you can depend on me all you want. Just give the money to Maurice."
Sure, it was a humiliating experience and my ego took some body blows. But these guys have nothing on 7th period. Plus, I made $9.78. That's more than enough to go buy a used copy of On the Road.

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All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental. That's our story and we're sticking to it.