Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Hobo Handbook: Memoirs of a Homeless Poet in New York (Excerpt #22)

 By Daniel Canada c.2010

O.k. So here's how I suppose it went down. After making the formal request to be initiated into Alfred E. Neuman Phi Fraternal House in F. U., they are told to meet up at a certain place and time. They are sternly warned not to reveal this information to anyone else, or they'll be hung upside down by their toenails. 

They show up. A van with dark windows pulls to the curb, and out charges three hooded, overly zealous, pubescent, fraternal brothers or sisters, who grab a halt of them, shove them into the van, make them change their school clothes for a pair of worn-out, homeless, "Skeksy"-looking gear. They tell them that if they want to enjoy the rights and privileges of the fraternity, then they must submit to the harsh ritual of "slumming it" as homeless people, all day for several days, and that they will be promptly picked up by the same van and in the same location at mid-night.

So, there you have it! If you take the time to notice you too will see their kind, squatting around with cardboard boxes, all throughout the Midtown areas. To the average person, all homeless people are the same.

But not to us! 

We have eyes that can truly see.

One night I'm going to drum up the nerve to case these kids out, and I bet you-say a quarter, since that's something I can afford to lose-that at midnight a dark, mysterious van's going to pull up. Several hooded adolescent kids will pour out of the partially opened door, and whisk the other kids away, back to the warmth and safety of the college dorms.

I wonder what happened to the days, when fraternities use to parade their candidates down the street with ropes around their necks, hazing them along the way, like making them pick up cigarette butts from the sidewalk, and what not? 

Ah! The good old days!

If you ain't homeless and on your ass out in the street, stop shamming! It's hard enough getting the average working-class person to comprehend the complexities that brought millions of once productive citizens to their knees, and out in a world sans the comfort of a home. It's tough enough to get others to understand how difficult it is to survive out in this wild concrete jungle, without a pot to piss in and a window to throw it out of. 

Don't complicate matters, in the name of a science project, or university sponsored study. On the other hand, if you guys really belong to a college fraternity, I submit that you speak to the Grand Poobah, or whoever's in charge, and suggest going back to the old rope and collecting cigarette butts, hazing ritual. 

That way people can separate the homeless from the student.
(To be continued...)

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