Friday, June 15, 2007

Thursday morning I went to a crime watch meeting for local business owners, hotel and property managers. We have fantastic officers who are very involved and come by our office often, and it makes one feel things are as they should be.

Manager of a very expensive condo development said she was really tired of seeing Richard around. Richard is a homeless guy who hangs around the area, and he had a leg amputated sometime last year. She said her residents complain about him, but the very same people turn around and give him cash, so it's impossible to make him go away - too much easy free money. Richard was once a lawyer, by the way.

A woman from the PD asked her how she would like to see the issue resolved, but she was too politically correct to say she wanted him just to go away. It was interesting to watch her grasping for some way to say she wanted him gone without saying she wanted him gone.

I mentioned Robert Davila, a sad homeless guy I see on my property about once a week, picking through the dumpster. Robert is actually a handsome and fairly young man, but I think he is mentally ill. He has a habit of turning up when I'm showing the most expensive apartments, ambling casually across the parking lot as though he's walking along a beach. No one ever rents after they've seen Robert, and what can I do? He's sorta my bridge troll and the toll must be paid.

After the woman said maybe the city's homeless services could help Richard, I suggested that for most of these homeless folks, and particularly the rogue homeless who keep their single-serving-Hoovervilles and panhandling beats well away from the teeming masses of homeless, well, they don't relate to other homeless people any more than they relate to society in general. These are people who decided to reject jobs and family and society and tax returns and social security-- they are highly unlikely to be amenable to being warehoused with a bunch of other homeless who they are bright enough recognize as losers.

"What do we do with them?" dithered the lovely young blonde woman.

One of the officers went on to say if you move the cheese away, the mice will look for it elsewhere, and that if area residents stop giving them money, they'll move along to greener pastures.

I said "I wanna know how I can get a gig like that: hanging around drunk all day, people driving by and giving me money for my booze, showering with obliging garden hoses on area lawns."

Most laughed, but the officers roared. I suppose it's refreshing when someone refuses to tippy-toe around the thorny issue of the homeless.


Christina RN LMT said...

There's this group of about four homeless guys who loiter on the sidewalk of an alley I drive down on my way home from work, and they are interesting merely because of the signs they choose to display.
"Why lie...we need money for beer!"
Very amusing, and if I didn't have to drive by there every evening, I'd give them some money!

FHB said...

A month or so ago I was up in big "D" seeing a buddy, and I drove him down town by the convention center. He said "Hey, turn down here", and he showed me a place where he said Robert Johnson had recorded a record. I looked over accross the street, and a couple of crack heads are sitting in a door, one smoking a pipe. Mmm, the blues. Street wqas loaded with bums, and then he tells me that families can't go to the librbary any more because the homeless have taken it over, coming in every day and surfing the web for rap tunes on the computers. Amazing!

Anonymous said...

When I worked in downotwn Dallas near Dealy Plaza, you nearly needed a stick to keep the bums and panhandlers at bay. More than once I've stepped in something that wasn't left by a dog.

Since changing jobs, I haven't been back downtown in 3 years or more.


none said...

I don't give them money anymore. I learned my lesson. That's why so many towns are passing vagrancy laws and arresting the homeless when thye refuse to move on.

Lin said...

It's terrific to find someone so anti-P.C. and down to the common sense facts while leaving them laughing as you. Don't ever change, baby. I adore ya!

Kevin said...

I remember hearing that panhandlers at LA airport made over $40K a year by dressing like businessmen and acting like they'd forgotten to bring cash...

Dick said...

you ought to meet Phlegm's friends.

The homeless? Yeah, I have some ideas.

phlegmfatale said...

christina - Like you, I'm almost inclined to reward honesty, but not quite.

fathairybastard - Sad, but the homeless throng around the library. There's always a police officer in the parking garage, but I never go there any more.

rabbit - AND you don't have that hellish commute, now, do you? Well done, you.

hammer - Yup - if they can't get free crap, they'll go elsewhere. Let them go to the West Coast where there aren't so many mean-spirited conservatives.

lin - aw, honey - same back at ya. *blush*

kevin - wow- that is just naked, isn't it-- getting dressed up for it. They prolly always got a good parking space, too. Bastards.

dick - Are you saying my friends are mean? *snerk*

HollyB said...

Good for you! Speaking the truth, AND makin' 'em laugh!

Unknown said...

Enjoyed your blogs, and your profile has good taste {Cabaret Voltaire, Robin Guthrie, etc}

I noticed you sent a comment to my great friend, Kath Bee, fantastic singer of kiddies' lullabies and incorrigibly smiley burst of human sunshine to all.