Wednesday, March 11, 2009

names I've been called by bums

The city of San Francisco has a personality unlike any other. There's beauty in the landscape and surrounding water, and in the architecture. There's a unique balance of being a center of business, finance and the arts, while owning a pervasive attitude of tolerance throughout the city. 

And there are a shitload of bums here. Not the attack-you-in-Central-Park kind of bums or the OD'ed-on-meth-and-crank-and-passed-out-in-a-dumpster kind of bums (although drugs are a large part of many bums' daily lives). SF homeless, by and large, are a more pensive, intellectual breed. Sure, they will panhandle and ask for money. But they'll also cite the Wall Street Journal and Voltaire at you as you pass by. 

One bum even defended my wife's honor. She was walking on a main street, passing by an alley, when a bum in the alley began to pee on a building, not unusual behavior for a man without a home. But then another bum, let's call him Hero Bum, got in Peeing Bum's face and yelled, "You can't whip that out in front of a lady, man! Have some respect!" Hero Bum then apologized to my wife for the poor judgement the other man exhibited in "his neighborhood". And they say street chivalry is dead.

That said, we've also almost been peed on walking down the street too. 

The following is a list of things SF bums have yelled at me. Notice the tendency to avoid clich├ęs in favor of creative spontaneity.

"Mr. Rotisserie!"
"Fortune 500? More like zero!"
"You're the Palo Alto of never!"
"It was the worst of times and the worst of times!"
"Death to Actors!"
"I put a curse on your children!"
"Obama wants you... to give me your spare change."
"Hollywood Hallelujah!"
"You wish faggot!" (this was yelled at me as I glanced at a toothless woman peeing in the street)

And that was just on the way to work this morning! Rimshot.


  1. I have not been as lucky - some bums yell mean things at me and two have actually touched me...which was not cool. But I do have a new bum friend that sometimes lives behind our bldg...we met when Cia had the neon legs. Whenever we see each other we stop and talk (but never discuss her living situation).

  2. I really loved reading this. The bums in Phoenix are always very tan. One time a bum with a tiny ponytail followed me down the street barking at me. Guess people in SF are just more eloquent.