Thursday, July 06, 2006

Mipanko (you know, like the candy treat?), Don't be a Hero 

I sat outside and shared my lunch with an aggressive, greasy little black bird today. I guess the animal kingdom can smell ‘soft touch pushover’ like they can supposedly smell fear. The bird reminded me so much of Billy that when he cocked his head at me I expected him to emit the same impatient yip Billy gives me when I’m don’t share my food fast enough for his liking. One time when E was eating a bowl of ice cream the dogs gathered around and stared at me expectantly. When Spoon trilled at me, it dawned on me that they were begging me for E’s ice cream, even though E was sitting across the room. I have never seen animals beg by proxy before. Cesar Millan would have a lot of say about how our household is run.

While I sat outside with the bird I spent a lot of time watching the band of homeless who gather outside the library like villagers huddled outside the castle walls. For the most part, they seem to be having a damn good time. They’re convivial and raucous and wile away their day smoking cigarettes, panhandling, shooting up, making out, squabbling and napping by their shopping carts. They watch each others things while they go into the library to use the bathrooms and surf the internet. Toward the afternoon they’ll get a touch football game going.

On a recent weekend they were displaced from their spot by an ethnic fair, and spent their time disgruntled and muttering outside the temporary cyclone fence gates. The ethnic fair was strange. The booths seemed primarily to be sponsored by Safeway and military recruitment. The recruitment booths had all of these soldiers of the fair’s ethnicity milling about, looking dashing and heroic, as lures. Because I like an environment I certainly don’t favor uncontrolled immigration but for all of you immigrant haters out there you should know that these boys are the first ones to enlist and inquire at the reference desk about ASVAB preparation books. They’re so heartbreakingly eager to prove their patriotism.

During the fair one of the women in the band of homeless had a seizure, and her confused friends tried to perform CPR on her. Although their intentions were good, they were completely unhelpful, and the Samaritans were screamed at for their trouble by the EMT when they arrived.

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