Nobody volunteered to guest post for me.
Excuse me while I replace this crumpled tissue with a fresh one. There. Much better.
Since I'm apparently on my own here, I needed to check in with you guys just to let you know I'm still alive. Sucks for you, but I'm not going anywhere, so deal. I warned you that my vocab reserves might be low after busting my ass with school, but there's good news. Turns out I rarely have occasion to use use 'fuck' and 'shit' at school, so we're still good here.
Just so you know, I'm kicking accelerated Ph.D ass. Thank you. Thank you.
On one of my ventures into the non-academic world, I saw something that gave me pause (don't I sound like a pretentious doctor of philosophy already?). I was at a red light on my way to some boring, but necessary bullshit and there was a homeless man standing at the intersection. How do I know he was homeless? Why, the standard "Please help me, I'm homeless" sign, of course.
I know what you're thinking. You see homeless people all the time. There's nothing special or interesting about a panhandling homeless man. I beg to differ. You think I don't have anything better to do than to come on here and blow smoke up your ass about homelessness?
What was special about this guy was that he had his "homeless" sign in one hand and his cell phone in the other. And what was he doing with said cell phone? Texting.
Now, while I actually prefer texting and have no qualms with the concept in general, I take a slight exception with a grown man asking me for my
I updated my Facebook page thusly: Guy with an "I'm homeless" sign in one hand and a cell phone in the other texting someone...
That was all I said. I didn't pass any judgement (I thought) and I didn't make any of the snide remarks that were going through my head. There wasn't enough time to do so at the red light. One of my FB friends, however, thought it was wrong of me to judge this guy so harshly.
Her response: Omg u r jus like my daughter! Homeless means u dnt have anywhere to live, he can still have a cell phone Mrs. Hyde....lmao
Really? Is he allowed to have a cell phone? Is he really? I tried to reserve judgment, but since I'm getting heat for judging anyway, I may as well express myself.
It's been awhile since I was homeless (the summer of 1980) and I wasn't the adult in the situation, so I don't have a grown-up frame of reference with regard to homelessness. That said, it seems to me that an adult would spend his cell phone money on, I don't know...let's just say "food" for shits and giggles. And if said homeless adult had any money left over after having eaten his understandably meager meal, he might try and save it so that eventually, he'd have enough to rent a motel room for a night or two just to give him a break from sleeping on the streets. And if he were particularly resourceful, he could even have enough one day to rent a room or small apartment.
I don't know the order in which priorities lie to a homeless person. I guess it would depend on why he/she is homeless. If he's homeless due to a drug/alcohol addiction, he'd probably use his money to secure the next hit of his drug/bottle of choice. I get that. Every time I reach for the vodka instead of the baseball bat when dealing with my teenagers, I understand addiction a little bit more.
But who the fuck was he texting? Does Pookie only take drug orders via text, instant message, and email these days? If you approach Pookie on his street corner instead, will he turn you away as if you are unwelcome in his upscale place of business? Does he deliver? Are college students driving crack delivery vans to pay for college? And if so, is Pookie hiring? Because getting a doctorate degree ain't cheap.
Was he updating his Twitter? (I would love for you guys to come up with homeless Twitter updates. I'd do it myself, but I'm going to be in enough trouble as it is when this post is over.) Was he checking in @ Starbucks on Facebook? Was he uploading photos on Flickr? I'm really curious about what he was doing. So curious, in fact, that I might just park across the street from him and watch him for awhile. Then I might ask if I can borrow his phone to order some food from the pizza place on the opposite corner.
I know technology is getting a bit out of hand, but this is ridiculous.
I don't (usually) judge homeless people. I understand that mental problems, drug abuse, and this screwed up economy are taking a huge toll on people. When I have a few extra dollars, I will help a homeless person and I don't give any thought to what he/she might be using the money for.
Gotta say, though, the texting homeless guy really threw me for a loop.
Please make a struggling doctorate student happy by posting your homeless Twitter updates in the comment section below. You know you want to.
If I get enough of them, I'll combine them to make my next post...
Hey! You owe me.