1. Today’s Homeless Bons Mot: Dueling Banjos of Crazy

    Today’s adventures on public transportation was brought to me by Bill Cosby and flip phones.

    At or around the DoubleTree hotel stop (that hotel with the logo used to look like lesbians dancing but recently got redone and is now BO-RING) an older man with wheely bags got on and sat perpendicular to me.

    Yay me!

    First he asked if he saw me at the bar last night to which I responded with a vehement “NO”, and then he went on to start explaining to the developmentally disabled young man sitting across from him how he had a tattoo of Bill Cosby on his leg and how he saw Bill Cosby yesterday and had to kick him.

    I could empathize as he (Bill Cosby) and Robin Williams with their holier-than-thou prissiness often make me want to go out and get tattoos too.

    His tirade, however, scared the poor boy across from him and which made him retreat to the back of the bus. (The developmentally disabled guy, not MrName-droppy-McHomeless dude.)

    Next he pulled a flip-phone from one of his bags and launched into a soliloquy about how he has a doctor like Michael Jackson’s who will supply him with meds that keep him high for days and let everyone know that he was calling the doctor.

    And how he had a doctor for Marijuana too so he didn’t need to place that call just now. 

    After several failed calls attempts, he started getting agitated (because, you know, he was calm as a Zen monk and all before..) and talking about how he was going to have to put the nurses over his lap and “spank their little asses”. (Direct quote)

    When nobody from Crazyville seemed to be available to take his calls, he slammed the flip-phone shut and reached into one of his bags and pulled out a business card which he handed to me. 

    It was for a place that rents out high quality disposable mobile phones.

    Suddenly I wasn’t quite sure if I had just watched a nutter or a really brilliant sales performance and was on the fence not wanting to rush to judgments. I also realized that this wasn’t the first time a homeless person in Los Angeles had given me a business card. 

    At this point, one of my favorite nomadic bus riders got on the bus.

    She has a great memory and remembered me from a conversation we had a week or so before which went like this;

    Her: Hello, where are you going are you going to work do you think it’s going to rain I heard that there is a huge storm’s coming this weekend.

    Me: My office in Old Torrance, I’m going to work. It looks like rain’s possible, I hadn’t heard that it would storm this weekend. (BTW, it really did storm that weekend, and I now think of her as a weather savant.)

    Her: Old Torrance? That’s pretty far from the bus stop. Going to work at this time?? Can you do that? (It was about 10:30 ish, I had been taking care of work I could deal with from home for a couple hours)

    Me: It’s my company, I go in when I need, I was working from home!

    (I had an imperative need to justify myself out-loud because the whole bus could hear our conversation and I needed them to know I wasn’t a slacker)

    Her: You can do that? That’s ok?

    Me: My employees are there!!

    Her: *Stares at me for two beats*

    Me: Things are getting done!

    Her: Well don’t get wet I like your shoes it’s a long walk.

    So today she gets on the bus just as the phone demo guy moved over to try to sweet-talk an old Korean lady in a really nice floral hat and starts talking to me as we approach my stop.

    Her: Oh going to work again you’ve got a long walk I like your dress did you get it at the mall?

    Me Out-loud: Yes! Thank you! No! Bye!

    Me In-My-Head: I’m very early today SHE CAN’T JUDGE ME, Mall? Oh hell no (irrationally offended) This is a Michael Kors from Nordstrom! Not some Del Amo piece of you-know-what!

    The point of today’s story is potato.

  2. Bons Mot From Members of Our Homeless Community

    After living here for about 10 years now, I’ve come to realize that some of the most interesting people in this community live outside and since I am often out and about, I’m lucky enough to get the chance to have (very) random conversations with them on occasion.

    I’m going to start keeping track of those conversations here.

    03/14/2012, Downtown L.A. Fashion District:

    Man: Nice dress!! It makes me want to play checkers on you! 

    (I was wearing a polka-dot dress that can be seen here, sans hat.)