I was sitting down minding my own business one day at lunch, eating a nice slice of strawberry cheesecake politely washing it down with a caramel vanilla latte. Some moments later into my meal my gaze sort of unconsciously drifted to the right and out the café storefront and landed on a homeless man begging for change. As the sweet sweet bits of pastry fell deliciously down to my slightly potted stomach, my mind sparked an idea, nae, a revelation! These derelicts had quite the little operation going…think about it! They have no bills; no job to stress them; they get free housing in shelters; free food at soup kitchens; tax-free income and best of all they get to urinate/defecate wherever they want without recourse. These vagrants had found a way to beat the system and live totally free.
Naturally I immediately tossed aside my tax poisoned Armani suit and discarded my socially indentured smartphone, Walked right out the door to start my new life as a vagabond. I was new to the scene and fearing the head start of my sudden kindred may leave me too disconnected with my inner dirty man to survive the fiercely competitive world of the hobo. I figured my best bet was to ask the closest homeless person I could find to aid me, I was in luck however, as the man upon which my eyes fell earlier was a kind gentleman who seemed more than willing to open said eyes once i told him of my revelation. The kind gentleman i lovingly refer to as Postmaster (due to his incredible compost like smell…and appearance) ensured me that he could show me everything i needed to know about being a street urchin. First thing he told me was I had to remove my grasp on all things luxurious, my car, my condo, my wallet. He graciously offered to take these to the hobo-repository to have them official disposed of. I tried to get more information from him but he was far to dedicated to my hobo-birthing and had to leave immediately for the depository. I never saw Postmaster again, at first i thought my lessons were unfinished and I cried, but then i came to realize he taught me everything i needed to know about being a transient…and that was to not have possessions.
It didnt take me long to settle in after Postmaters disappearance. I took his change can (which i soon came to find out was his soup can and his pee can, such versatility!) and immediately went to work earning my keep among the fray. Just a few weeks in and I was starting to look the part, layers of tattered clothes, unquestionable toilet smell and a paper ridden mane fit for the king of the street alley jungle. I also however was thin with weakness as I hadnt eaten proper since I left my old, mislead life. Every few nights or so me and the trashtown boys would pool our spoils of stale bread and spare change together and hold a tournament for the whole pot! It didnt take long before grew to love and depend on these sanctioned hobo-fights (unsanctioned fight could get you shanked with a broken bottle, a hard lesson learned). The fights were simple enough, you stripped down to one layer of clothing so that the fights were fair plus the added bonus of marking the arena with your fecal musk in hopes to throw off your opponent. next you would choose your numbing agent (my favorite was Jim Beam as it had become part of my normal food regiment anyway and i was likely to have some left in my system). Once thoroughly intoxicated, the weapons were chosen and the fight commenced. It ended only when one gave up or passed out(it helps to believe it doesnt go beyond passed out). I found that I was quite the derelict gladiator and the majority of my nutrition as a bum was earned thru these violent displays of bum survival.
Alas my Drifter days ended abruptly in only the fifth month of my tenure . It was a mild fall night, I had chugged a pint of Jack Daniels (championship-teir hobo-fighting prize) when I stumbled upon a newspaper ad of a fine looking woman sporting a lacy bra, I was certainly a lucky man that night. I brought the ad back to my new home, the flip top dumpster behind the 7/11(I had just moved out of my refrigerator box 2 weeks prior), where I had a nice cheese sandwich I had cooked on the hood of a car that afternoon. Well I dont remember much of the rest of the night as the booze hit me pretty hard. What I do remember is waking up to the sounds of a little girls shrieks, buck-naked in the center of a Toy’s R Us parking lot with my wedding tackle in hand and the advert stuck to my oily face. I was arrested for drunk and disorderly conduct as well as indecent exposure to a minor. And with that act, my hobo-apprenticeship had ended and i finally earned the proud tittle of “Drunkin Bum”.