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Friday, February 5, 2010

I Don’t Care HOW Many Times You Ask For It…

Hard to believe, isn’t it, but here we are again.

Friday! Ever-lovin’ Friday! Quick, before the mood dissipates and I go back to writing fake memos from imaginary bosses!

O Mighty iPod! You’ve given me the random beauty of the shuffle! What does this morning’s commute have to say about what I can expect for the weekend?

Doublewide by Southern Culture on the Skids
Shining Star by Earth Wind and Fire
Your Country by Gogol Bordello
Are You Alright? By Lucinda Williams
D is for Dangerous by Arctic Monkeys
Honky Tonkin’ by Hank Williams
Sunshine Superman by Donovan

Excellent! We’re going to need several Navajo blankets, a gallon of water and a bag of peyote buttons.

Meet me in the park.

So! Where were we? Oh, yes: the Friday diversion.

If you’ll recall, the last two Fridays have been dedicated to the Jefferson Hillbillies, a frighteningly square-headed family of front-yard-dwelling yokels that moved into the neighborhood a while back.

Today’s episode: The Jefferson Hillibillies Get a Job!

No, not really. That would be silly. But still, who’s to say that anything you do, repeatedly, in the hope of money, is not a job?

Not longer after Head Number One (hereafter referred to as “Boris”) cut through the neighbor’s yard juggling a stereo speaker he had apparently stolen from the driver of a Lincoln Continental, he appeared again, sans speaker.

It was early June; and Willie and I had purchased a ridiculous number of flowers, both of the annual and the perennial variety, and were busy stuffing the flower boxes that line the first and second floors of the duplex.

It’s a tax write-off, you know.

I had just finished, as I recall, smearing a large swath of dirt across my forehead in an attempt to get my hair out of my eyes when I heard someone creep up behind me.

“Creep” is the optimal word here.

“Hey. Do you have an extra five bucks I can have?”

What? There’s such a thing as an “extra” five bucks?

I turned around to see Boris.

I say what I always say when I’m confused.


“Do you have five bucks I can have?”

What? Who is this guy?

“No,” I said.

“How about three?”


Willie came around the house carrying a pallet of Lobelia.

“How about you? You got five bucks?”

Willie’s face takes on the look he normally reserves for finding yakked-up hairballs with his bare feet.


“Five bucks. You got five bucks I can have?”

“He doesn’t even have five bucks I can have,” I mutter.

Willie shakes his head. “I’m working in the yard, man. I got nothin’.”

“How about a ride to Target then? Can you give me a ride to Target?”

“Willie,” I say. “Set that pallet in the porch. It’s time for lunch.”

Ha! There’s nothing so annoying that I can’t ignore it.


Douglas said...

Love it. Must have been real interesting to have them around. I used to answer the street people of the 60's and 70's who would ask for "spare change" with:

"Spare? No, I haven't had anything to spare in years."

Pearl said...

Exactly, Douglas. The concept of "extra" or "spare" change remains a mystery to me. You want money? Do something: help me lift/carry something, do a dance. Shoot, I'll give ya a buck if ya can stand on your head!

Molly Potter said...

Willie’s face takes on the look he normally reserves for finding yakked-up hairballs with his bare feet.

That was, by a long way my favourite line today.

Do you think that would be the same face I reserve for the feel of someone else's urine on my thigh from the toilet seat?

Irisheyes said...

Hey Pearl, What about two bucks? Ya got two? I actually have a bank marked "Peyote Button Fund" and I think I only need two more bucks to make the purchase. I'll meet you in the park.

Anonymous said...

I love it when they 'negotiate a loan'
I worked with a guy for a little while who would only borrow a quarter at a time....from four people to buy a can of pop. I guess he figured he would keep his 'credit' good that way.

Jess said...

My favorite is the ones asking for change at the liquor store. And interestingly, I am usually paying with $20 worth of quarters. I am fancy like that.

Pearl said...

Molly, I suspect those faces are one in the same!

Mary, WHAT? You have a peyote button fund, too?! Hot damn. I can't wait 'til summer. :-)

Greg, I've witnessed similar things and I agree with your assessment. :-)

Jess, $20 in change is a classy move. :-) When I see people pay with change, however, I usually just assume that they work in the service industry (wait staff, bartenders, etc.) and are paying with tips... Or using the money they've begged for on the street. Either way. :-D

CAT said...

Pearl -

Just cruising thru and found your blog. You are a hoot! A cup of hot chocolate and a quick stop to check out your blog gets my day off to a good start. By the way you're pretty lucky the "enterprising" young man didn't borrow your flowers when you went in for lunch, don't ya think? Gotta love neighbors like that - not.

Kelly said...

When I was a senior in HS, I use to hit up all the freshman boys for money. Since I was usually wearing my Varsity Cheerleader uniform, asking if they had an extra quarter to spare usually got me a buck instead. God Bless them, they had no idea they were supporting me that year.

Blogging Mama Andrea said...

It made me think of a bit from Jeff Foxworthy about writing checks. You have zero money and the car repo guy shows up -(Paraphrasing)

I don't have any cash.
Well how about writing me a check?
Check? Hell ya I can write ya a check!

(note: Didn't say anything about being able to cash it though did he?)

Happy Friday! Love that Honky Tonk song :)

Krëg said...

My favorite response to panhandlers: "I left all my money up your butthole. Just dig around in there until you find it."

I heart Gogol Bordello.

Anonymous said...

"Spare change for food," said the panhandler. "Oh, thanks for the offer," said my friend, "But I've already eaten." Creepy but funny scenario.

Cygnus MacLlyr said...

It so ties in with the Honky-tonkin' , don't it Lady Pearl!

Thanks for the laugh!!

Kevin Musgrove said...

The current favourite around our parts is "have you got thirty-seven pence for my bus fare?" The minimum bus fare is 70p and even the past-sell-by-date White Lightning in the Pound Shop's extended summer sale is 87p a bottle so God alone knows what they're buying for 37p.

CatLadyLarew said...

At least he was straightforward enough not to make up some stupid reason for needing the five bucks. Gotta give him props for that.

Golden To Silver Val said...

I had a guy ask me...."gotta square?" I said, "huh?" He repeated the same thing. I had...and still do not have ANY idea what he wanted. So I just said no. Square? Like in meal?...rolling paper?, whaaaaat? I'm thinking you're lucky that guy didn't steal your flowers and resell them to get his $5. Guess it was too much like work.

Anonymous said...

A bag of peyote buttons, that takes me back!

ellen abbott said...

"Excellent! We’re going to need several Navajo blankets, a gallon of water and a bag of peyote buttons."

I'm in.

mapstew said...

We get Professional) beggars with kids in tow.

"Couple of Euros for the child sir?"

"Wow! That's cheap, I'll take two!"


Jen said...

If I had an extra 5 dollars, I wouldn't give it to him.

I have heard that there is a lot of money to be earned by panhandling. Some of those "bums" have very nice houses.

Tempo said...

..youre proper hard you are...LOL
We dont have many beggars here in Oz, (most people tell them to f*^k off and get a job) but the few we have usually want a 'fag' (cigarette) a brew (beer) or a fiver. It's a HUGE mistake to give them anything though because they will be back...and back...and ....

sage said...

that last line is a classic!

My name is PJ. said...

I 'm having a flashback: Navajo blankets and Peyote buttons!

Marla said...

Sounds like my kids

the iNDefatigable mjenks said...

How did I miss these? I remember them moving in, but none of the subsequent stories. How unfulfilled my life has been!

And who asks people who are busy planting flowers if they have spare bills they can pass around? Cretins, that's who.