Friday, July 29, 2011



Here in Florida, one is supposed to have a valid ID at all times. For those of us who fled the ol' homestead in a hurry, with nothing but the clothes on our backs (which TGH promptly lost; another story, later) we can get a "referral" from Homeless Recovery of Hillsborough County to "The Shop," also known as "MHC," or Mental Health Clinic. With a referral and your smiling face, you too, can receive a god-awful picture ID that bears no resemblance to anyone, or anything living, on this planet, or maybe even in this Solar System. We have to carry these IDs with us at all times, in the event that the Tampa Police Department decides to do a bit of sprucing up on Nebraska Avenue and starts hauling in folks for not having any type of ID. I am a proud owner of one of these things. We occasionally. . . okay, we frequently, find ourselves with little or nothing to do, no appointments to keep and no passers-by to pester, so we have to entertain ourselves. 

One of the more amusing ways to pass the time is to show each other our Unity (MHC) IDs. This works best when a new batch of homeless folk have moved in and we can unveil these nightmares to our new "housies." The people who take these pictures must have to go to a special school to learn photography to create these monstrosities. Some of these people end up working for the HART bus line, (BUS WORLD!) and the truly gifted go work at the DMV, churning out little 3" X 5" inches of Lovecraftian horror for the State of Florida. O! Sweet Moses on a buttered cracker, these things bear visages from some kind of 4th or 8th dimension, a la "Colour Out of Space." We glimpse things not meant to be seen by man. It helps to have little or no vision. I can just gasp "Gaaahhh!" and pass on the offending document to the next victim without scorching my retinas. Enough. What follows are actual pictures. Please be warned; you do not want to view these at work; you will get fired. Do not let the kids or pets see these pictures; the pictures may emit lethal fumes. Do not view around houseplants; the plants may combust spontaneously.

Actual Pictures, erm, Photographs

So, as you can see, it's hard to pick the worst ID ever. 

Another way to pass the time here, is to beat senseless some idea or better yet, some incident that is current gossip. It doesn't matter if you have witnessed it, or just heard about it, fifty-seventh hand, or not. It's kind of like that game we probably all played as children, "Telegraph." One individual makes up some saying and passes it off to the next one. Reiterate enough times, until the original saying or incident is not even remotely close to what was originally said or done and doesn't even have any passing resemblance to reality.

Two guys had an altercation out in the back yard a few weeks back. Our "enforcer" who is by nature mild and gentle, but a good-sized man was trying to keep the pissing contest from escalating to a physical altercation. Just as Mr "E" was trying to placate, pour oil on troubled waters and soothe the savage beasts, J3 fell off the outside staircase onto his head, for about the forty-fifth time that day. Two other guys were rinsing out a refrigerator in the middle of this mayhem, and "B" oblivious to it all, abruptly asked Mr "E" what we were all doing for the Fourth of July. I actually saw this happen, and thought nothing about any of it. I'm too busy to ponder these scenarios and I don't ascribe any cosmic meaning to any of it. I might get depressed, or something. Anyway, this is what the curmudgeons on the front porch were discussing the next day:

Curmudgeon 1: I always knew they were up to no-good. I bet they were going to steal and sell that refrigerator.

Curmudgeon 2: Yeah, and B got up and helped J3 get up, but he fell off the porch, and then hit M with his cane.

Curmudgeon 3: Didn't J3 fall off the porch earlier? Oh no; that's right he got caught pissing off the porch earlier.

Curmudgeon 1: I wasn't talking about J3 pissing off the porch, but maybe he pissed in the refrigerator, and that's why D and B2 were rinsing it out.

Curmudgeon 4: No, J3 didn't piss on the porch; he got caught peeing on that tree in the back, with B and W.

(Repeat 87 times)

They all stare at the floor and nod sagely. They look wise beyond time; they are the seers of Nebraska Avenue. All they lack is a cracker barrel. But, no knives for whittling; someone might get stabbed. The world's problems solved, the incident correctly or incorrectly made indelible (for the next two minutes, or until the next rumor, verbal exchange or donnybrook occurs.) Ten minutes of this drives me inside to play Club Penguin. I can only stand so much wisdom. Heh.

Well, I'm off to the grocery store with J. A walk with J, my fine, dear friend, grocery store full of things to look at, and maybe buy make my world alright again. I'll be back soon, with more drivel. Peace, my dears.

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