Tuesday, August 21, 2007


Over here where I live it gets hot in the summer. I might have mentioned this before because from June to September I often can't think of anything else. I have made a serious effort not to whinge too much this year since some of my more honest friends have pointed out that it's actually not much fun listening to me wail about how it's over 100! Again! Which is hot! Again! Like yesterday! So basically I save that stuff for the kids and we spend long fruitful hours draped over the furniture in melty strings and discuss how hot. it. is. and how much we hate it. We're a ton of fun, really!

But I digress. What I was saying is that it's really hot, that this month in particular has been a scorcher. So I've been bemused to see, at nearly every off-ramp I use, a dedicated pan-handler walking the goat-head infested strip of sand, hoping that before the light turns someone will feel guilty enough to empty their ashtray of spare change. I hope it's reasonably profitable to do this because honestly I can think of few more horrible ways to spend an afternoon than striding around next to the baking hot tarmac.

Usually there's no way to tell one from another - even gender is difficult to really nail down with certainty - but yesterday's was distinctive. She was wearing a full length coat for one thing, and had two enormous blankets wrapped firmly around herself for good measure. She was at least 20 years older than the usual type, and was flashing a pleasant and toothless smile at each car as they came by. She seemed happy and fairly harmless and I was pretty sure she would do well for herself if she didn't pass out from heat exhaustion first. Traffic was heavy and even after the light turned the cars were only slowly trickling through the intersection so I was able to watch as one by one a driver would approach, begin to slow down and roll down a window and then suddenly lurch forward again. I couldn't figure out what was going on until I passed her myself and managed to read her cardboard sign.

"Homeless. Please Help. I got the Playge. God Blass"

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