Tuesday, November 29, 2011

A Real Dream Team

While I was sitting at dinner last night I began to reminisce about something I came up with years ago, an all star team for bums. Was it mean spirited? Sure. Is it politically incorrect? Definitely. At the same time it made me laugh a hell of a lot at the time and just as much many years later so I've decided to share it with the world.

First I have to give some background to how the team was put together. First I had to decide on a format for the team. I decided to base everything on basketball since it required the fewest people. Sure, I could have painstakingly created a 22 bum roster like a football team but I would need the hobo rating equivalent of Mel Kiper Jr to assist and I don't even know if one of those exists. Then I had to come up with some sort of criteria as to what makes a bum worthy of all star status. I decided that outward craziness was the key factor; in other words how entertained had I been by their antics. Some points were given for regularity as well; how often did I encounter each bum. Some of the members of the team I only saw once but they had such raw talent that they made the cut, others were fixtures of my life for a while. Without further ado I give you my Bum All Star Team!

Cans Lady - Team Captain and Inspirational Leader. Cans Lady was first encountered in Logan Square around 1999 if I remember correctly. She used to walk around pushing a shopping cart while yelling, "CAAAAAAAAANS. CAAAAAAAAAANS." Whenever a can would appear discarded on the side of the road she would swipe it with remarkable swiftness while delivering her trademark line. Her career highlight would be when she approached a friend drinking a can of beer and yelled "CAAAAANS!" in his face before swiping it from his hand and continuing on her way.

Crack Whore Extraordinaire - Every good cadre of bums has to include a crack whore. This one just barely nudged out Exact Change BJ Crack Whore (She approached me on the Red Line and said that she would give me a blow job for $7.36.). Crack Whore Extraordinaire was witnessed on the Red Line as well having a conversation with, well, with herself I guess. In this conversation she was detailing the ways in which a little Colombian nose candy could enhance lovemaking. "You gots to put the cocaaaaaine on the pussy clit! NO! NO! On the pussy clit! Put the cocaine on the pussy clit!" She was delightful.

Wheelchair Jimmy - Wheelchair Jimmy was one of the more mercurial bums I have ever encountered. Many times he was pleasant while asking for some spare change and often I obliged him. It was when you didn't give WJ some change that things might get a little dicey as he would erupt with vulgarities and often give chase. One particular time I didn't have any change and told him I'm sorry but not today. He followed screaming that I was a cheap bastard and that he was going to fucking kill me while shaking his fist. In order to get away I had to cross the street in the middle of the block so that he couldn't follow, WJ screamed that my tactics were chickenshit. I like to think of Wheelchair Jimmy as the wild card on the team, he can give you a good effort or he might murder you depending on his mood.

Jesus' Executioner - One staple of America's homeless is the bum who had loud conversations with God. Often these conversations are fairly mundane. Not for Jesus' Executioner. Multiple times I've witnessed him on the train eyeballing the other customers before explaining to Jesus and the rest of the train how and why he was going to summon the power of the lord to end them. A choice quote that I will never forget was directed at two teenage girls sitting across the aisle from him. "Those girls anger me Jesus. They are pissing me off. I will use my electricity to strike them down, Jesus. I will electrocute every motherfucker on this train for my lord. JESUS, LET ME ELECTROCUTE ALL THESE MOTHERFUCKERS IN YOUR NAME!" Thankfully Jesus did not wish any motherfuckers electrocuted and the two girls got off the train in tears at the next stop.

Wolf Man - The last member of our team is the Wolf Man. While I only met him he put on a truly inspired performance. My friend Foss and his girlfriend were meeting me at my apartment before going to a Purdue/Northwestern football game. The girlfriend was from a small town in Indiana and had never really been to the big city before. I get a call from them that they can't come in because there is someone in the way. I go downstairs to find the vestibule occupied by a sleeping bum who has used my newspaper to make a nest. The door to the outside could not be opened because he was blocking it so I try to wake him up. First by yelling. Then by nudging with my foot. Finally he wakes enough to growl and snarl at me more wolf than man. Eventually he gets out of the way and is never seen again. I'm sure you have no trouble believing that Foss' lady friend never returned to Chicago after this experience.

There were many contenders who were close to making it on the team but fell just short. The Streetwise guy who used to give me boxing tips (Jab Stickem! Jab, Jab, Stickem!) is one that I feel has enormous potential coming off the bench. The Wild Wild West woman (Spent an entire train ride rapping the song from Wild Wild West) is another that I was saddened to leave off the squad. I hope you enjoyed learning about this powerhouse of craziness. Feel free to nominate some other potential all stars in the comments. Now go and tell all your friends to read this blog or I'm going to ask Jesus to let me electrocute every last one of you.

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