Monday, July 19, 2004


After we checked in to our hotel (and after we'd interviewed a noted author and occasional celebrity who had forgotten we were coming and was, therefore, drunk at two in the afternoon) I went for a walk on Seawall Boulevard. Down the street a crazy man approached me, wearing old green scrubs and a sunburnt face coated with a week's worth of grime. He held a Slurpee cup upright in his palm and held out in front of him, which I assumed was meant to hold donations from tourists. At a distance of about twelve feet he muttered "Hihowsitgoing". At five feet he said "Bang". As he passed me he explained "I'm a groooown man". I saw him a few minutes later on my way back, following a Latino family into a hotel lobby, saying "Bang" whenever they tried to wave him away. It looked about as lucrative as any profession in Galveston.

1 comment:

Friday said...

Utah Phillips gave some pretty good suggestions for panhandlers (to whom he'll give money if the pitch is right). One woman (on her travels) would go to a bar at around midnight, produce a single cupcake and candle, light the whole thing up and sing "happy birthday" to herself in a low voice. She always got free drinks, dinner, accomodations. Another man would offer to do a trick for money. He'd said: "I used to be able to do this trick with a dollar bill, where I'd roll it up, stick it in one nostril, and pull it out the other." When leary pedestrians forked over the dollar, he'd shove it up his nose, saying "I guess I forgot how." Then he'd try to return the dollar bill. Anyway, your guy sounds like he needs to work a bit on his schtick. Either that, or he needs to produce a more realistic sounding "bang."