flying

I flew Delta from LAX to Minneapolis to Hartford . Red eye special . Good arrival time for my friend to pick me up , except that I got confused on the day . The day I flew in he had a gig and had to pick me up a little later . I waited in an airport bar and had a couple of expensive airport beers ,  local Connecticut stuff .

Now I’m home again . Same flight in reverse , except that this time it wasn’t a red eye .

Three hours in Minneapolis . Coming in from L.A. , I saw snow covering the parking structures outside . On the return trip , two weeks later ,  no snow . The airport is stretched out along endless concourses . Concourses . When do you walk concourses  outside of airports ? Am I missing something ? There are moving sidewalks and a tram .  Endless concourses . Food courts . Shops .  WiFi access .

I had a few mini-bottles of Scotch in my carry-on bag . They’re allowed . My friend Willie told me that last year . He gave me a couple of them to test his statement . No problem .  I showed them to the snoops , thinking that they might confiscate them . No . Willie was right .scotch

To order the same shot of Scotch during the flight would have cost me seven dollars , I think . Drinking one of the bottles during the flight I felt as if I were now out of the red , outsmarting Delta , pushing the envelope . The little bottles cost only 99 cents in Connecticut .  If I had had a few more mini-bottles I’d be sitting pretty , ahead of the game , actually beginning to show a profit . Well , almost   .

I once went from Berlin to London on Ryan Airlines . Ryan , if I remember correctly ,was the airline that seriously considered charging a fee to use the restroom . Nice .I would have gone broke .  I got to the Berlin Airport , Freuninggulingen ……., no Shaeuftshaffen ……. no Sheinifeld ? , Shoenefeld ? , at six in the morning . I had come from Poland by taxi that morning . Got there overly early , as is my way .WWI air ambulance

I was second in line . We were the only two customers to have arrived so early for the flight .  I had one bag to check . There were two conveyor belts moving luggage along : to London  and to  Ankara . I didn’t see the clerk put my lonely bag on the Ankara belt . I should have been watching , I guess . When I got to London I had no clothes . 10 days in England and no  clothes other than what I was wearing . I won’t tell you the whole sad story . My bag met me in London on the 10th day , having , I assume , enjoyed its own vacation in Turkey . We flew back to Berlin together , but we didn’t talk to each other the entire flight .

Another Berlin to London flight on British Airways was exciting after the pilot announced  over the scratchy PA system that he thought the landing gear was stuck . We were going to have to go in on our shiney sleek aluminum belly . The pilot’s voice was almost inaudible and he had a heavy English accent . One of the many . Dorset , maybe . Rs everywhere . Like old movie pirates :  Aarrh , matey ! Wharr yer headin’ ? Shiver me timbers !  Emarrgency vehicles aarrh be preparrhin’ fer arrh landin’  . Aarh.sign el monte airport

The plane was full of Germans . I , a native English speaker , was barely getting what the pilot was saying . I didn’t think that many of the Germans got much of it . But , on the other hand , maybe they had learned English from the English . Good possibility that they understood a lot more than I did , now that I think of it .

When we approached Gatwick , or was it Heathrow ? , the emergency vehicles were lined up along the runway . There were plenty of them : fire trucks , ambulances , police , hearses . Well , maybe not hearses .   I had confidence in the pilot and the plane . I don’t think anyone else in the plane could say the same , judging by their panicked expressions . Those pilots , highly trained ,  could slide it in on its fusilage belly .

Buckle your seat belt ; it’s gonna be a bumpy ride . airplane seat belt

But the landing gear came down and we all rolled to a stop .  Anticlimatic . I’m not complaining .  Billy Bob Thornton said ,” I’m not afraid of flying . I’m afraid of crashing . ”   That about sums it up .

About these English accents :

Ada and I flew from LAX to London once and I had arranged , in advance ,a rental car from the airport . I never sleep on flights and by the time we reached the car rental desk in London I was exhausted . I couldn’t , for the life of me , understand what the English girl at the counter was telling me . It was a Friday . I thought that she was telling me that my car wouldn’t be available until Monday . She wasn’t , of course . She was trying to tell me that my car would be a Mondeo .  I was losing my temper .

” Not Monday !” I said . ” Now “england

Ada had to translate . Mediate . Ada grew up in Poland .

” Tell him…” the English girl would say .

” Tell her ….” I would say .

Oh.  The car is called Mondeo. Nothing about Monday . It’s waiting for us . Oh . O.K. Why didn’t she say so ?mondeo

I don’t mind flying much . Once in awhile . It’s quick once you leave the ground .  Gets you places you might not otherwise go . Somewhat uncomfortable . Never enough leg room . And they always remind you how a seat belt works ; they show you ; give a demonstration . That comes in handy because sometimes , if you haven’t used one in a few hours , you might have forgotten .

Sometimes you should bring along an English-American dictionary , or , at least a phrase book . Several English speakers from various corners of the earth learned English English from the English . Beware .  And consider bringing  some little bottles of booze . If nothing else , it gives you a sense that you’re getting away with something .  Even if you’re not a drinker bring some  —– trade one  for a few more tiny bags of peanuts or pretzels . If you ride Ryan Air , bribe the stewardess to use the head without paying the fee . Endless possibilities . Endless.illustration 3

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danny boy

st pat 1 shamIt’s almost Saint Patrick’s Day , so I thought I’d write an Irish-themed post . It revolves around an old memory of mine from childhood dredged up again from the distant past . In the endless swirl of all the stuff I forget , short term and long term , the bits of this memory have stayed with me .

I should mention , perhaps , to better establish my credentials as a true Irishman , albeit foreign born , that  the Consul General of Ireland called me last week .

I had called the Los Angeles consulate to request an application for an Irish passport . No one answered the phone over there at the consulate , so I left a detailed verbal message requesting a passport application . I figured that  I might be taking Metro downtown in a couple of days , walking over to the consulate , and picking up the application .

I answered the phone , which is something I do less and less these days . I thought it would most likely be a contractor trying to drum up some work , or a solar energy company telling me I’d been chosen for some exclusive program , or , just maybe , the phony IRS agent threatening me again with legal action . Once this year I answered a call and was informed that I’d won two million dollars and  a new Mercedes . Well , as it came out in the conversation ten or fifteen minutes later , I would have had to send in $200 immediately in order to claim my prize . I asked if he could just , maybe , send the Mercedes around ASAP  but he ignored my question .

Ah ! I was so close to Easy Street ! So close .

One of the clues that gave away his scam , though , was that he said repeatedly that he was based in Missouri , but he pronounced the state’s name as “Misery”. I suppose that’s how it’s pronounced in Nigeria .  Although much more appropriate a description , given the situation , I told him at the end that he was a lousy scammer . No , I don’t mean a lousy dirty no-good parasitic scammer ( which , of course , he was ) , but  that , as a scammer , he was no damn good at it .

That’s when he started swearing . I had injured his fragile scammers’ pride , I guess . He had been thinking all along , obviously ,  that he had had me squirming on the hook all along  despite my exaggerated reactions to the spurious news about my fantasy winnings .

He was a lousy swearer , too , by the way .

Anyhow , I picked up the phone a few days ago , against my better judgment ,  and said hello .” This is the Consul General of Ireland ,”  a baritone voice  said .

His Irish accent  was authoritative  exactly as  a general’s voice should be . I was impressed that the Consul General of Ireland himself had called me.

I thanked him for the call and explained that I had contacted the Consulate in San Francisco on their website , and that they had sent me an application . It had arrived in the mail just that morning .irish caricature (rude)

” Then you’re wasting one of our times , ” he said .

I thought , well , he’s Irish , and this might be the beginning of a conversation . Surely he was joking , making a light -hearted comment ;  but  he wasn’t . I knew that he wasn’t on or around the moment that he hung up the phone and left me there in my living room with my phone to my ear deciding  that he had got out on the wrong side of the bed that morning  . He apparently hadn’t  taken his Ebullient pill that morning either. Or neither .

But this trivia has  very little to do with the  intended aim of this post , so let’s let the Consul General and all the scammers in the world  wallow in the mire of their cheerlessness  and we’ll move on . And please don’t distract me from the increasingly  fleeting and skittishly fragile focus of this  hocus pocus  post .

This particular post has more to do with Conway Twitty than with the Consul General of Ireland so , as I say , let’s get on with it :

One Christmas , when I was a kid , my Irish grandmother gave me a 45 recording of the Irish song  ” Danny Boy ” .  It was a big deal for her , and she wanted it played , like right now . I was about seven or eight years old , I guess . My mother had a HiFi that played  45s . It was all very dramatic , I recall , as someone got the record player and we all waited to hear what would play . My grandmother waited , I realize now , expecting lovely Irish tenor voices to sing Danny Boy .

Oh Danny Boy (Irish tenors )

Everybody and their brother has done a cover of Danny Boy . Elvis sang a version . So did Johnny Cash . Joan Baez sang a nice version . Bing Crosby sang the song , of course . I ‘m not sure about Dylan , though , or his brother , for that matter .

My grandmother had , unfortunately for her peace of mind , bought me a version of Danny Boy sung by Conway Twitty . Conway Twitty was an Elvis -era rock and roller from Mississippi . Conway Twitty had 55 number 1 hits during his career . I’m not sure that Danny Boy was one of those hits . Most likely not .

So we had the 45 player set up , the record placed , the needle carefully set down , and there in the living room some of us  were  ready for a sweet Irish lullaby  . Danny Boy was written by an Englishman in Bath , by the way , in Somerset in 1910 . The writer used a traditional old Irish tune and wrote his own words . There is some question about what the whole song means . It’s sentimental , at any rate . The Irish love it .

The great Gaels of Ireland are the men that God made mad , for all their wars are merry and all their songs are sad .     –C.K.Chesterton

Well , Conway Twitty wasn’t exactly what my grandmother had in mind to sing Danny boy . ” That’s not it !  That’s not it ! ” she kept repeating . She was mad , in the anger sort of way . As I look back on it , I guess I don’t blame here , really . Conway Twitty may not be every grandmother’s cup of tea .

(  Conway Twitty version of Danny Boy )

I didn’t care much for the Twitty rendition of Danny Boy , either , but they say every cloud has a silver lining . The reverse of the record had a song that I quickly decided that I loved : The Battle of New Orleans , sung by Johnny Horton .  It had been written by a schoolteacher who called himself Jimmy Driftwood . He had written it , and other songs , with the idea of inspiring his students to become interested in history .

I spent much of my life teaching history , so I suppose that I should pass along a little thank you to Jimmy Driftwood and Johnny Horton and , of course , to my grandmother . The present  wasn’t all a terrible disaster , I suppose .ST PATS DAY

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my tv

Wikileaks is releasing classified information about how the CIA does its work . There has been a lot of talk about Samsung TVs , how the CIA can listen in even if the TV is turned off .

I have a Samsung TV . I’m not sure how smart it is , though . The CIA , I heard , monkeys with Samsung smart TVs . I’m glad , in a way , that this story broke , because for a time I’ve had my suspicions .

All I know is that my TV has developed a buzz over the last couple of years . Now I know that the buzz is , most likely , clear evidence that the CIA is listening in . I think that they messed up , however , because I can overhear voices within the works of the TV. CIA voices , maybe .  They’re encrypted , unfortunately , so I can’t decipher individual words .

TV in Poland , by the way , has some weird stuff going on , too . Polish TV stations broadcast plenty of American sitcoms . I can hear the English dialog , but not loud enough to understand more than one or two words every few minutes . I listen very carefully , thinking that I will be able to follow the dialog ;  but , no . Meanwhile , a monotone voice reads all the parts in Polish . The whole process reminds me of my TV noise .Poland 2016 art etc 053

I can’t comment on any other countries . I don’t watch TV anywhere else . Maybe all the international spy agencies are hiding in  TVs all around the world . It’s part of what they call cyber warfare , I think .

So now I have to worry about my TV  eavesdropping on me . What about the radio ? If I had a smartphone  then of course I’d know that that sneaky device is constantly spying on me . We’ve all known that about smart phones for years , though , haven’t we !

What is more worrying than the CIA stealing my secrets is that every large corporation in America knows more about me than I know about myself ( because I forget some of it as time goes along but their data bases don’t ) . I don’t imagine that the CIA sells my secrets to others , for example to the FBI or to the FSB , to the IRS or to Mi6 , but  of course  the corporate entities, on the other hand ,  trade my info all over the globe so that now cruise lines and pill makers , food merchants and furniture producers , electronics sellers and pet food places , grocery chains and just about everyone else knows all about me .Yard and Mayor's breakfast 005

I guess that I just have to not let it bother me . Instead of worrying about that kind of stuff , I could worry about earthquakes . Scientists are , as always , predicting  ” The Big One ” happening any day now here in California . The newspaper last week said it would most likely be centered up north from here .

Today however , there is a story about a long earthquake fault near the coast from Los Angeles all the way down to San Diego . I’d  better stock a few more gallons of water and energy bars and double- check that I’ve got that wrench ready  to turn off the gas . And I should check my ammunition , too ,  of course . This is a dog-eat-dog , every man ( person ? ) for himself ( or herself ) world . There’s carnage all over , I heard from the POTUS , in this country , and the barbarians are at the gates . Best be ready to defend ourselves .

Forget smart phones and smart TVs .    Maybe , to save civilization , we should make contact with some smart human beings . I’ll  talk to my TV about it . We’ll see what the CIA and I can come up with . They must have a list .

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the cat

I was talking to Cosmo today . She’s been in a weird mood lately , eating grass and howling a little more than  usual . She’s a cat who likes to talk on a daily basis , but lately she seems to be complaining  . I don’t understand cat lingo so much , so I don’t pick up on the nuances .

Ada might be able to help , but she’s away for the time being . Ada is  more of a cat person than I am . She knows what cat blinks mean , for example , and stuff like that . Oh , yeah . When your cat looks you in the eye  and blinks it sure does mean something .

Ada told me , of course , what a cat’s blink means , but I can’t remember right now exactly what it was she said . I think she said that it means that the cat loves whomever it blinks at  , but it might be , conversely , that  the cat is issuing a stern warning of some sort . The day you don’t feed me will be the  day when I  will drag my gooey pooey bottom all over your glistening  hardwood floor ?  Something like that , perhaps . Or some hidden message about an anonymous feline creature possibly peeing one otherwise carefree pleasant day on the sofa cushions ?  Again .    I don’t know .

I took Spanish in school , but maybe I should’ve taken Cat .cosmo in box 2

Anyway , Cosmo has a digestion problem , evidently  , which  may be a result of the long ago coyote attack  which she experienced which she  almost didn’t survive . We therefore have to give her a bit of slack , in my opinion , when she pukes on the floor , which she does fairly often , usually in the morning . I get to clean it up , usually , and I really don’t mind . Better , in my way of thinking , than carrying a sack of dog poop around the neighborhood every day as I would have to do if we had a dog instead of a cat  . Sorry , dog lovers , but that’s my opinion .

So , now  Cosmo is sleeping here next to me on the sofa . She snores , but she isn’t snoring at the moment . She’s got a cosy little place to live ,  to sleep in and to wander around  in this little house , if you ask me , and I think that , underneath her natural catty haughtiness and devil-may-care demeanor , she knows it .thanksgiving-goes-crazy

Maybe I’ll tell Cosmo when she wakes up that we’re considering getting a dog . Shake her up a bit . Turn the tables on her .  I know darn well that she understands English .

Well, on second thought , she’d get even , and that might well involve deviously -placed poop and/or cat pee . I better not .

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……..and laid Jesse James in his grave

An old post from 2013

itkindofgotawayfromyou

On April 3 , 1882 Jesse James the outlaw died .jesse james gun

Jesse was living in a house in St. Joseph , Missouri , at the time . He had assumed the name Thomas Howard .

A member of his gang , Bob Ford , shot Jesse in the back of the head when Jesse stood on a chair to straighten a picture that was crooked on the wall . Ford had made a secret deal with the Missouri governor for a $5000 reward .jesse james house

Crowds came to the house to see the dead outlaw . Bob Ford and his brother were arrested for murder . Within a day they were indicted , pleaded guilty , were sentenced to hang , and two hours later were pardoned by the governor .jesse james

In 1892 a man named O’Kelley walked up to Bob Ford , said ,” Hello , Bob “, and shot…

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garage photos

I posted a little story about garages a couple of days ago and I heard from a couple of regular readers of my blog . They had some criticism of my photos . One of them wished that I had included a picture of my garage . We’ll , he’s known me a long long time and he knows what my garage really might look like . Not like the photo .garage-2-and-garden-feb-2017-028

Actually , the photo in that post is of part of a shelf at the Gilb Museum in Arcadia where I hang out a few hours each week . I just put the picture  in the post to have something to show . Evidently , that’s not good enough for some people . They want legitimate documentation , not random unrelated photos . Fair enough , I say .garage-2-and-garden-feb-2017-029

A blogger friend mistook the museum shelf for a shelf in my garage . Fair enough . No way for him to know any different .

Hey , but this isn’t discovery , a collection of evidence to be presented in court . That’s what I think . Maybe it’s wrong-headed of me to think like that , though . garage-2-and-garden-feb-2017-030

So , to destroy any lingering urges toward requisite criticism and to try to oust any lingering dubiosity or double dealing on my posting part , I am including in this post some shots of my garage . Of course , you should realize that it is in a state of perpetual transition. Next week it may look very different . Maybe not , too. ( Well , it never looks much neater . I should say that .)garage-2-and-garden-feb-2017-032

Okay . Well , maybe I should have warned you first . I know ,  it’s not pretty . And , a lesson for a couple of you : be careful what you ask for . garage-2-and-garden-feb-2017-076

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my garage

The doctor must have put my pacemaker in wrong . Every time my husband kisses me , the garage door goes up . —- Minnie Pearl

My garage may be messy , but Abraham knows where everything is .  —-Mary Lincoln

” It’s in the Garage .” —–Abe Lincoln

Friend Willie still jokes about Americans and their garages . No one uses them for their vehicles , he says . Ah , he’s right in many cases . I do notice garages clean and neat and ready for the family car , however . Or , once in awhile , not so neat . A two-car garage with two vehicles parked in it is a sight to see !   It happens .

Remember , this is southern California , land of eternal sunshine . The snow drifts don’t bother us or our cars in Arcadia . Sure , we get ashes some years from the brush fires , but most of the visible air pollution seems to be gone . It doesn’t settle on the car surfaces any more .

I have a neighbor who always puts her car in her garage . Her garage is not so neat , I’d say . Kind of cluttered , but everting is shoved up ‘gainst the walls . Her husband said she was a pack rat . I’ll let that comment pass . I try not to use labels .

I used to help them get their automatic garage door working once again when it would go on the blink . It was kind of hard to get my foot up high enough to kick the thing . Pretty much impossible , really .  The main part is mounted near the ceiling . So , my tried and true kick-the-broken-thing method wouldn’t have been practical . I needed to go to plan B  . Plan B always starts with a closer look at the problem .

Hey , do you have a manual for this thing ?  ” The thing’s a hundred years old ! ” was the answer I got . In other words : no manual .GILB museum 026

There’s the internet these days , of course . That’d be plan C . Plan C’s usually a good one . I could easily find a video or two or more showing me how to repair the thing . Some man in Minnesota , most likely , with a pliers and a screw driver and a calm way of giving step-by-step advice .   Plan C -2  is to ask someone who knows . But no one who knows is ever nearby at the moment . That’s why I’m there in the neighbor’s garage ,  staring at the mechanism that’s mounted up under the roof ,  confidently  willing to go where angels fear to tread — or something along those lines .

Willie doesn’t have a garage , by the way . Easy for a guy like that to be flippant about Americans and their cluttered garages . He’s English , by the way . Need I say more ?

He’s absolutely right about my garage , though . We couldn’t get a car in there during any ordinary day even if there was an executive order to do it . I did get Ada’s car in there last year , however . Just barely , but I got it in . I used a shoehorn and some WD-40 , but it eventually squeezed in comfortably enough .

I called Salvation Army to come get the big blue sofa that has been sitting  in the garage , the sofa that we haven’t had inside the house for a few months now . Three weeks after my call the Salvation Army came around . Some time between 7:00am and 5:00 pm , the woman said . Sign me up , I said !WD 40

Two guys and a large truck carried the thing away . That was yesterday . I don’t know what to do with all the room in the garage now . I should think about parking my car in there before more stuff shows up to somehow stealthily steal away the suddenly open space .

I might invite Willie over to have a look if I get the car in there . Willie , by the way , helped me re-program my remote control for my automatic garage door . That was a hundred years ago . Maybe more . We never even had a manual , as I recall , or the internet , for that matter .  We put our brains together . Anyone with half a brain could have done it , I’m sure , as long as they put their two half-brains together .

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a heartless gas

goodwill storeSomeday I might need gas money to get to Texas , too . You never know .  I’m too old to pretend to have a baby with my wife waiting  in the car . Why Texas ?  I think it was a sick , or dying ? , father down there . And no gas to get there . And , of course , no money .

I should give you a few dollars because you asked ?   I guess  if you don’t ask ,  you probably won’t get anything .

Decades ago , when the Hari Krishnas , and the Moonies , and the Born Agains , and others , infested the L.A. airport , I was there with my old friend Fred Kail .  Why we were there I don’t remember . Neither of us had any money in those days  to fly anywhere . We must have been there to pick someone up . Doesn’t matter .

All of these  askers-of-money seemed to be dressed  well , in crisp white suits and polished shoes ,  and they carried clip boards  ; even the Krishnas ; even the Moonies . Well , at first the Krishnas wore their orange robes , enraptured smiles , and , maybe , occasionally , hopped a little . But , I suppose , that wasn’t working for them  . Some head  Hari in charge maybe talked to a marketing guy . Get a crisp white suit , he must have said ; maybe a fedora hat to cover the shaved head ? ; and don’t hop ……    and  don’t mention Rama or white rice .   The Moonies got on board , too  :  white suits  ; clipboards .

They all looked like they may work for the airport . What is it , a survey ? An airport promotion of some kind , or a security check ?  They would approach just-arrivers  , especially foreign people arriving with confused expressions , and begin their hurried spiel  , holding the clipboard as if it should be respected , as if the confused traveler were being spoken to in some official capacity . Was it Customs ? The airport broadcast continuous announcements : These solicitors don’t work for the airport . You don’t have to give them anything .

Fred and I were walking into one of the terminals when we were approached by one of these anonymous beggars shrouded in white . This one was a cute girl . Maybe in light of that Fred reached for a bill to give her . I tried in that brief moment to dissuade him . He had a fiver in his hand . What , are you crazy , Fred ? A weak moment ?  She’s a Moonie , man !  He held the five dollar bill  out to her .

” Most people give ten dollars , ” she said .

Wow ! Yeah . Pushing her luck just a little bit . Fred instantly flicked the fiver back into his pocket . ” I’m not most people , young lady , ” he said . And we were off . I was reassured . At least old Fred hadn’t completely lost his mind .okies

So , I’m pumping  twenty dollars worth of gas yesterday  into my car in the mid-day heat  , minding my own business , when a young guy , maybe twenty-two , twenty-three , walks over . I’ve seen  him approach a couple of other gas pumping people on his way across the lot . ” Meaning no disrespect …..” he says to me . His opening gambit .

I’m not in a good mood that day , you should understand . Too hot . I’m looking at his tatoos . He’s evidently covered with tattoos . How much do those cost , buddy ? , I’m thinking .  Maybe you could have saved the tattoo money for your needed gas  . He looks healthy , strong ,  despite the hang-dog expression , the ” Meaning no disrespect , sir … ”  ploy .  What , are we in the Army ? Sir ?  That’s supposed to sound respectful , to impress me ?  Melt my stone-cold heart ?  I’m supposed to be awed by this guy’s pathetic circumstances . Now , it’s my responsibility to buy his gas ? Why would that be ?

I’d rather have the fruit seller on the freeway off ramp ,  or the beggars with the cardboard signs : ”  Veteran God Bless You anything helps homeless ”  Once in a long while I hand them a dollar , although I’m not under an illusion that the dollar helps . I think the homeless veteran god blesser should go to a social agency or an established charity or a church and get the help that will keep him/her off the roadways with the scribbled bullshit  cardboard signs .mission church front

So I told the gas station beggar  , a little too firmly , that I wasn’t going to give him any money .  He walked away . He’ll find some sucker soon enough . I stepped around the other side of the pump and asked some man with a Volvo , ” Will you pay for my gas ? ”  He didn’t laugh . I could see his little ‘crazy person’ antenna immediately go up . He shook his head solemnly  and looked away . I could see that he didn’t know if I was joking or not . Can’t be too careful these days.two hobos

Maybe I wasn’t joking . Maybe I should start asking . Ask and you shall receive . If you don’t ask you won’t get . It’d be easier for me just to canvass the people at the gas station when I go for gas . Won’t someone pay for my gas ? I have to get home . My cat’s sick and I need to replace the front garden hose .  I’m trying to upgrade the modem for my DSL . Anything helps .  I want to get to Oregon next fall .  Need gas desperately . Sir . How about a few dollars  ? Meaning no disrespect .

I was walking , once , with my Danish friend , Ivan , when someone asked for money . ” You’ve chosen your lifestyle , ”  Ivan told him ,          “not me . I’ve chosen my own lifestyle . ”  The poor guy was listening . Ivan speaks authoritatively .  ” I don’t ask you to finance my lifestyle , ” Ivan said . ” You shouldn’t ask me to finance your lifestyle . ”  And we walked away . At least the  guy didn’t call us ‘sir’ and make something up about needing to get to Texas .  Or dress up in a crisp white suit and carry a clipboard .

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