No, not the kind you see to the right. The kind I feed almost every day. Now calling a homeless person a bum is kind of politically incorrect – especially for a guy who’s supposed to care about their welfare. But I do have my limits…and they were reached yesterday.
Down at the good ol’ Catholic Worker, there are actually 21 upstairs beds occupied by a loose bucket of nuts and bolts (occupants, that is) many of whom are in good enough health to help at mealtime – but many of whom do not! They get free food and lodging and to thank the institution for its magnanimous contribution to the underclass they choose not to reciprocate.
Look! I get it. A super liberal I actually am not! A bum is a fucking bum (and a user is a user) – and there’s not a lot you can do about it. I do my thing – and they do theirs. If I choose to volunteer with little in material return beyond a scroungy meal – and they choose to do nothing for their benefactor, it’s all good (as they say).
But yesterday, the sublime became the ridiculous when two of the house’s most prodigious “tap-outs” got into it over one leaving his two wheeled walker in the hallway, thus making it somewhat difficult for the residents to pass. Watching these two morons go at it verbally as they ate their free lunch and stayed in their free lodging boggled this man’s mind. Of all the ungrateful assholes. News flash: Move your fucking walker, loser…so people can get by! It’s the least you can do for all the freebe’s you’re getting! And to number two: How’s about you get off your ass and ladle some soup, homey?
Anyway…a bum is a bum is a bum whether it’s a homeless guy getting all his shit for free or a rich corporate muckety-muck making a fortune off his employees all while he treats them like servants. That’s today’s observation.
An anecdote before I go. The residents who actually do help will often ease up when they see me walk in. Upon my arrival, they know I can run the joint and will if they go in the backyard to read the paper. I don’t really have a problem with that because I don’t volunteer to then stand around doing nothing. I go there (among other reasons) to fill my eventless day, help the poor and downtrodden, and feel good about how lucky I am compared to the people I serve. And I don’t mind working hard for the few hours I’m there.
But yesterday got a little ridiculous on a second front. While I mopped, made the tuna salad, and cleaned the three dish basins, pretty much everybody else was in the backyard doin’ nuttin’. In the meantime, all the heavy wooden chairs needed to be taken down from on top of the tables after the sweeping and mopping was done. And nobody was rushing to do the job.
So I adjourned to the backyard with the mop and slop bucket to empty and clean my tools while suggesting “Not to be glib, boys…but those chairs aren’t going to take themselves off the table!”…meaning the obvious. And the answer: “Ye of little faith” implying that a higher power would rectify the issue.
Oy! I forgot momentarily. This is the Catholic Worker! Religious zealots. As if God would intervene before they got up off their lazy asses to do the job! Suddenly at that moment, Moe from upstairs appeared and pulled down the chairs. Maybe there’s something to that “ye of little faith” bull shit. But I doubt it. If I have a picture of God in my mind, all 4′ 11″ of twisted Moe ain’t it. What can I say? I wasn’t converted by the moment. Maybe if the IRS finally gets off my back for money I’ve already paid, I’ll start believing. But no promises.