It’s always when I am afflicted with a particularity bad hangover that the worst of the homeless beggars seem to attack.  As New Yorkers we have heard all their tales about not getting to the shelter on time or their house burning down leaving them and their families homeless and destitute.   Their families being a pipe filled with crystal meth no doubt.  I get it, its all part of the circle of life in NYC.  They grift us we occasionally feel bad and give them change, they make 50 bucks a day they get high and leave us alone for a week and everyone is happy.

I admit it takes balls to get on a train and ask for money, or sometimes just an unfortunate amputation.  But missing a limb or moving your legless torso from car to car is a great way to score some serious cash.   Then there are the ones with no discernible injuries these guys are smart enough sing for their supper.  These are the homeless who make more money than I do in a year and the ones I hate and dread the most.  My heart sinks when I see that mariachi band coming between cars, or the black quartet singing Down on the Boardwalk.  They plague my commute between 59th and Lex and 34th street, praying on the out of towners who just love to be entertained on their way back to times square,  probably because they were too stupid to bring an Ipod or a book like all the real New Yorkers.  Investing in a good pair of noise canceling headphones and turning up the volume of my Ipod usually drowns them out but i still seethe in anger at the sheer audacity of these America’s Got Talent rejects and how they dare to interrupt my quiet time.  The absolute worst are the ethnic dancers, or the drum circle.  If they show up on my car I just leave.

Today I spotted the interruption to my commute before I even got on the train.  He was standing on the platform in a dress shirt, tie, and a sporty pair of dockers.  Bible in hand ready to spread fire and brimstone to the people of the N train.  I ran to the next car and he followed almost as if knew I sinned and that I sinned often.  The doors shut and he began his diatribe, I rolled my eyes and could hear him telling us we were all going to hell.  Now I love telling people to go to hell as much as the next guy, but I’d never stand up on a crowded train to do so…well not unless provoked.  So I turned my headphones up and closed my eyes.  I opened them again at 5th ave and fire and brimstone was still at it, “burn in hell” this, and “repent” that, all the usual religious malarkey.  When almost on Que from either side of the train the doors flew open in a hot gusty gale, and there were two more homeless!  A woman with soiled pants (good gimmick) and a black man with no teeth and yeasty swollen feet!  A good yeasty foot is sure to grab a few sheckles, but i am telling you loss of limb is the ticket to that refrigerator box in the sky!

All three of them stopped, like a cosmic coming together of craziness and despair, like the three moons in a Dark Crystal aligning so the Skexies and the Mystics could become one again.  Fire and Brimstone stopped his ranting, and looked at yeasty feet and soiled pants and then beckoned them forth.  Since he wasn’t asking for money, just our eternal souls, he did a little cross promotion.  Using yeasty and soiled as examples of the very lifestyle he wanted us to avoid while at the same time telling all of us this was a great time this might be to turn over a new leaf and help his two new stinky gross looking friends while we were finding the path to eternal salvation.  How I longed for the mariachi band and the blind accoridian man to get on at the next stop, hopefully ending in a West Side Story style brawl over territory.  Instead i got off the train and went to work where I sat on stage for 4 hours and delivered my own kind of sermon to the happy hour Bingo crowd at PIECES.  Telling all of them how Lindsey Lohan is a tramp ruining her life with booze and hotpants, complaining about the cost of a metro card and asking for a gratuity to help with my newly injured hand…look out yeasty and stinky pants I may need to work your territory sometime soon.

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