Saturday, January 23, 2010

Piano virtuoso

I was reading my memory of the Food Not Bombs lunch line and I realized that the people we were serving food to were as far from functional living (i.e. contributing to society) as you or I are from playing a Beethoven piano concerto at the San Francisco Symphony. Just look at it like that. Technically, in 10 years anyone can play the piano. But if you don't play a single note of piano that entire 10 years then you aren't going to be able to play the piano, let alone play it with the S.F. Symphony. What's my point? Well, technically, by 18 you should be able to contribute something to society. But if you manage to live 18 years without once contributing something to society (because you were stoned or hiding under a table or getting abused by your priest) then guess what? You haven't logged the hours to get a job. And then the State steps in around 18 and you are almost guaranteed to go to jail...where the record of preparing inmates to contribute to society is WORSE THAN THE MANSON FAMILY.

So, it's easy to say these fine folks choose their way of life...just as easy as I could sit you down at a piano in Davies Symphony Hall, strike up the band for Beethoven's Emperor Concerto (You must know that one) and expect you to hammer 50 minutes of music out. You can do that can't you? Right? I mean, what the fuck is wrong with you? ANYONE CAN DO IT! So if you can't do it then you must be choosing to be a failure. So pathetic. Disgusting. Filthy. Unsophisticated. Worthless. How can you make such a horrible choice? You must be mentally defective.

But the question is how to take a 22 year old junkie convict and get him to play a piano concerto because otherwise you've got a huge problem. Santa Cruz just magnified that problem because the density of unskilled homeless was like Calcutta. Anyone have any suggestions?

The problem is further complicated when you consider that there aren't even enough jobs to go around FOR THE PEOPLE WHO WANT AND ARE ABLE TO WORK. And there isn't enough money to train everyone. And in the end the folks we served had already learned basic survival skills, how to eat one day at a time. They didn't trust someone who offered them training. They already knew how to survive so any advice sounded suspicious. How many of you would start practicing the piano for 5-7 hours a day STARTING TOMORROW if a social service counselor told you it would improve your chances of getting a job in ten years?

Forgive I...

Robert rolled up on the wobbling Food Not Bombs bicycle with a IWW flag waving on a bamboo pole lashed to the trailer frame. He had patched the inner tubes and used extra rubber cement so they seem to be holding air. All the fresh fruit salad survived the trip from the kitchen across town. All the bagels and bread were lashed safely under bungee cords along with the box of Food Not Bombs solidarity literature. Robert pushed the bicycle up the hill to where the weeds had been trampled by previous meals and the resting bodies of undesirable poor. Robert quickly set up the folding table and placed the boxes of bruised apples and bananas to one side. He opened the five gallon buckets of soup.

“I’d like to remind everyone to rinse their bowls in the bucket of water. This greatly helps those washing the bowls later on. Also, the compost pile is in the corner of the garden so any left over soup can go in the pile. Thank you.”

The line grew quickly as the homeless poured forth from their disabled vans and soggy cardboard shacks. They stood bouncing behind one another looking at the table of food, picking out the apple they would grab, squinting for a better look at the bread and juice and shiny ladle that meant nourishment.

“I like it when they have the tofu. Tastes like meat.”

“Eat that shit with the salt. Fucking good.”

“They got crackers? They got the crackers today? Anyone know?”

“I see them juices. Them are good. Get the vitamin C one. I needs the vitamins.”

“This cost money?”

“Naw. Just eat it till it’s gone.”

“They don’t charge nothing?”

“Naw. They doing this for the state or something.”

“Like welfare? Food stamps?”


“Is it vegan? I renounced animal products.”

“I’m hungry as fuck. When the line moving?”

“I brought me a big bowl. Eat it with the pepper.”

“I hope they got the tofu. It tastes good.”

“You see any fruit? Save me an orange.”

“You wanna buy some crank? A good cut?”

“I’ll trade you some weed.”

“Izzy around? She gives a mean blow job.”

“Anyone driving to San Francisco?”

“That bitch hanging out in the woods. Bangin’ that hippie.”

“She out of jail? Six months went fast.”

“I once had a meal in Texas with the steak and chicken. All breaded up. Fried. With soda pop!”

“You get breakfast this morning?”

“Steve was all fucked up. He said the oatmeal was poisoned. Poured it out. I got a slice of bread.”

“That’s bullshit. Steve’s a wild motherfucker.”

“Izzy’s got a pussy like a wind tunnel.”

“Cunt’s had like three miscarriages.”

“One of was ‘cause of me. Haw!”

“All that crank you sniffing. No wonder. Your cock juice is genetically retarded.”

“You hear that? My stomach calling fer food. Empty as fuck.”

“Where you sleeping tonight?


“Finally. Line’s moving. I’m gonna eat that soup. Look out!”

The hoard moved through devouring every edible crumb and potato skin. Plastic bowls ended up in the compost bin, the cardboard fruit box, the bike trailer, the river. Some were rinsed and returned to the dirty bowl box. Robert tended to the compost pile, turning it with a pitchfork, adding straw, aerating it with love and care, relishing the rich aroma of decay. Kim scooped the soup into the bowls with a stainless steel ladle, the symbol of Food Not Bombs being a purple fist with a carrot in it.

“Of course you can have more. And if you want to help rinse those bowls that would be a way you can contribute to this meal,” she said cheerfully to a toothless hobo with advanced diabetes sores on his feet.

Oggy sat next to his bicycle repairing the 20 year old derailleur. The spring had detached so the gears no longer changed. A new spring may have cost twenty cents but in keeping with his philosophy of repair and reuse, Oggy was bending the broken spring into something that would still work. Blar stepped behind him.

“Excuse I.”

“It’s alright, Blar. How you?”


“Yeah? Yeah? Where you living?”

“Here. Blar live here in the weed world. Live in the field. Eat the seeds.”

“You living on sunflower seeds still?”


“Seeds and water?”


“That’s what we all need to do. America is eating every resource and putting them in cars and technology.”

“Aye. Blar knows.”

“They give you a nickel back to use a plastic bag. But we throw out computer towers and car tires. Every fish in the ocean has mercury poisoning. I read a warning at the market. Warning: Mercury is harmful to unborn children. What is that about?”

“Blar wave goodbye to world now.”

“I don’t want to be negative. Abe told me not to be negative. He said I need to be more active in the world with my yoga and poetry. If I dwell on the decay then I get negative.”

“Blar go.”

Blar brushed dirt back into his footprints and moved onto the straw where his impact wasn’t recognizable even to him. He stood up and touched his forehead several times and mumbled a chant.

“I and I walk light. Walk light don’t touch the earth. Earth heal in time. Earth heal and grow up with flowers.”

He stepped gingerly onto the cement street and turned left toward the river levee.

How dumb are New Hampshire folks?

I just had to share this gem craigslist post. I mean, this guy is asking for actual thieves to come forward and be filmed while they con people so it can be broadcast. But it'll be anonymous? And if I respond then I'm saying I'm not a policeman??? Uh, you have to be the dumbest guy in the room. You are asking actual criminals to agree to be filmed committing a crime!!! And you think some kind of disclaimer is going to make a detective pause before responding to your ad and posing as a criminal??
I agree that the series would be interesting, but only because it would be a series of actual crimes. Why not just film people conning some other folks and then GIVE THE MONEY BACK AT THE END. See, so there isn't a crime committed. Cause if you commit a crime and film it for the travel channel that doesn't cancel out the crime. Unless I missed something while I was in Mexico. I should write to him and say I can get someone to sign their house over to me for ten dollars in 24 hours. But before I show him I need him to sign his house over to me.

Need real grifters for possible up coming book and show

Date: 2010-01-22, 3:39PM

I am seeking a few talented grifters for a realty series based on real life con games and swindles. Unlike the American version of the show the real hustle, this book and following series will focus on primarily major league fraud, congames, and theft. Complete anonymity assured if preffered. Otherwise I may be able to use you in the show. Please get in touch and tell me what your area of expertise is. By contacting me you certify that you are in no way associated with law enforcement.

  • Location: NH
  • it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests
  • Compensation: To be discussed, based on merit

Original URL:

Quotes from tonight's poker game

"It was like fucking a wind tunnel..."

"Why would I be pissed off my full house loses to your four of a kind?"

"I said, 'I'm not being mean. I paid for a whole seat. You just need to stop eating Twinkies.'"

"If I win Powerball I'm gonna buy a big ham steak. And potatoes. I'll eat steak every day for a week."

"I can't afford jalapeno poppers. I got some bread in the fridge."

"Forget everything I said. I'm just pissed that I'm 40 and living in a group home."

"No no no no. He said he had a pair of 7s. I don't care what the cards read."

"It's just she's a cunt. She's gotta stick her cunt into our business. I hate her. It's pure cuntery."

"If someone mentions God again I'm gonna go berserk."

"When my unemployment kicks in I'm gonna buy popcorn and beer.

"Someone probably died right there."

"I saw Paul Revere and the Raiders on acid."

"I won't even look. Blind. I'll bet 5."

"Are you fucking kidding me? You beat me with two flushes in a row?"

"Oh, yeah, they're gonna offer me a job as president of the motherfucking bank. Right after they take their dick out of my ass."

"You want to remind me that I folded four of a kind? You think I need to be reminded?"

"My dad gives me advice on where to buy shoes. I'm 40 years old. Do I look like I need advice on where to buy shoes?"

"Drink another beer. Quit your whining."

"3s and 9s are wild. 4s buy an extra card but only if you pay 5."

"If you don't keep quiet I will call the police. The rules say no noise after 10pm."
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Man in the Van by Oggy Bleacher is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.