hood figga pt ii

I read in some book where the author warned against befriending the neighborhood addicts.  Like stray animals, once you start feeding them (so to speak) they won’t go away.  Don’t know if you remember this post, but I adhere to a hard and fast rule about panhandling in that I do not participate. (usually)  This rule mainly applies to folk that are just passing through.  If I don’t see you begging for money on a regular basis, then the chance of you getting any money from me is next to none.

But back to this next character, we’ll call him Jon because he told me that was his name.  He’s broken man.  A pronounced limp, scraggly beard, wears a beat up ball cap and maintains a Pig-Pen like aura about him.  He hustles at the same gas station as that newspaper-window-washer dude.  In fact, he has the same hustle as the newspaper-window-washer dude AND for a small time period Jon and NWWD were competing to be ignored by the majority of this Chevron’s customers.

I buy gas often, so I see Jon often, and seeing someone everyday breeds a certain familiarity.  He asks to either clean my windows or pump my gas.  I never let him do either.  For whatever reason, he talks to me, even introduced me to his son.  (an odd moment indeed) Well I know the reason, it’s because even though I don’t let him dirty up my windows with the dirty cleaning fluid they keep at Chevron, or pump gas in my car, I do give him money.  Last couple of times I’ve seen him, I’ve been uncharacteristically flush with cash and hit him off with a fiver.  (which is a panhandler no-no)  Now when I see him he greets me with more enthusiasm.  It doesn’t bother me anymore.  I give him a pound and then disinfect my hands with sanitizer when I get in the car.

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What’s that smell?

It happens so easily.   The pace of the day allows the little things to go unattended.  Daily commutes can get ugly on any given day: school drop off / pick up, work, saxophone lessons, guitar lessons, soccer practice twice a week, soccer games on Saturdays, as well as the spontaneous late night nacho runs from Taco Cabana.  It gets crazy in these streets.

Frequently we find ourselves doing things in the minivan that a responsible minivan owner might avoid.  (not the van-a-rockin’ variety)  Domestic activities that are typically done in the comfort of our home might happen in the minivan regularly: shoe removal, sock removal, change clothes, store heavy jackets, mail sorting, eat breakfast, eat lunch, eat dinner, pass gas and in the rare occasion of down time recline the captains chair and sleep.  All of these activities bring with them a certain level of debris and odor.  Nothing overtly foul, just one of those things that puts a wrinkle in your nose. 

As the man of the house, ultimately the responsibility of maintaining the cleanliness of the vehicle falls on me.  However, combatting the onslaught of Now’n’Later wrappers, left foot socks, discarded sweaters and abandoned Chick-Fil-A cups is a task made only for the committed.  I am not that committed.  My time spent not working divided by the number of things that do not pay me would leave no time to ‘chillax’. (as my eldest daughter would say)  So if you ever get into our beloved Dodge Caravan, and the air isn’t quite as fresh as you would like it to be, just remember what you’re smelling was once a burrito.  Let us know if it offends you, we’ll get to it the weekend after next.