Philly's Crazy Homeless Bastards - A Who's Who
This is dedicated to the loons that haunt the kooky corridor known as East Market Street, making my walk between the train and the office a gauntlet of piss, obscenities, change cups held by imposing figures, piss, dubiously priced umbrellas on rainy days, stepping over bodies, and piss. So here’s to you, ye hardy folk who don’t abide by pesky rules of “hygiene” and “sanity”, and live life on the wild side...
”Gandalf” – sporting a beard to make the wizard jealous, this yellow-eyed trenchcoat husk lurks about fairly quietly, usually too shitfaced from his trusty brown bag to bother anyone. The elder statesman of the crew, if you will. Don’t let the jaundice fool you, Gandalf is not to be fucked with, as one unfortunate pigeon found out when he tried to steal some of Gandalf’s trash, and was promptly kicked into traffic.
”Big Mama” - Perhaps the most imposing of the crew, Big Mama’s previous career was as a linebacker for the Eastern State Penitentiary’s Football Team. After her knees gave out, Big Mama began a career of standing in the middle of the sidewalk and glaring at me before work every morning, shaking her change cup over my head.
“The Phantom Pisser” – More of an apparition, this nocturnal creature leaves massive lakes of piss to greet commuters every morning at the Wissahickon station on the R6 line. He works in pee like other artists work in pastels or watercolors, creating arching splatter patterns all over the train station. I fantasize about catching him in the act and pressing his face into his own hot piss puddles, but I believe that the Phantom Pisser is the ghost of an old dead bum, cursed to forever haunt Wissahickon Station and piss all over the goddamned place, so I will never have justice and will continue to hop effeminately over pee puddles every morning.
”The Entrepreneur” – Only emerges from his hole when it rains. Offers shitty umbrellas to hapless pedestrians. If you refuse, he strikes the sidewalk with the umbrella in a fit of rage, and probably hunger.
”The Sentinel” – Standing guard over the Market East train station, The Sentinel’s shift is in the evening, when he strides quickly around his territory, clutching a club/stick in his hand tightly with an unsettling look in his eye. Needless to say, this is quite entertaining when the suburbanite teenage girls are giggling it up in the train station, having just seen a show in the city. One glimpse of The Sentinel, and things quiet down a tad.
”Lou Sprawls” – Probably the most annoying of the bunch, Lou Sprawls flops himself directly in the middle of the sidewalk, groaning loudly. People are forced to walk around him as he moans “uuunnnnnhhhh” into the concrete. If you make the mistake of stopping to check on Lou, he will hit you up for cash, and resume groaning if you turn him down.
”Motherfucking Crazy Fuck” (MCF) – Taking a pro-active approach to the crazy lifestyle, this guy goes after anyone/anything. Sporting wild white hair, a filthy beard, and clothes stolen from a retarded kid in the 1980’s, MCF has a broomstick and stalks around Dunkin Donuts. His technique involves squatting in an athletic stance, raising the stick into a javelin throw pose, and threatening cabs that dare pass by his sidewalk with a Tarzan yell. When this does not have the desired effect, MCF will then sprint across the street and brandish his spear, shouting “NO NO NO NO NO”.
Here's to you, crazy bastards, for initiating my formerly naive suburbanite ass into the world of city life. Cheers.
this is in or around East Market St.