Thursday, February 16, 2012

#41 Zombies

Downtown Los Angeles is home to the well known neighborhood of Skid Row, where roughly 4,000 homeless people dwell.  My loft building is but a few blocks from this area, so there is no shortage of homeless zombies wandering the streets.
It's obvious as to why I call them zombies, as they roam around aimlessly in a near comatose state, shuffling around with their tattered clothes, asking for change like it's brains. I've had my fair share of run-ins with said zombies.  Living downtown is interesting because it's not just the speedbump hobo that you find sleeping on the sidewalk.  They are a varied as a Whitman's Sampler.  You've got your:
  • Toothless Drunks
  • Crackheads
  • Lady Crackheads
  • Recycling Collectors
  • Veterans
  • Handicapped in Wheelchairs
  • Fake Handicapped, that somehow found a wheelchair to evoke pity, and uses his working legs to scoot around
  • Loitering cat-callers
  • Business zombies, trying to sell the wares they found in the dump
  • Mumble cussers
  • Half naked fat women
  • Flashers (front and back)
  • Soap Box zombies, the ones that stand on a corner and scream about non-sense
  • Teenage runaways
  • Calling Card Zombies, which is the zombie that has a gimmick, everyone knows his schtick, and he becomes like a local 4-block celebrity.  For instance, we have one that we simply called "The Pirate Guy," as he wears a pirate hat and greets you with a "YARRR" or the Joker, who tries to get change from you by telling you the same two jokes, one of them racist.
  • Cardboard signers, most of which tell you that either "God Loves You" or "Give Money or Weed" 
...the list goes on.

Homeless dudes always know their dog breeds, too.  Anyone that owns a dog knows that people always ask you what kind of dog you have.  They usually guess wrong.  I own a greyhound.  I get a lot of "that's a Great Dane, Whippet,  Italian Greyhound, Weimereiner..."  But from not homeless guys.  They will know straight away what dog she is, and yell it.   I've seen them do it other people; owners of Basenji's, Rhodesian Ridgebacks, all the complicated ones.  Once, one zombie yelled from across an intersection "THAT'S A GREYHOUND. WHY THAT GREYHOUND WEAR SHOES? HE CAN'T RUN IN THOSE SHOES!" (oh yeah, my dog wears shoes because the sidewalks are disgusting.)
We downtowners are like homeless anthropology majors.

I opened the side door of my building yesterday into a zombie that was standing there.  He held the door open for me, and tried to go in,
"I'm just going in to see a friend."
"NO YOU'RE NOT....and even if you are, you have to go to the front and sign in." (I can't really discriminate, he could just be a super dirty hipster)
"She works during the day."
"Sure she does."
I gotta commend him for this quick, albeit terrible, response he came up with it pretty fast.
I don't fear the homeless.  However, living here has manifested a fear that I never had prior.

I'm really scared of walking down the street and a zombie grabs my boob.

That's it.
It's never happened. I've never heard of it happening.  But  it could.
Zombies don't give a fuck about anything.  You think they'd give a shit if they traumatized a random stranger while they got a cheap (nay, free) thrill?  No. Like the Honey Badger, they do not give a shit. 
This picture sucks, but it gets the point across.  Also, Googling "homeless" results only in sadness.
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