The CHERISHED Life of Heather Leigh

Monday, September 22, 2008

The Bum & a Bottle of Squirt

My little town has a bum.

That may not be the most politically correct term to call him, but I don't know what other word to use for this guy. I can't say that he's homeless, because rumor has it that he indeed does have a home (or at least a place to live) in one of the nicest subdivisions around these parts. I guess I could call him a bag lady, but the problem with that terminology is that it's the wrong gender, and I've never heard anybody called a bag man before.

So, we'll just stick with the term bum, with out intending any offense.

For those of you who live by me, you know the guy.

He rides around town on his bike, usually with a trailer loaded full of stuff attached to the back. He appears unshaven and unbathed and even in the middle of summer (or on a very nice fall day like today) he wears layers and layers of tattered clothes with a hat and a scarf and big boots.

He doesn't cause any trouble that I'm aware of and the closest I've ever been to him has been while passing him in my car while he's riding his bike. When we still lived in our old house, Jordyn and her friend saw him riding through our old neighborhood while they were walking home from school and they were TOTALLY freaked out about it.

Today, however, I got up close and personal with the bum. Today I found myself standing behind him in line at Rite Aid. I didn't get super close to him because as I got closer, I could start to smell....something. He bought his 2 litre of Squirt with a debit/credit card, and went on his way out the door, which, upon his exit, proceeded to beep beep beep and a red light started flashing. He kept walking.

I looked at the clerk. She was looking out the door window where we could see the bum getting on his bike. She calmly said "Hmm, he just stole something." Then she took out a can of Lysol and sprayed down the counter where he had just been standing before she rang me up.

That's it?! She didn't even bother to go after him, or call security?! Maybe Rite Aid doesn't have security. Would she have pursued the alleged thief had it been a skater boy or a varsity-jacket wearing athlete or a pregnant woman with a couple of kids in tow (hey, I know first hand that pregnant women steal, but that's another story altogether).

She then proceeded to wonder aloud what he would have stolen.

I responded that maybe the stolen item was something for which he needed the Squirt as a chaser. Horrible, stereotypical assumption, I know, but it was the first thing that popped into my head.

She went about her business of ringing me up as if nothing out of the ordinary had even happened and replied, "Yeah, probably."

But, since he and his bike were gone by the time I exited the building, I guess we'll never know.


~Amy said...

OMG! As I was reading that you have never been up close to him I was thinking about the time he was in front of me...AT RITE AIDE !! How funny to read that you saw him there, too! And yes, he was pretty smelly. And yes, Joel said he does indeed live in that nice sub w/his parents. He saw him there when he was delivering.

Mindy said...

M kids like to use the also non-PC term of "Hobo" when they see this guy.

But--someone help me out here, I distinctly recall reading that the guy with the bike trailer that used to park it in "that nice sub" died a while back. Could there have been TWO hobos?

Still, it's strange to know that Rite Aid's security system consists of an alarm and then the reliance of a voluntary return of the items. Apparantly the hobo guy has it all figured out.

Errica said...

I've seen him down in Lake Orion as well.

Yes Mindy you are right at one time we had 2 but the one died.