Last night I was downtown having a few beverages and there was this homeless-looking dude going around finishing the last few sips out of several of the nearly-empty, but deserted, cups in my vicinity. I was in the patio of the establishment – it wasn’t like he was beating the barback/busboy to the punch in some fancy restaurant… anyway, I didn’t pay him much heed – we all have bad days, no? Sometimes you gotta do whatever it takes to alter your state, regardless of your cash flow. More power to him. I know if I was in the same predicament, I wouldn’t be able to pull off the same stunt. I think I’d rather beg for cash and buy a few singles.
Maybe an hour passed by and I saw him again, a bit more belligerent, a bit more sloppy, on the far side of the patio (it was a big patio). Judging by his walk, he must have either discovered another watering hole to get his filthy fill, or grubbed up some change, because his gait was a bit astray. A few of the drinking strangers around me were getting a tad uncomfortable – two girls left and a few others moved inside. And possibly someone called the cops. That, or a cop just happened to stroll by. Regardless the reason of their arrival, the cop approached the homeless guy (no longer homeless-looking, at this point I was 100% certain he was pure homeless as opposed to some starving hipster).
Fortunately, I was within earshot of the following exchange:
‘Sir,’ said the cop, ‘are you a paying patron here?’
The drunken hobo shifted his gaze from the various bottles/glasses within arms reach and peered at the officer. ‘Paying? Not tonight.’ He smiled.
Cop: ‘I’m going to have to ask you to leave.’
Hobo: ‘How about a few more, then I leave?’
Cop: ‘I think you’ve had enough already.’
Cop: ‘All right – move it along.’
Without putting up too much more of a petition, the hobo nodded and staggered through the opening in the fence-like thing. As he passed the policeman, he was asked ‘just how much did you drink tonight?’
His response – ‘not sure, but I’m thinking I finished the backwash of nearly 50 or 60 assorted drinks.’
Right on, homeless man, right on. You get yours.