ON THE STREET WHERE YOU LIVE

Edited by R.T. Jordan
Author, SET SAIL FOR MURDER,
FINAL CURTAIN
, etc.

www.Rtjordan.com

So, a homeless guy walks up to a stranger and says, “I haven’t eaten in so long I’ve forgotten how it tastes.” Stranger says, “It tastes about the same.”
“Knock-knock.” Forget it. Knock-knock jokes are completely wasted on the homeless.

BOO! HISS!!  Yeah, we feel the same outrage that you do. We are completely unhinged and on board with your indignation. There’s absolutely no levity in homelessness. Plus, jokes about the homeless are as difficult to come up with as reasons to buy Dick Cheney’s new autobiography. N’est-ce pas?

Unlike the plethora of Helen Keller jokes: What was Helen Keller’s favorite color? Corduroy. How did Helen Keller’s parents punish her? They left the plunger in the toilet. What did Helen Keller say when she found the cheese grater? It was the most violent book she’d ever read.

Or blonde jokes: Three blondes were walking through the forest when they came upon a set of tracks. The first blonde said, “Those are deer tracks.” The second blonde said, “No, those are elk tracks.” The third blonde said, “You’re both wrong, those are moose tracks.” The blondes were still arguing when the train hit them. Q: What do you call a swimming pool full of blondes? A: Frosted Flakes.  Q: What job function does a blonde have in an M&M factory? A. Proof reader.

Or the gutter variety lame (but still funny) jokes: Two guys are walking down the street and see a dog on the lawn, licking his balls.  One guy says to the other, “Man, I sure wish I could do that.” The other guy says, “Don’t you think you ought to pet him first?”

Okay, so there’s a really good reason why there aren’t a lot of jokes about homeless people.

BECAUSE BEING HOMELESS SUCKS!
IT’S F’ING INSANELY BEYOND TERRIBLE!
THERE’S NOTHING REMOTELY AMUSING ABOUT IT!

(It’s far worse than that totally gross, but apparently becoming common practice among new mothers of eating their placenta, ya know that bloody after birth discharge messy stuff. Placenta paté? Placenta omelets? Placenta polenta? At least she has something to eat!)

Illustration by Mark Machto for TIME


THIS COMPLETELY SUCKS
(And not in a
moist fun way)

We at BRUISES THE GIN have a former colleague whose address is wherever his car is parked. We’re totally reeling about the situation. Makes us jazzed to get our own mortgage statements each month and know that we can pay the insane price of property in SoCal. That goes for tax and insurance bills, utilities, refuse hauling, gardener, pool man, handyman, cleaning lady, bug exterminator, cell phone and cable TV invoices as well as the frivolous amounts of moolah we spend at that coffee place that’s so ubiquitous they no longer even use their name on the their logo. We seriously don’t mind paying these bills!

AN INSANELY MISERABLE AND “IT HAPPENS ALL THE TIME” STORY
By
R.T. Jordan

Scuzzy apartment building.

Until a couple of years ago, Mike, a friend of BRUISES THE GIN, worked in Hollywood. In the film publicity biz. At The Walt Disney Studios. He wasn’t an exec, just a hard-working “cast member.” So this guy decides to do something to better his life. To continue his formal education. Long story short, he’s accepted into a good school. Moves to Michigan. Does well with his classes. Then the economy tanks, like Obama’s approval rating. Guy is laid off from a part-time job. Can’t find another. Even a soul-numbing gig behind the Clinique counter at freakin’ Macy’s. Guy runs out of money. Forced to drop out of school. Lives on potatoes  (for the cost and various ways of preparation, he said). Eventually, can’t pay his rent. Loses apartment. Moves in with a friend. Friend changes her mind. Guy gets a room in an icky motel @ $35.00 a night. Eventually runs out of what little coin he’d saved. Sleeps in his car. Calls parents for help. Is told to go away. Hits a homeless shelter in Detroit. Conditions are so appalling and dangerous he flees. Police hassle him for sleeping in his car parked on a residential street. Cell phone gets turned off. All communication, save for using the internet at libraries, is gone. What the hell is he (or anyone in this predicament) to do? When one falls so far down that deep hole, how does one climb back up and crawl out without showering for an interview, or having a phone to receive a job offer? How did this happen to Mike? How could it have been avoided? Crappy karma? A broken mirror? Voodoo spell? Bio-waste known as “Scary Shari” Draper, choking the life-force energy out of every being on the planet (an inside joke that Mike, and readers of the Ben Tyler novel Tricks of the Trade and a buncha Hollywood insiders will get.)

"Scary Shari" Draper. On a good day.

There’s no happy ending. Yet.

CONSCIOUS/UNCONSCIOUS THOUGHTS THAT GIVE US NIGHTMARES

These are some of the notes we receive now and again from our homeless chum. We don’t know how he manages to maintain a decent sense of humor, but he actually does. More power, man. [Ed. note: Verbatim]

“Yep, it sucks.  I just went out to the parking lot and cried in my car!  I haven’t slept in 3 nights.  I slept a little (maybe two hours) at that sketchy Salvation Army, where I didn’t shower.  Too many crackheads, and everything I own is in my car.  My Low Fuel light is on in my car.  

I can’t drive anywhere, but I can’t stay in this town. I just want one night of sleep without worrying the cops will now notice my moving van (car) again. I switched neighborhoods last night but of course a cop cruised by slowly at 4am (I was still up and watching every set of headlights) so I left for fear that he’d turn around.  Headed to Meijer and just sat there. Then here to the library where I’ve been for 7 hours. No food, just drinking fountain water.  I could barely read anything because it was all blurry.  I think I may have seen an article on how sleep deprivation can kill you 🙂  I may have a place to be starting Thursday, but I’ll never make it!”

An expected follow-up: “He more or less backed out.  Or seemed apprehensive.  He did buy me Chicken McNuggets though.  I saw his house, definitely decorated by a woman in the 1950s.  Anyways, he just didn’t say much and when I left he said “let me know how it goes.”  The decor wouldn’t have worked for me anyway, primarily due to his lack of a TV….. no TV!?”

Just this morning: I doubt he’ll change his mind. But, it doesn’t really matter anyway, I’m getting used to disappointment 😦  On a positive note, I did work 8 hours yesterday.  $48!  Since I hadn’t showered in a week I got my motel room for $35, $10 in gas (which, given the current gas prices, amounted to just over 1/4 tank) and $2 in food. I was left with one dollar.  But by 11pm last night I couldn’t sleep because I was STILL so hungry. I laid in bed last night contemplating how I would spend that one dollar on food today. But then it occurred to me, if I only have one dollar to eat on Friday, that will leave me with nothing to eat on Saturday. Then, being so hungry and only having the one dollar, I figured what difference did it make whether I had no food on Friday or whether it was no food on Saturday? So, at 11:30pm last night I made a beeline for Taco Bell and spent my last dollar.  I chose to begin my “no food” regiment today. Now, if I were a smart man, I would have skipped the motel, put more $$ in my gas tank, and had more $$ for food.  But my body was SO dirty. I hadn’t changed clothes all week, including underwear and socks.  In fact I could feel my feet sticking to the insides of my shoes.  I badly needed to wash. I hope another job comes up soon, but with it being Friday, I’ll most likely have to wait until Monday morning to see if something else turns up on the job front. And that’s only a “maybe.” It’s gonna be a loooong weekend.”

IT’S THE JOURNEY, MAN
(Huh?)

We’re just sayin’ that this dude, and every other dislocated human being on the planet, was once someone’s baby, with a clean slate and unlimited potential. With a smile. Who cried. Wanted hugs. And plush animal toys. And more hugs. And more kisses. All the body contact stuff that every  miraculous soul in the universe needs and craves and of which no number of iPad2s or 80” flat screen televisions or

My eyes say it all. I'm totally scared. I just want my life to turn out happy.

Starbucks double ristretto venti nonfat organic chocolate brownie frrappuccino extra hot coffees can ever take the place.

The world is a contradiction between the platinum haves and hungry have-nots. It’s Jen Aniston constantly in your face obvious. If you’ve got IT (whatever commodity IT is this week), unzip it, bring it out for public display in the perfect California sunshine and show it off for fun and profit beside your pebble-teched swimming pool––the one with the built-in liquor bar and the salt water hot tub and the fixed underwater digital camera for catching skin and genitalia for your collection of pool porn). Build that McMansion on the corner lot. Out-do Louis XVI with a super-sized Beverly Hills estate. But for god’s sake, avert your eyes from anything remotely unpleasant like um, er, headline news. Stick to the “reality” of The Real Wives of Beverly Hills, Millionaire Matchmaker, or Fat Daddy Wants to Buy a Freakin’ Trophy Baby Wife. Ya know? The important stuff.

So. To Mike. To every other hungry and displaced being on the planet facing an unexpectedly (and temporary) derailed life and asking the totally reasonable questions: “What the f***? How am I going to survive another minute, hour, day? I’m alone and afraid, but what can I do?” We at BTG are getting all metaphysical and tree-huggy and Zen on you and saying that “thoughts are things” and we’re absolutely sending you our most powerful thought vibrations for serenity and peace and jobs and food and clothes and apartments and girlfriends and transcendent love and sex and soap bubbles filled with unlimited possibilities and Napa Valley wines.

We’d at least like to offer the following government information for any of you who are homeless or know someone who is homeless: http://portal.hud.gov:80/hudportal/HUD?src=/topics/homelessness

$ $ $

PRESS RELEASE:
For Immediate Attention.

BGN IS CASHIN’ IN

Note to Michele: Leave it to the Pros, Honey!

Dear bright, empathetic and amazingly indulgent readers of BTG, we’re totally taking advantage of this untapped metropolitan media market called homelessness, the way Michele Bachmann and her dreamy chubby hubby Marcus’ reparative therapy center exploits men and women who are told to loathe themselves ’cause their biological natures are in polar opposition to a godless church teaching, or they’re from families of cretin Creationists like the fence straddling Rick Perry, or whatever. BTG Network (BGN), our all-new cable outlet, is launching HOMELESS but not CHROMELESS: The New Upwardly Mobile,™ an original unscripted television series that’s certain to make the rest of us feel good about our Nestle Crunch Bars lot in life.

Our motto: “THERE’S ALWAYS ONE STEP FURTHER
DOWN YOU CAN GO.”

BRUISES THE GIN NETWORK in HD! (Illustration by Andrew W.M. Beierle)

Taking its place among the most satanic shows in the pantheon of reality series, such as Celebrity Detox Camp, Whose Your Daddy and Britain’s Worst Teeth, each weekly episode, will feature an attractive homeless person (casting for John Benjamin Hickey look-a-likes) with nothing more than his Honda, Mercedes or Dodge Ram (shopping carts not accepted) and the total lifetime accumulation of physical possessions all stuffed into the trunk and every available interior space. It’s Hoarders meets Pimp My Ride meets Extreme Makeover: Cardboard Refrigerator-Box Edition. Our LHP (Lucky Homeless Person), unaware that the crock of crap we’re throwing on him isn’t just another episode in a life-long sequence of waking nightmares, will be evicted from his vehicle by a Kardashian posing as a hot repo agent, and stalked throughout the week by a hidden camera spying on LHP as he goes from raiding trash cans to peeing in storm drains to modeling at freeway off-ramps in a desperate search for the meaning of life. If he’s not dead from malnutrition, hypothermia or another homeless person beating his brains against a curb for LHP’s shoes, he’ll be reunited with his all-new classy chassy.

Illustration by Andrew W.M. Beierle

Imagine LHP’s surprise when he sees how we’ve invaded the only private space he had left in the universe.

AMENITIES WILL INCLUDE:

* Full wine rack
* Exercise area

* Library of cookbooks and bound compilations of
Architectural Digest

* Krups coffee maker

Illustration by Andrew W.M. Beierle

* Game area
* Diaper changing station
* Pet kennel

* Home theater
* Laundry area
* Day spa

MEET RENOWNED INTERIOR DESIGNER AND FRIEND TO THE HOMELESS, MARK REINHART.

We’ve invited noted Los Angeles interior designer Mark Reinhart to create a sketch of revamped wheels for this otherwise shelterless John Doe.

A native of Merrillville, Indiana, Reinhart has spent his life in the arts. From an early age he studied art, music, scenic design, voice, acting, choreography and piano. For 25 years he appeared in musical theater productions directed and produced by his parents. After graduating from Indiana University he relocated to California where he created LASTING IMPRESSIONS,  a design firm which provides complete interior makeovers, custom murals, illustrations and graphic designs. Among Reinhart’s most admired work is the Hollywood Hills home re-do he created for novelist Ben Tyler (“Tricks of the Trade”)

Hollywood Hills home designed by Mark Reinhart

and his partner of a hundred thousand years, composer/lyricist Billy Barnes (“Have I Stayed Too Long at the Fair?”).

"Whenever you're tired of something (or some one), redecorate!" -- Mark Reinhart

“Our hill-top home reflects our uncluttered lifestyle, of which the homeless would be the first to appreciate,” says Tyler who generously invited scavengers to the “dumpster-do” in which he had tossed practically everything the couple had collected during their centuries old union.

“How many Tiffany & Co. sterling silver pen and pencil sets does a family need?” asks Barnes.

“We’re very philanthropic. Screenwriters sleep on our couch in the media room,” Tyler adds.

Tyler and Barnes enjoy hosting intimate dinner parties at their Hollywood Hills pied-à-terre and give leftovers to Rico, who lives in the bushes near their home.

Q&A WITH DESIGNER MARK REINHART

BTG: WHAT IS YOUR PHILOSOPHY OF INTERIOR DESIGN?
MR: Keep it simple, personal, uncluttered and inviting. All at a discounted price of course!
BTG: WHAT IS THE MOST COMMON MISTAKE AMATEURS MAKE WHEN DECORATING A ROOM?
MR: Probably not seeing the big picture. Most people get focused on one thing and don’t realize how it will connect or reflect on everything else in the room. You want to make a room visually balanced.
BTG: WHAT’S THE “IN” DESIGN FASHION TREND RIGHT NOW?
MR: 
Bold colors are very popular now with vivid blues, greens, orange, pinks and purples being everywhere. It’s still popular to mix old and new pieces in a room.
BTG: WHAT ABOUT THE NEXT TREND. ANY IDEAS?
MR: I think the next “trend” will revolve around new technologies coming into households. This will expand upon the concept of mixing new technologies with things that have a sense of history.
BTG: WHICH TV DESIGN SHOWS DO YOU RECOMMEND FOR ANYONE WHO WANTS TO TACKLE A DESIGN PROJECT?
MR: Most TV design shows will give you ideas rather than “how to” information. For ideas, I like Divine Design and for outdoors, Curb Appeal. Both are on HGTV.
BTG: DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE DESIGN STYLE?
MR: I’ve always loved Arts & Crafts style. I really think the color pallete and the natural woods used are both beautiful and striking.
BTG: WHO ARE YOUR FAVORITE DESIGNERS?
MR: One of my favorite designers is Candice Olsen on HGTV. I love how she re-purposes a room. It’s always perfectly designed from the lighting to the floors and with great taste. Another favorite designer is a friend Mark Zancanaro (www.markzancanarodesign.com). I love his level of taste. Never too much or too little. Always the right combination of materials that makes a room inviting.
BTG: HOW OFTEN SHOULD ONE REDECORATE?
MR: I’m sure everyone has a different opinion about this. But I think whenever you’re tired of something, redecorate. Especially if it’s been 10 years or more.
BTG: IF YOU COULD DECORATE ONE CELEBRITY HOME, WHOSE WOULD IT BE?
MR: I would do Hugh Jackman’s home. A trip to Australia and hang with Hugh. Need I say more? [Ed note. ‘Nuf said, indeed!]

Let’s take a look at what our divine designer has come up with for his big creative challenge: Making a homeless person feel at home. In his car.

We think we’d be ultra comfortable in this amazing car. Truckers at rest stops will be impressed enough to keep Homer Homeless warm at night.

Be sure to tune in to the BRUISES THE GIN NETWORK (BGN) for HOMELESS but not CHROMELESS, as well as these other great new shows:

DUMPSTER DIVING WITH THE STARS! (Illustration by Andrew W.M. Beierle)

Illustration by Andrew W.M. Beierle

Visit us again on September 15. We’ll be profiling two amazing and talented women in the arts: The legendary LYNDA TRAPNELL, owner and editor of Musical Stages, Europe’s most prominent and respected theater magazine, as well as ALEXIS IACONO, the star of the new indie suspense film, Prescott Place.

Until then, it’s still summertime, so take your eyes off your handy-dandy computer porn and open an engrossing book. Here’s a very fun whodunit, that we absolutely MAD ABOUT and which is perfect for taking to the pool or Martha’s Vineyard or for reading during that long wait to be rescued in the river that used to be your street until hurricane Irene came along and washed away the road: Dorothy Howell’s CLUTCHES AND CURSES.

BUY ME!

On behalf of the tireless staff of BRUISES THE GIN (especially  Andrew W.M. Beierle for creating amazing visuals), we thank you for taking the time to read our diatribes and intensely vituperative (your word of the week) condemnations of some of the most beastly aspects of the condition known as being human. We hope you’ll subscribe to this E-zine/blog and check in with us on the 1st and 15th of each month. We promise plenty of vitriol (where required), Butylated hydroxyanisole, deep fried mayonnaise balls and of course, a map (with roadside attractions icons) of the path to the one True God: Hephaestus, Allah, Jehovah, Pele, Brighid, Anteros, Yèuhuang Taiz, and the thousands of other authentic, legit, genuine, historical, honest-to-goodness Divine Mind Godheads!

Peace! Serenity! Subscribe!

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Comments

  1. Evon Coffman says:

    Absolutely wonderful and inspiring! I learned a little something, I thought about the world of economics, decorating, and the homeless – there is so much if it all over every where and have been thoughly amuzed for the last 45 minutes. Thank you Richard. Very motivating and entertaining. Love you!

    • Thanks so much Evon for taking the time to read the latest edition of BRUISES THE GIN. I think we hit the right combination of humor and pathos with this difficult subject. There’s nothing remotely funny about being homeless, but satire can straddle that fine line and send a purposeful message.

      I really appreciate your support!!!

  2. jackie joseph-lawrence says:

    I was transfixed. what a way to start the day, with a week and a smile.
    And, a zillion good thoughts to all the mikes and mary’s…

    • Homelessness is way too large an issue to fully wrap one’s mind around (like knowing that millions die–needlessly–each year from malaria). An individual story, such as Mike’s, brings the nebulous into focus. Thanks, Jackie for all the good thoughts directed at those who are in need. This is a better planet for you participating as a human being.

  3. jackie joseph-lawrence says:

    typo!
    With a weep and a smile. must have had tears in my eyes.

  4. Andrew Beierle says:

    And you mustn’t forget the homeless novelist who is holed up in your abandoned mountain retreat! I understand you rescued him from a life on the streets of Washington, DC, where he wandered from free museum to free museum to keep cool in summer and warm in winter. And you took in his little bastard puppy, “Scruffy,” too. (Scruffy’s mother was a single-mom Lhasa Apso abandoned by HER owner, who became jobless and couldn’t afford to keep her any longer. She [the former owner] is living in Texas now and is probably on the streets herself.)

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