How Pokemon is like dating…

Pokemon taught us more than we could ever possibly comprehend about real life.

look honey, if you’re just gonna lay there and splash around, i’m not gonna wait for you to evolve

It taught us we have to eventually grow up and leave home, using the skills given to us and friends along the way.

It taught us to face challenges that seem insurmountable, ones we must overcome in order to advance.

It taught us to save our money, our time, and our energy. It taught us to never use those who help us, because everyone has limits. It taught us to take care of the health of our loved ones. It taught us that there’s good and there’s evil. But most importantly of all: It taught us about dating. There’s going to be plenty of low-quality stuff to catch. And when you fumble around in the dark, you’re bound to run into something (especially something you don’t want.) You can even pay to get some action, but it’s low quality and a waste of money. We have a set of skills we use to attract. Sometimes it fails. Sometimes we scare them off. But there’s that elusive someone out there. And with time, patience, and the right training, there’s nothing to stop us from throwing that Master Ball out there and catching that special someone.

my age 7 crush

What Mean Girls and the Paleo diet have in common

For those of you who don’t know what the Paleo diet is (obviously you don’t have any friends who have no friends), it’s designed around you cutting out anything and everything that cavemen didn’t eat (because cavemen are renowned for their dietary prowess as well as their long lifespans).

I’ve written about it before (why Paleodes ripped off what I’ve been eating since I was in diapers and why Paleo dieting comes with a smug sense of self-superiority) but wait–there’s more!

RIP Billy Mays

What you don’t know is your Paleo friends (who have no friends) are taking pictures of the food you eat on Facebook, posting them in secret groups, and making fun of your dietary choices.

It’s like Mean Girls with unattractive people!

This one lady, Roxanne Freidenthal, slams her friend’s diet choices as “so f’n nasty” under the guise of trying to “help” her friend eat healthier.

Pretty sure if a doctor diagnosed your condition as “so f’n nasty”, or a therapist called your story about your childhood “so f’n nasty”, or even your BFF talked about your struggle with alcoholism as “so f’n nasty”, you’d find a new doctor, a new friend, and a new BFF not named Regina George.

When I offered that Roxanne (Regina) could really help her friend by sharing healthy recipes with her instead of preaching to her, she acted like I switched out her face cream for foot cream.

First she unleashed her attack dog friend (codename Gretchen Wieners, who yelped away and blocked me when I dared question–SOMEone clearly had to return her hoop earrings)

Then she came onto me and said “trolls get me hot”, which either means she was overheating from all the ketogenic foods she consumed (nasty side effect of the Paleo diet) or she has incredible anger issues and can’t take advice after…asking for it.  Shane Oman must have abandoned her in the projection room.

SHANE WEARS TIGHTYWHITIES LOL

But wait…there’s more!

this man was AMERICA

Roxanne proceeded to private message me (I know what you’re thinking…she wants the D) just to say the following:

I did get some later that night, but I appreciate her concern (is a threesome with two Asian girls called a “Coach Carter”?)

Her evidence of me being a “trolling doucheface” btw?

Taking a picture at Hooters with fries.

APOSTASY

Sounds like someone has been eating Kalteen bars and is craving some carbs.

So, for those of you at home, here’s a John Madden style replay of Roxanne Freidenthal’s Regina George-style antics:

  1. Woman judges friend for her diet.
  2. Woman asks for advice.
  3. I offer her non-judgmental advice.
  4. Woman flips out and calls me a troll.
  5. Woman stalks my profile photos.
  6. Woman judges me for my diet.

I’ve said before that Paleo is a cult that judges people based on the photos they take with food, and this is just another fun example.

Right this minute, one of your Paleo friends (with no friends) might be assembling a Burn Book of you with pictures of your favorite foods.

Do yourself a favor and defriend them. Catfish is paleo. Catfishing is not.

It’s no wonder everyone hates the Plastics.

your face when you realize Mean Girls was one giant catfish

Are you a racist? Click here to find out!

Racism is ugly, but so is Donald Sterling.

trust no bitch

Once again, we all have to pretend to care about someone saying something racist.

Was anyone discriminated against?

Hurt?

Ejected from a lunch counter?

Hit with a water cannon?

Fired from a job? (besides Donald word-that-rhymes-with-Duck?)

Nope.

But now that we’ve confirmed that the missing plane is never coming back, the news has to focus on something, ANYthing, to keep people’s attention.

Once again, it’s one big, fat, sweaty nothingburger.

But what really is the state of race relations in America?

Is it something I should be worried about?

Should I get a model-esque mixed-race girlfriend so I can say whatever I want with impunity?

Is the answer to that question anything but yes?

A friend and I had an important discussion about race relations in America more fruitful than anything the REVEREND(TM) Al Sharpton has ever done (and with less deaths!)

i miss fat, cowboy hat-bedecked, drug dealing Al Sharpton

She’s henceforth known as “Jane Doe” (yes, it was an excuse to say “henceforth”):

JANE DOE:

IMG_0094

Wtf, no cross fingers emoticon? Ridiculous.
One of the most important emoticons to go with a “good luck” type of text.

W: Maybe it means something horrible in Japan, like “Godzilla’s arrival is imminent” or something

JANE DOE: Haha. Racism is fuuuunnny. Especially when my dad tries to tell racist jokes. Painful.

W: I imagine your dad jumping on stage in an Al Jolson mask and after doing a jig saying “so what’s the deal with Puerto Ricans?”

JANE DOE: Worse- stumbling over the setup AND getting the punch line wrong. You gotta treat a racist joke like a race – get through it quick, straight to the laughs.

Esp if you’re right. Like running over hot coals

With confidence

W: I wish Tony Robbins taught that in his seminars. watching white people run over the remnants of a Boy Scout cookout screaming “because they STEAL!” would be *almost* worth the thousands of dollars in admission

JANE DOE: Bahaha

Omg this would make an excellent sketch

W: the only trouble is finding someone with teeth as big as tony robbins. our dental expenses may put us over budget considering that our only other costs would be a bag of charcoal, some lighter fluid, and some gullible white people (so paper and ink to print out “FREE FRAPPUCINO” coupons)

JANE DOE: And let’s just recycle a retired NBA player and paint him white
Aaaand the racism comes full circle

W: YES. I’ve been looking for an excuse to use this graphic for YEARS.

IMG_5900

JANE DOE: Hahaha!!

It’s funny because the pictures are more racist than my comment. Their features are all exactly like a white person’s. Or ET.

Wait maybe that’s the message they’re trying to get across

W: this teaches kids a horrible lesson. as a woman of science: would planet-sized children be able to survive without oxygen while causing individual genocides by stepping on major continents?

Picture artist makes one modification for race: Asian eyes

IMG_5277

Congratulations!  You’re all racists!

5 reasons why the solar system is disappointing

Every news organization is collectively masturbating over a “blood red” moon tonight during the lunar eclipse (one of FOUR over the next 1.5 years), which if you’ve read the Bible, (and I’ve read MINE *points to Gwyneth Paltrow’s cookbook*) then you know it means something bad, like locusts are going to come and bring doom to us all. Which is fine. I’ve had to trim trees before, and let me tell you, I could’ve used a smattering of locust. Would’ve made my job a helluva lot easier.

actual shot during the eclipse.  nailed it!

There’s something about the solar system everyone else seems to get that I just…don’t.

For instance, I love star projectors because they’re cool and they have shooting stars.

shut up and take my money

I dislike actual stars because they’re just not the same. Look, I know that in Ancient Egypt it was a real big deal because entertainment was light, but come on. We have flush toilets now and we can put as many damn stars as we want on our walls.

1) I can’t see them in a city
If I have to drive out to Bigguns, Montana to see something that’s right above me, it’s not worth seeing.

2) People who are into it, suck
I appreciate people who are knowledgeable at what they do. I even appreciate people who like stars.

I don’t appreciate people who hold you hostage while they point out a bunch of constellations with a telescope that costs more than a house. We get it, there’s the Big Dipper, the Little Dipper, and the diphead who’s manipulating the magnification so I go blind.

3) Aliens
Aliens ruin everything. If they’re out there, then they’re doing a crappy job of showing themselves to us.  If they’re not, there’s more crazy people than I thought, because something like half of Americans believe in aliens with literally no evidence.

4) It’s affected by…clouds
That’s right. CLOUDS affect our ability to see the solar system. Drops of water, the same as the ones drooling from your lips now at the thought of a Waffle Taco, can prevent you from seeing every single star in the Universe. In no industry would a performer so delicate and so easy to ignore survive.

5) I can’t go there
I can go to the Bahamas, so it’s nice to see pictures of the Bahamas. I can go to Bigguns Montana and Madagascar and all the other cool places. I can’t go to the stars (yet, at least) and that makes me feel really kinda sad (and also concerned about, if I could, just how nauseous I would get on the trip).

So look, if I wanna see an Eclipse, I’ll go to a goddamn Mitsubishi dealership.

Until then, I’ll stick to the projector.

meh

Why farmer’s markets are a myth

In LA, there are three Sunday pastimes: hiking Runyon (for the ambitious) drunch (drunk brunch, for the lazy) and going to the Farmer’s Market.

The last option on the list has replaced going to church for most people, because what would you rather do on a day of rest: be talked to by the man, or buy some vegetables you’ve never heard of to feel better about yourself?

So before you all go fork over your hard-earned cash (only) to some hucksters hawking haricot vert, you should know this:

Farmer’s markets are just places where farmers take the product that wasn’t good enough to sell to grocery stores and hasn’t reached the high level of inspection that retail produce receives.  It isn’t stuff that was “just picked this morning!’ either, it’s more often the fruits and vegetables that they’re just about to throw out and want to get a few extra bucks for.  If you’re a farmer, you don’t send or sell your best or freshest things to the farmer’s market–you take it to retail, then to wholesale, then a distributor, then farmer’s market is just above “disliked neighbors” and “compost”.

Most farmer’s markets aren’t “local” either, unless you consider 250 miles as local.  The closest LA produce is grown in Oxnard, which is an hour drive away and mostly strawberries and lettuces.  The rest is grown in the San Joaquin Valley and trucked down to LA (so you’re not saving the environment versus what you bought at your local Ralph’s.)

guy holding spinach: well goodness, i just got an exemplary deal on this organic,  fresh, local spinach!

guy behind the stall: i bought some packages at Costco and charged you 3x the price.  lol, suckerrr

Of course, at every farmer’s market, there’s the guy who grew some bellpeppers in his backyard all by his-self, but those kinds of farmers are quickly dying out.  Even farmers who grow small volumes of produce can still sell to a local grocery store or distributor.  If you’re a small farmer and you don’t have enough product for a farmer’s market, it’s common to, well, fill your inventory.  Why not just buy a box of oranges at Costco and sell them a for a few times more on the weekend?   Farmer’s markets are profitable for small and large farmers because they can dupe people into paying way more for produce than they ever should.

Don’t just believe me either.  According to Organic Gardening:

Farmers’ markets have become so popular that they’re being co-opted by wholesalers, retailers, and farmers who may be local but not so committed to a sustainable food system.

The only thing unsustainable is to rely on a food delivery system where once per week, a bunch of people congregate on a narrow street and haggle over rutabagas.  There’s a reason why that happens more frequently in countries where more people starve and not here.

So what does that leave?  Well, the produce at a farmer’s market just tastes better, right?

Not really.  Nothing tastes sweeter than the superiority of foraging for your own meal at a farmer’s market instead of those commoners who shop at the grocery.

Everything you know about earthquakes is wrong

This morning I was violently shaken awake by the Encino (NOT WESTWOOD) earthquake, which felt quite similar to Kathy Bates grabbing me by the shoulders and knocking me around for 20 seconds (not as titillating as you’d expect).

Earthquakes are like rollercoasters–the person who’s telling you how “cool!” it is just shit their drawers.  Earthquakes are also an opportunity for armchair seismologists to pretend like they know the ins and outs of plate tectonics.  

“STAND UNDER A DOORWAY”, they wail, casting looks of judgment at you that’d make the Westboro Baptist congregation blush.

MYTH 1:  Earthquakes will kill you unless you stand under a doorway, also known as “God’s Pelvis”.

TRUTH:  Standing under a doorway is at best useless and at worst damaging.

In modern homes doorways are no stronger than any other parts of the house and usually have doors that will swing and can injure you.

But this isn’t good enough for some people.  They start blathering on about “aftershocks” like a Dunkin Donuts fearing Oprah’s return.

MYTH 2:  Your obituary will read that you survived an earthquake only to get completely hosed by a more powerful aftershock, and yes, will include the word “hosed” because that niece you hate wrote it.

TRUTH:  The earthquake you actually felt is highly likely to be the worst earthquake you’ll feel.

It has also been claimed that foreshocks are not simply small mainshocks, but rather are triggered by the nucleation phase of the upcoming larger mainshock. If this is true, we would expect mainshock size to influence the magnitude, number, and/or spatial extent of the foreshocks. We do not observe any such correlations.

Just because the quake subsides doesn’t mean the steady stream of bullshit stops.  These people claim that it was ‘earthquake weather’, that they could ‘feel’ it before the earthquake started, while casting their limbs out akimbo to show you that earthquakes are apparently similar to Huntington’s disease.  This is all despite the fact that what happens miles beneath the surface of the earth couldn’t be more far removed from what happens above it, and that this person should’ve used their psychic powers for good (9/11) versus stupid (predicting an earthquake after it happened).

Worse yet are people who specialize in earthquake prediction, who rank just slightly above Sylvester Stallone’s “rumpologist” mom as “seers of the future”:

way to be on the ball with CA, guys

good to see you predicted today’s quake with the same accuracy as the massive Fresno quake that didn’t happen 3 days ago

MYTH 3:  Earthquakes can be predicted by the weather and/or joint pain and/or rumpology

TRUTH:  There is no such thing as earthquake weather.  We can’t even predict the weather, let alone use the weather to predict earthquakes.

Some regard hot and dry weather as “earthquake weather,” a supposed precursor to a large quake. Yet there’s not clear cut agreement on this combination, because others deem “earthquake weather” to be when it’s hot and humid. This belief about the weather conditions above the surface’s affecting what’s going on beneath is an old one, dating to the days of the ancient Greeks. Posited Aristotle, who believed quakes were caused by winds trapped underground, less wind above the surface must mean more below, hence earthquakes were more likely when the air was still.

Earthquakes: just like that gassy kid with Cheeto fingers in the back of class!

–Aristotle

trust no bitch

Sullen and defeated, the weak retreat back to their hidey-holes of daytime TV-fueled ignorance.

But the aggressive, the General Custers of stupidity, bitterly cling to one more myth like Gollum in a Jared showroom.

“You know,” they say, putting their hands on their idiot hips, “we’re DUE for the BIG one”.

MYTH 4:  The big one’s a-comin folks.  Hitch your britches and grab yer mistresses, we gotta high-tail it out of Cal-i-for-nigh-ay!

TRUTH:  A large earthquake is more like your cousin’s unplanned pregnancy than your cousin’s general penchant for poor life choices–a possibility but not a certainty.

For example, here’s a recent LA Times article about “the Big One”:

The “Big One” that has been forecast for the San Andreas fault could end up being bigger than earthquake experts previously thought.

Recent research showing that a section of the fault is long overdue for a major earthquake has some scientists saying the southern portion of the fault is capable of a magnitude 8.1 earthquake that could run 340 miles from Monterey County to the Salton Sea.

The southern San Andreas hasn’t had a large quake for more than a century. The sleeping giant has been building stress for so long that it could snap at any moment, experts said.

I’ll hold while you change into your Pampers.

The average time interval between the last six earthquakes that ruptured the San Andreas fault in the Carrizo Plain is 88 ± 41 yr. This is less than the time since the most recent A.D. 1857 earthquake, less than all reported average intervals of prehistoric earthquakes along the entire San Andreas fault, and significantly shorter than the 235 yr average used in recent seismic hazard evaluations. The new chronological data combined with recent slip studies imply that the magnitudes of the earthquakes that ruptured the southern San Andreas fault in the Carrizo Plain since ca. A.D. 1360 were variable, and suggest that the widely held view of rare but great surface rupturing earthquakes along this portion of the southern San Andreas fault should be reevaluated.

Shhh.  I’ll wake you up after your nap.

To sum up: doorways won’t protect you (duck and cover under something strong, I can only protect two young ladies at once, sorry), you’re likely feeling the main quake and the aftershock will be pitiful, nobody can predict earthquakes, and California won’t fall off into the ocean (which the US Geological Survey actually had to debunk).

Class dismissed.

Howdy, Texas! Here’s why your state sucks

Am I the only one here getting a little perturbed by the collective masturbation over Texas?

Texas is the future!  There’s so much land! It’s cheap to live! Diverse! Smart people! Great weather! Jobs! Rick Perry personally shakes each new citizen’s hand!

And on. And on. And fucking on.

Now look, I have nothing against Texas. I’ve visited it a couple times and found it quite lovely, inasmuch as you can find concrete lovely.  (It’s no wonder there are so many JFK conspiracy theories.  You could fit the population of Fort Worth in one lane of Dealey Plaza with more shooters than the goddamn Czech army.)

I also delight in the fact that the entire world population could comfortably live in Texas with the population density of NYC. It makes all those “ahhh scary population growth!” Chicken Littles look like the damned fools and closet eugenicists that they are.

Plus: the enemy of my enemy is my friend. Any state that can tell effete East Coast elites to shove it is definitely a friend of mine.

(What’s little acknowledged is the fact that George W. Bush is to thank for all the good he did as Governor of Texas during his term–because all those good policies are playing out now.  That’s an uncomfortable fact for many said elites that I relish.)

But all this “OMFG TEXAS IS AMAZING” talk reminds me of San Francisco 1849. Or Los Angeles 1920. Lots of people shifting somewhere else because they just can’t cut it where they’re at.

There are a few things about Texas that may be uncomfortable for some of y’all Dallas/Houston/Austin/San Antonio (the sleeper big city—seriously, where the hell did you come from?) denizens—but it’s time to face the honky-tonk music.

First: illegal immigration. Texas has a real goddamn illegal immigration problem and doesn’t seem to be doing a darn thing about it. I’d care less if it affected just Texas—but Texas is the funnel for illegal immigrants to travel throughout the Midwest and towards the East Coast and Mountain West. Good news: the recession caused illegal immigration to drop by 1 million people last year. Bad news: illegal immigration increased by 200,000 that same year to Texas alone. The number of illegal immigrants in Texas combined would form the second largest city in Texas—and the fifth largest in the country. Memo to Texas: you have the largest border with Mexico compared to any state in the Union. Get your shit together.

Second: you have a lot less going for you than you think. The analogy that I can think of to best describe your situation is a male model who stuffs his jock with a sock. Or a female model who balloons two cup sizes with the help of Mr. Kleenex. Libertarian economist Tyler Cowen has a Time magazine cover story this week of “10 Reasons Texas Is Our Future”, a dystopian look forward if I ever saw one. Let’s read through them:

1. Everyone’s moving there (big fucking deal, lots of people eat at Subway and it sucks)

2. The middle class squeeze (surprisingly not a trendy new juice bar concept, unrelated to Texas entirely)

3. Automation (still on the middle class squeeze topic, Texas is not responsible for me scanning my own groceries at the store and gleefully avoiding the cashier’s glacial, Parkinson’s-addled scanning hand)

4. The skills gap (still about the middle class squeeze. Weren’t we talking about Texas in this article?!)

5. Cheap land, cheap houses (finally, we’re back to Texas! And it’s only to give them a reach-around for having the same thing that…39 other states have!)

6. Cheap living generally (goddamn, we’re really trying to stretch to get that magic ‘10’ on this list, aren’t we?)

7. Jobs (thanks for reminding me of recently departed Steve, you heartless bastards. Let’s see here…oh yes: YOU CAN MAKE OR GET A JOB ANYWHERE YOU WANT IN THIS COUNTRY IF YOU WORK HARD ENOUGH. Texas’s new motto should be: ‘If You’re Fucking Lazy, Come to Texas!’)

8. Low Taxes (will address this below)

9. The rise of the ‘new cowboys’ (I don’t know what the hell this is supposed to mean and I doubt the author does either. All I know is that, in Texas, there’s steers and queers drinking beers listening to Tears for Fears or something like that)

10. The rise of micro-houses (ladies and gents, this is what’s called in the writing world as “pulling something directly out of your ass”. I can think of nobody who would enjoy living in a 400 sq. ft. box. This is a downgrade for solitary confinement inmates for gawd’s sake. And weren’t they just bragging about all the land available? This is like having a Porsche and then driving it only to the mailbox and back. Or that model from earlier, but you only penetrate her in the belly button.)

I promised I’d go back to the Low Taxes point, and goddammit I don’t break a promise unless it’s in ring form.

The author brags about how much lower state taxes are in Texas compared to other states like California (appx. $1400 more/person) and New York (an eye-watering $3900 more/person). This is mostly because Texas has no income tax.

That’s fine—that’s one place you have California beat, and good on you for that.

But six other states: Alaska, Florida, Nevada, South Dakota, Washington, and Wyoming all have no income tax too. You’re not fucking special, Texas.

According to About.com Tax Planning (which I trust more than my actual accountant…keep your hands off my CVS receipts!  I don’t need your number-crunching judgment!):

“States need revenue to function, and these states will have to make up for the lack of income tax somehow. New Hampshire [which has limited state taxes like Tennessee] and Texas, for example, make up for it in property taxes. Both states have some of the highest property taxes in the nation.”

Enjoy your cheap little Hooverville hovels, Texas—you’ll soon be paying out the ass for the privilege of occupying a Lilliputian sliver of that prime, abundant Texas soil.

Even the author of the Time piece (heh) admits:

“[p]eople are going to Texas because it’s a low-cost, low-tax state. But they’re also migrating to other Sun Belt states, like Colorado, Arizona and South Carolina, which have similar policy profiles.”

Welp, there goes the one advantage Texas has.

It boils down to this: Texas is not some humble escape from the braggadocio East Coast or all-too-cool West Coast lifestyle. In fact, the number one thing people from Texas can’t stop bragging about is Texas. They’re just as bad as New Yorkers who think they’re the shit or LA people who don’t understand that there’s a world north of The [dreaded] Valley.

So to all the Texas fetishists, emigrators, commentators, and Rick Perry: do everyone a favor and shut the fuck up about your shitstain five-in-one Republic.

Or better yet: do good on that secession promise. If you’re nice, we may even let you borrow the “New Mexico” name. After all—in a few years, you’ll need it.

The utter delightfulness of found cash

There really is no more awesome feeling than finding cash in your pocket. It’s like a little gift to yourself, that crumpled little wad of singles you probably swiped from the stripper’s g-string when she was getting motorboated by Fat Frank.

In fact, the only feeling that’s more awesome is finding money on the ground. Because then it’s basically manna from heaven (or it fell out of someone’s purse or pocket or something but they left this location like 5 hours ago and really don’t give a damn about the dollar with oil marks in the donut shop parking lot).

One time I found a 5-dollar bill, which was pretty much the best day of my life. I’m rather certain I’ve lost more than 5 dollars over the course of my life, but every cent towards the black counts.

trust no bitch

My hometown college football coach, according to his wife, used to be so obsessed with luck he’d only pick up heads-up pennies the week before the big game. Apparently if they were tails-up, it meant he’d get assassinated at a theatre or something, I don’t know, I never really thought that one through.

and then he said to me: “but mrs. lincoln…how was the play?”

There’s no more rich feeling than seeing a penny or a nickel (or for you trustfunders, a dime) on the ground and not picking it up, mentally thinking that the effort required to pick up that coin is more than the value of the coin.

I think I did that for a few months in college, but I felt like a huge douche making it rain (dropping 7 cents by accident out of my pocket) and then not picking it up, waiting for the peasants to collect it. After I got a job I would tilt my body 35 degrees towards the ground to ensure I found change.

Carrying around cash feels delightful. Carrying around coins feels cumbersome and street-pauperish. People give you strange looks when you come clanging down the street, noticeably stepping a few paces back in anticipation of nasty BO or solicitation for whatever’s in their pockets.

In these economic times, chances are that they’re gonna keep what they’ve got in there.

Why beggars suck

Jesus commanded people to give to the poor. From what little of the Bible I remember, I think a widow with last-season’s Céline bag (TWO strikes) gave him her last cent, and he later told the story.

finally: a purse with a facial expression that reflects its pouting bitch owner

I also give to the poor. I don’t care for thanks or rewards but I’m willing to help a brotha out.

But then again, I live in Los Angeles, where the poor mysteriously have more money than I do.

At the Wilshire and Federal intersection by my old apartment, there would be, without fail, someone asking for money from the cars coming from Brentwood towards the 405 in the left turn lane. And since it was next to the VA, many would have signs saying that they were homeless veterans who needed help.

So it was easy to sympathize, and everyone I gave money to was polite and thankful.

Then one day, I was walking home when I noticed three of the usual beggars texting each other and laughing on a bench outside the Wells Fargo tower.

What in the actual fuck?

Here I am, scrimping to make sure I can pay my phone bill every month, and these bastards are flagrantly, shamelessly using smartphones while taking a break from asking for money.

I should have known better.

Back home in Fresno, there was a guy with a wheeled walker who could barely stand up and parked himself on the corner where people turned out of the Vons parking lot, with a VA ID card taped to his sign. It was an area frequented by soccer moms and the well-to-do leaving the nearby car wash—strategic.

The real heartbreaking thing was that he would creakily stand up and salute each car passing by.

Even my tiny, mythical, vestigial heart broke.

As I pulled up and watched him give his trademark salute, I pulled out a $20 and handed it across the window to him. I felt that, out of every beggar I’ve ever considered donating to, this man deserved it in spades.

He mumbled a half-hearted thanks, and proceeded to brag about how someone leaving the car wash gave him $1000 last week. He recanted how he frequently received $100 bills too, ending with a definitive statement of just how well-off he was.

Had he pulled his elastic waistband and tighty-not-so-whiteys down and taken a diarrhea-textured shit on the side of my car, I’d have been less disgusted.

I mustered a scowl and pulled the window up, watching him continue to pull his con on subsequent cars through my rearview mirror.

I never saw him again, and I’m afraid that if I did, I’d push him and his wheelchair directly into traffic in anger.

But back to LA.

I walked up to the Starbucks counter from my laptop at around 230AM this week to get a small sausage biscuit. I needed a little stomach-lining because the coffee was burning through to my pancreas.

As I’m paying, a guy walks up to me out of nowhere and asks, “Hey man, can you give me some money for a cup of coffee?” He was going to keep talking but I cut him off with “no, sorry, I don’t have any money, thanks”. Normally I would’ve let him finish, but something about his vibe was just…off. Not like he was crazy, just that he seemed untrustworthy.

I felt a quick wave of ‘bad’. I could have scanned in my free refill and given it to him, and it really wouldn’t have cost me anything. Oh well, it was too late, he walked away.

But sure enough, I turn around and see him slink back to his new laptop, where he was playing Bejeweled with his new Xplod boombox underneath his new Adidas sneakers.

Here I am, typing on an external keyboard on my 4-year-old Mac because I can’t afford to replace the actual one which broke, and this goddamn sonofabitch has the fucking nerve to ask me to buy him a cup of coffee.

I wish there was a heavily-trafficked, high-speed boulevard big enough for me to push this asshole and GI Dick and the Cellphone Triplets and all these other panhandling pricks into. You all hurt people who legitimately need money and are actually homeless and in need of assistance. And you’ve turned this gent with a heart of gold into a pessimist with a heart of rock.