Call This My New Hit (But It Ain't New Though)

Posted: Thursday, March 25, 2010 by Greg in Labels:

Let me start off by saying right off the bat, the homeless and their plight have NEVER been things I make fun of. Ever. I know that I am blessed to be where I am both on Earth and in life, and there are people who are just not as lucky as myself. Truth be told, If I ever met the guys who started BumFights I would probably catch an assault case. Takes a special kind of d-bag to do that kind of thing.

So my ultimate hope for this story is that the guy in question KNEW what he was doing, and was being so amazingly ironic and self-aware that he has a better grip on how to get a laugh out of life than I could ever hope to achieve. Because honestly, if this is intentional, its comedic genius.

I am one of the few people in LA who actually lives downtown. For anyone else across the country reading, this isn't necessarily a common choice to be made. While the apartments themselves can be pretty gorgeous (lofts with skyline views) the actual surrounding areas are a mixed bag. My block alone features one of Downtown's most exclusive and expensive nightclubs, and a low-income housing complex. There is just this weird co-existence of too much money and not enough, with a few of us falling safely in the middle.

Because of this, as in any city, there are homeless people. Having gone to school in Boston, I am well versed in how to interact with them. There is actually a pretty well-recognized code to all of it, which at least maintains honor on both ends. I never ignore them, and generally offer a quick but polite response when asked for money. The only time I ever avoid them entirely is when I have things they can't afford, which is usually after shopping, just because I'm sure the last thing they want dangled in front of their face is what they cant have.

So there I was, walking home with a couple bags from Macy's, as my path happened to cross in front of the local homeless shelter. Its LA, so most of the tenants spend their time hanging outside in the perpetually bomb-ass weather. My plan was just to walk past, head down, quickly as possible. Today the crowd was a bit bigger than usual, so I had to slow down for a second to find my way through.

That's when something strange caught my attention: a cell phone ring. The phone belonged to one of the tenants. This alone is at least intriguing. It might either be frivolous, or a sign of the times we live in, but for a homeless man to have a wireless plan just seems odd to me. I have to imagine if I didn't have a home, anytime minutes would be the least of my worries, but it's his life, not mine, and maybe he needs it. Who am I to say otherwise.

On its own, this wouldn't be worth mentioning. But like I said, this man could have the single greatest sense of humor of anyone on this planet. Not only did his cell phone ring, but he had a custom ring tone. (Again, if I'm homeless, my money is better spent than on ring tones.) The song the guy picked is priceless, and based on the fact that he was cracking jokes with his buddies, I have to imagine this guy is really just the man. The song this guy chose was "I Get Money" by 50 Cent.

I had to laugh. I felt bad at first, but he was loving life too, so I just had to. That moment alone will be in my mind probably until the day I die. A homeless man with "I Get Money, Money I Got" bumpin out of his cell phone, outside of a homeless shelter.

Ya'll can think I'm being a dick for finding this hilarious, but real talk, I'm just saying this to give some perspective. Sometimes people take life too seriously, and at the end of the day, homeless or not, that dude had a smile on his face, which can be pretty hard to come by for some of us. Now I just need to track this guy down, hes already funnier than 75% of the writing staff at Saturday Night Live these days.


  1. This is just too hilarious. I laughed out loud, literally. Particularly because I remember this being a song favorite in college, I think it may have been my bf's ring tone. Anyway, I don't usually read longer blog posts but your writing is very easy to read and quite entertaining. I agree with anyone else who has applauded your writing. I like what you've done with the blog, nice read!