Monday, December 7, 2009

Behind every statement is another boring story….

So, I started Tweeting about 8 months ago. And the great thing about that (for you) is my thoughts HAVE TO be condensed to 140 characters. That can be very, very, very hard for me. Because I like to talk. A lot. And embellish. A lot. But what it got me thinking about is the fact that so many people share their thoughts, multiple times each day, and yet, there’s got to be so much more to whatever story or part of their story they choose to share. So, I thought today, I could pull an old Tweet out and tell you what was really going on with the statement I shared. Let’s see if the whole story really is better than the shortened version:
Tweet: just saw a cop give a homeless guy a ticket. like giving courtney love a tranquilizer. what does that really do?

So, I had left my 1st job and was heading to my 2nd job. Most of the time, I take the Tollway, which bothers me, because I’m paying extra to drive to work; but it doesn’t bother me enough to use the “free” ways. When I was exiting, traffic was a bit bad for a couple of reasons. First, because it was afternoon rush-hour time and second, because a cop had his lights flashing and was pulled up partly on the sidewalk. Not such a big deal, until I realized the cop was out of their car, talking to a homeless person. And by talking, I really mean he was writing down in his little ticket-pad thing. The poor homeless guy was just standing there staring (probably so drunk) trying to pay attention to the cop. And all I can think about is how ridiculous this situation is. First of all: how does the cop know that homeless guy’s name? There’s almost no way he had a license on him. Or registration, for that matter. So, this is how I imagine the conversation between the Homeless Guy and the Police Officer:

HG: yes, officer?
PO: can I see your license or permit to be on this street corner, sir?
HG: no, but my name is, um, Harry. Um, Harry…Harry…Harry Red…Um…Harry Toyota, I mean. And my address is this corner.
PO: what are you doing on this corner, Mr. Toyota?
HG: trying to get some food or money for food, officer [HG hiccups]
PO: well, Mr. Toyota, you can’t be on this corner without a permit [PO clears throat and rubs nose with index finger real fast].
HG: oh, ok.
PO: this is public property and you cannot ask people for money on this corner.
HG: ok.
PO: don’t pull an attitude with me, Mr. Toyota
HG: [blank stare – then watches cars proceed through intersection, trying to avoid police car]
PO: now, Mr. Toyota, you’ve left me no other choice but to issue you a citation for solicitation
HG: ok.
PO: [writing ticket] what’s your address, Mr. Toyota?
HG: you can just put where we’re standin
PO: [finishes up, tears ticket off and hands to HG] maybe this will help convince you that next time, you shouldn’t be on a street corner asking for money
HG: yup [pees himself just a little]

Now, I feel the need to clarify here. I like police officers. Really, I do. I appreciate what they do for all of us and I respect them. But all I could think about was how that poor homeless guy now has to find another street corner, (where this cop won’t find him) and beg people for money to help pay his ticket. Because he has a scheduled court date in 2 weeks. Plus, he’ll need money for an outfit when he appears in court. But if he misses the court date, then he’ll have to wait at that corner where he was initially issued the ticket for a certified letter stating he missed his court date and now a warrant has been issued for his arrest. This homeless guy just can’t catch a break.

And then I wonder, if I gave him money, could I get in trouble? I shouldn’t have to ask every place I spend money to provide me their business license or permit, right? It’s just too much.

So, as I drive off, I think about that U2 song lyric: “A woman needs a man, like a fish needs a bicycle,” and I realize Bono could have just as easily written: “A homeless man needs a ticket, like Courtney Love needs a tranquilizer…”. So, I wrote it down and posted it. And that, my friends, is how my mind works when I am confined to 140 characters.

Thank goodness for this new invention of blogging.

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