The Lame Beggar
I can make lame beggars walk.
Yes, as amazing as it seems, this statement is 100% true.
I shall explain.
I was once hanging out on the streets of Boston, much like I never did, and I encountered a beggar. If he had been standing, he would have been tall. If he ate regular meals he would have been fat. But he was neither. He was sitting on a bench enjoying something nasty and barely edible.
He didn't approach me; sitting beggars--lame beggars at that--are incapable of approaching anyone or thing except when when the circumstance is dire enough to warrant it, and even then they prefer to take the bus. So he sat there. Sat there staring at me. His eyes met mine and the gravity of his will drew me near.
"Hi there beggar-type guy," I said to him.
"Good day sonny..." he began.
"Wait a minute," I interrupted, "My name isn't Sonny. I have a cousin named Sonny. Well, I might have a cousin name if he is still alive. You see Mr. beggar sir, I haven't seen him in quite some time. He very well may have perished in a freak onion peeling incident. Or a misplaced bazooka attack."
He gave me one of those looks. You know the kind where people's eyes narrow as if to shield themselves from the insanity you are projecting. Or perhaps it was a glare. I really couldn't tell. If it was a glare he wasn't very good at it because I didn't have to protect my eyes from it.
The look persisted for a few silent seconds. He licked his lips with much exaggeration. I saw his teeth and observed a small furry creature--a rat i think--drop dead on the spot from the beggar's breath.
He started to cough and then he continued to cough. He kept on coughing. The kind of cough that requires sticking out the tongue in order to do... in order to do something. I don't know what really. Catch rain drops? This went on for a bit. He reeled his tongue back in his mouth and finally spoke.
"That was some cough wasn't it sonn... wasn't it?"
"Yes, mister beggar, it sure was. I was certain school was going to be canceled because of bad breath."
The look on his face suggested the comment didn't please him, but he continued anyhow.
"I'll get to the point," he wheezed through some of the cough that was half hanging in his throat and half hanging down his chin, "I'm a hungry beggar and would very much like it if you could spare some change or something to eat. What d'ya say?"
I searched my pockets for a bit. Numerous receipts, candy wrappers and money that was hiding in the mix were all that I could find. No change at all.
"I'm sorry, but I don't have any change to spare."
"How about some food then? Do you have candy? I like candy," he stated through his sugar rotted teeth.
"No candy either I'm afraid. Tell you what though, I do have some fat free cottage cheese in this here bag," I said, raising the bag so he could see it.
He sighed, "I'm lactose intollerant. Can't eat a damn curdle."
"That's too bad," I said. "Be seeing you."
"Wait wait, don't run off... Isn't there anything you can do for an old lame beggar like me?"
"You are lame?" I asked, amazed to meet someone who was lame, my previous experiences being confined to Tiny Tim on Christmas Eve.
"Well prove it then"
He thought and thought. Finally he exclaimed, "I don't know how to tie my own shoes!"
I looked at his feet and sure enough his shoes were untied, the laces soaking up something resembling urine in both color and scent. The scent was a guess, actually; I wasn't about to bend down and smell, but seeing as how the entire place smelled of urine, I thought it was a safe guess.
"Dude," I laughed, "you're right, you ARE lame."
"Toldya... you going to help me or not?"
I chuckled," sure, come along old beggar, let's get you some food."
He stood, brushed off his old fur coat, and walked with me down to the bagel store.
I had made a lame beggar walk.