The March of Time

Revelle was only two months old, and I think I must have been eyeing the inevitable bottom of the trash bin of my life when I wrote this three years ago… no new content for you!

The beggars are increasing in number. How many times you’re asked for change on an average day is a good economic health barometer. I feel like I’m asked more than other people. It might be more than a feeling. I have long hair. Your average beggar sees me and thinks I’m a sure mark. He thinks, “There goes a bleeding liberal heart. He’ll fork over the loot,” but I do not fork over the loot. Forking over the loot to the destitute is supposed to be the government’s job. Where are they supposed to get the money? They’re supposed to nationalize the oil fields, strip the oil companies of all their wealth, auction off the possessions and land holdings of their CEOs and other executives and use the capital they raise by these no-nonsense means to strengthen our country. I have my plans for the poor, but that plan involves a little more than the good will of people coughing up a quarter here and there.
Inflation has the beggars on the ropes. Food costs are rising. Beer costs are rising, but they can still go to Trader Joe’s and get a bottle of wine for two bucks, plus tax, plus CRV. If they collect nine quarters, and let’s assume nine quarters an hour is no problem, especially if they take the “anything helps, approach: dimes, nickels, even a penny helps, man,” then they’ll easily grab enough for a bottle of wine per hour. What more could they really want? This is southern California. Your food grows on trees and up from the cracks in the expansive parking lots. Los Angeles is a prime city for foraging: fruits, carob and edible greens abound in the right places. And if you don’t care for any of that or lack the erudition to not poison yourself when foraging, then fear not. Los Angeles is also the home of thousands of sidewalk cafes and restaurants. You can grab anything from discarded biscotti to abandoned crab-stuffed manicotti. Hardly nobody’s cleaning their plates, and doggy bags seem a thing of the past. Good joints to target are where parents take their children. They buy those kids eight dollar hamburgers and the little shits leave three-quarters of it behind. This is where the beggar must make her move, and swoop on that sandwich before the bus staff slops it inconsiderately into the waste barrel.
If you find yourself somewhere without fruit trees bearing fruit, without knowledge of edible greens and all the sidewalk coffee shops are shut down or customer free, then Los Angeles does offer up a third alternative for your hunger pangs, namely, pigeons and pets. The pigeons are bold and surly, a makeshift scoop or net constructed from fallen palm fronds should be enough to capture one of these careless and impudent fowls if you aren’t any good with a rock. Once plucked, gutted and cooked (use a 7-11 microwave, six minutes per bird should cover it) a pigeon, or as it’s more delectably known: squab, is delicious and entirely vermin free. Pigeons aren’t dirty animals. They are only perceived that way because of their casual proximity to humans who have created the filthy environment in which the pigeons live.
Of greater ethical questionability, is the poaching of other people’s pets for food. Very rare is the individual who values an animal’s life over a human’s. Remember that when you’re hungry. City-wide, dogs and cats are getting fed better than you. Most of these animals simply laze about all day, shitting in boxes and public spaces and nobody is calling them a leach on our society. Eat them. You’ll need to build a real fire to cook larger house pets. You can smuggle a dead pigeon into a gas station and use their microwave, but if you’re jamming the leg off a golden retriever in there, the attendant will notice and raise a fuss. Keep in mind, the larger the animal, the messier and the more likely you will be caught. There may not be much meat on a Yorkie or a Pug, but they generally qualify as within your desirable target size range.

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