Friday, October 06, 2006

You Are My Potato

When I was a little kid and our parents would take me and my little brother into the big city, there were a lot of homeless people. I mean, especially around the touristy areas we'd visit like 5th avenue or Central Park or the Museum of Natural History -- there were lots and lots of homeless people around. (Do we still call them homeless people? Or is there a more proper term for them? Persons without Roofs?)

Remember the 80s in the big city? There was porn on 42nd street and there were lots of homeless people. Until Giuliani had them all executed in the great Clean Up NYC act of 1999. But I digress.

Once, we were walking along Central Park when we saw a homeless man (person without roof?) pushing a large, rusty shopping cart. The shopping cart was full of aluminum soda and beer cans. The homeless man stooped to the ground and picked up a shiny Coke (surely it was New Coke) can. He held it at arms length, took a deep breath, and serenaded it:

"Yoooooou are my Poooo-taaaa-tooo!"

It was beautiful. Tears sprang to our eyes. We instantly debated the meaning: was he calling the can a potato as a term of endearment? The way the French call their beloved their little cabbages? Or had he found the one can that would give him the $.05 deposit he needed to be able to purchase a potato?

We didn't know. But we were awestruck and impressed.

This morning, I saw a homeless man pushing a rusty shopping cart as I as walking to work. His shopping cart was full of aluminum cans. And a boombox. The boombox was blasting "I Want To Know What Love Is" by Foreigner.

It was so beautiful. Tears sprang to my eyes.

To you, homeless man who loves Foreigner, this is a shout-out and dedication:

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