It's a Thursday morning down at the shopping center. Big S is sitting by the Piggly Wiggly exit drinking a soda. Dexter is nervously fidgeting as he stands up against a wall. Clara is busily panhandling down near the dollar store. I awoke early for my morning walk and the end of my journey brings me by here.
"How's it hangin'?" Big S asks me as I sit down next to him for a break.
"Oh, about two feet," I replied, making a penis joke. Big S burst out laughing. Our discussion then migrated to George and what he has been doing these days. I have fallen out of favor with George.
"He's hangin' out with this scruffy lookin' fella named Dontelle," Big S told me.
"George can find the most interesting people," I reply. "They gravitate to him."
"He and Dontelle be playin' poker over at Pookie's house every night this week," Big S informed me.
"Pookie hasn't stolen George's wallet lately, has she?" I asked as I chuckled.
Big S got the biggest grin on his face as he said no, but that it was bound to happen again soon.
"I don't see why he wants to date a crackhead," Big S said.
"She must be one helluva good screw."
"She's too fat to fuck," Big S said snidely.
I thought of the old saying of the pot calling the kettle black as Big S is almost 300 pounds. Actually, when I think of it, Pookie and Big S would make a good couple. They both sit around and wait on their victims to come to them. I've been thinking of calling Pookie the "Black Widow."
"Clara taking your panhandling business?" I then asked Big S changing the subject.
"Nah, I ain't been panhandlin' lately," he replied. "They keep threatening to call the police on me."
"The manager of the Pig," Big S replied. "Said I am aggravating customers."
I laughed heartily. There is nothing more aggravating than when you have an arm full of groceries and one of these characters accosts you for spare change. Big S saying this made me turn my attention down to Clara as I watched her ask an older woman for a few dollars for "gas money." "Her car was out of gas over by the car wash," she said. It is the oldest line in the book. A few weeks ago, a little Mexican fellow was carrying around an old and rusty alternator that was supposedly from his car trying to get up funds to "go home." Can you say mucho cervezas? These folks will say anything for a few bucks and a forty ounce of beer.
My favorite panhandler down at the shopping center was HIV/AIDS Guy. He eventually disappeared -- I believe he is in jail for drug charges. He would tell his unsuspecting victims that he was dying of AIDS and needed money for his medications to prolong his life. He always had one of those hospital ID bands around his wrist that he would show you during his spiel. He used to rake in the money until they chased him off. He definitely was the most creative panhandler I have ever encountered. I used to tell him I was psychotic crazy and he would leave me alone. He would watch me with shifty eyes as I walked up. George used to get the biggest laugh out of that.