Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Everybody's Lovin' Your Bum

I was hoping I’d see a bum yesterday. But I didn’t. And it’s not that I didn’t look hard.

Okay, so I see all kinds of great bums each and every day without ever having to really work at it. Walking to work, there they are -- all kinds of wonderful bums bouncing, jostling, bopping back and forth in front of me, to an unheard yet hypnotic rhythm. It’s funny how a little bit of well-placed cellulite can offer to the world such a spectacular thing to look at. My wife has a really great bum. I love Francine's bum. She loves it when I sing the song from the Humble & Fred morning program on Mix 99.9 that goes:

Everybody’s lovin’ your bum
Everybody’s lovin’ the good fun
That comes from lovin’ your bum

I can't be 100% sure, but most of Humble & Fred's funny songs come from Pete Cugno, so that's likely where the "bum song" comes from too.

But I digress. What I mean by bum is homeless person, hobo, vagrant (I’m not sure what the politically correct term is that I’m supposed to use, so I’ll just stick with bum). You see, commuting in to work from Hamilton to Toronto each day, I see a lot of the same faces. But it’s not just the Joe Business Suits and the Sally Go-Train Seats -- each day in my ritual walk between Union Station and work, I often see the same homeless people taking their usual morning or afternoon stations.

There’s this one guy in particular who has stuck out these past few years. I usually see him in the late afternoon/early evening when I’m on my way back to Union Station after work. He’s a short fellow with dark hair and a few missing teeth in front. But the true distinguishing features about him, in my mind, are that he has his dog with him and instead of the standard “change mister?” line, he often utters phrases like: “Have a good evening” or “Have a good weekend” or something along those lines. It’s less like he’s hitting you up for change and more like he’s the WalMart greeter. I often give him my spare change or a cereal bar or apple to if I have it on me when I see him. Actually, some evenings, I see commuters often stop to chat with him while offering treats that they brought in especially for his dog.

For the past year or so, he’s been as much a part of my daily ritual as that woman with the annoying voice who sits on the far side of the train from me in the morning, but whose voice punches through the subdued murmur of the morning commuters and always reminds me of the droning voice of that teacher in Ferris Bueller's Day Off (“Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?"), or the “happy boys” -- two young guys who get off the train at Appleby and have these huge shit-eating grins on their face as they walk by our train car, which drives my morning commuting buddy Norm just nuts (Norm likes to pretend that he’s grumpy like the two old guys in the balcony seats on the Muppet Show, but I know it’s just an act)

It’s been two weeks now since I’ve last seen the “Union Greeter” bum, which brings mixed feelings. I mean, the initial thought, in not seeing him, is that something bad has possibly happened to him, and that’s upsetting. But, of course, there’s always the chance that he’s been able to pull things together, move off the streets, and re-build his life. It can happen. So that means that not seeing him is a good thing. And in that case I'm glad to not ever see him again.

So I’m a little torn as to whether or not I should feel relieved if I see that bum again.


Anonymous said...

I'm telling Fran you put her bum on the internet!

(She gives me cake if I snitch on you.)

Anonymous said...

Why do i have the feeling you wrote this post just so you could use the word 'bum' a lot. You do have a bum fetsh don't you Mark? It's ok, really...


Anonymous said...

Mark i am shocked i never would have thought you had a thing for bums.Hey if Pete is getting cake try bribing him with beer.

Anonymous said...

Mark that was me as anonymous.