He was an older guy, about six feet tall, and he was wearing glasses and suspenders and kind of glumly looking at the traffic as the balls danced before his face. He didn't look like he was having a good time, that was for sure. Across the street, kitty-corner to the juggler, a middle-aged woman crossed, heeding not the fact that the minivan in the left-hand turn lane had the green turn arrow in its favor. She reached the curb with a sheepish smile and shrugged her shoulder slightly as the van turned behind her. Whoops, she seemed to be thinking. Oh well.
[I wanted to shout at her. I'd deride her not for having her head up her ass, but I'll be damned if I wouldn't let her have it with both barrels for walking her bike. It's a pet peeve of mine: People who walk their bikes. They're bikes, people; they're meant to be ridden. Why do people do that? I know, I know: It is safer, for some unknown reason, to walk the bike at the crossing, but that doesn't explain why people walk their bikes when they're on the sidewalk, say, or just on a side street. It makes me want to scream.]
I looked away from the sheepish shrugging woman and I looked back to the juggler. He had ceased his show and was standing, morosely, looking out into traffic. The light turned green and, as I pulled forward, I looked to my left to see what was written on the sign. I figured it might have been some sort of advertising--like Little Caesar's, which has teenagers holding signs that proclaim the availability of five-dollar Hot-and-Ready cardboard pizzas--but, when I finally saw what the sign read, I realized that I had been wrong, that the guy was not a juggling advertisement. I didn't get a good look at it, but the sign read something like "Can you spare a nickel?" and then some other writing.
Has it gotten that bad in this country? That old men have to slap on suspenders and newsboy hats and take to street corners and throw a ball up in the air and then throw another up in the air before catching the first, all for a "nickel?" Are people in this country--supposedly a land of riches--inconveniently morphing into hobos as we--politically--dump billions of dollars into a sandy nation, the residents of which neither wanted nor will stand for our continued "occupation?"
Gasoline is over $3.50 a gallon, unemployment is skyrocketing (at least here, in Michigan), children are "left behind" at a frenetic pace...and now we have street performers. What's next? Mimes outside the Capitol Buildings?