Friday, April 21, 2006

I’m a Freaking Rooster Now!




In my house, I’m the rooster. It’s my job to get everybody up. I try not to do it obnoxiously like my father did back in the day with a hearty, “Rise and shine! Everybody up, up, up! Time to get out of bed!“ followed by a sound whack on the rump and the covers yanked off of you. Although, then again, “Hey, it’s after 6:00! Forgot to set your alarm clock again?” might not be too pleasant to hear first thing in the morning, either. Maybe I should work on that.

Well, I’ve got two more people to play rooster to now: Ma and Pa Kettle, as pictured above. Every morning this week that’s what I’ve been looking at as I roll into work around 7:00–7:15 (yes, those are my legs reflected in the door). I clear my throat and yell, “Time to wake up! Gotta get in!” Then there’s some stirring and finally Pa Kettle, a black dude somewhere in his thirties, gets on his knees and gathers his share of the blankets toward him to let me pass. Ma Kettle, a white woman roughly the same age as Pa Kettle who possesses maybe three teeth in her whole head, smiles and says, “Sorry!” Then I struggle to get past them with my bike, the right pedal of which invariably gets snagged on their duffle bag and other crap.

Contrary to popular opinion, I’m not a completely insensitive man. Last year we had a homeless guy named Paul sleeping in front of our door. During a month-long period when I was insanely busy, I found myself obliged to come into work at 6:00, so that’s how I knew about Paul. Paul had the good sense to clear out of there by about 6:30. Sometimes I had to wake him up to get the door open, but I’d always let him know it was only 6:00 and he had another half hour of sleep. We had an understanding. He didn’t bother anybody and I didn’t bother him.

But this! This is too much!

At least the urine stench didn’t make me gag this morning.

14 Comments:

Blogger trinamick said...

How is it that your bosses don't put a stop to it? Mine would be having a fit.

8:35 AM  
Blogger mr. schprock said...

Ma and Pa Kettle are gone by then (we don't officially open until 9:00). I'm just an early bird. But, sheesh! I shouldn't have to wade through that at 7:00! It's broad day by then anyway.

9:13 AM  
Blogger Kathleen said...

I can understand why they sleep in your doorway - it's covered and out of the general way. I find the homeless people in Detroit very clever in that they set up house under the overpasses. Personally, if I were homeless I start walking south. Too damn cold to be homeless in Boston or Detroit year round.

10:46 AM  
Blogger tiff said...

Oh, man, that would never happen where I work......big business doesn't much care for homeless people loitering on their doorsteps and hires people to shoo them away - if any can get in through the locked gates, that is.

What is it with the pee smell, anyhow?

10:49 AM  
Blogger Wordnerd said...

At first I thought that was your house and they were camping at the doorstep! They look awfully cozy. That's too funny!

Ok, ok -- not funny in a laugh-at-the-homeless-needs-some-sensitivity training sort of way.

Just, well, funny.

10:56 AM  
Blogger mr. schprock said...

"I can understand why they sleep in your doorway - it's covered and out of the general way."

Oh, believe me, it's quite the cozy little nook. I don't blame them a bit either. Just be out of there by 6:30 and all will be well.


"What is it with the pee smell, anyhow?"

Actually, that was something kind of new this morning. It goes well with the body odor, though.

I am thinking of calling the building management.


"At first I thought that was your house and they were camping at the doorstep! They look awfully cozy. That's too funny!"

Yeah, isn't it sweet? I think Monday morning when I see them I'll ask, "Hey, you got room for me?"

11:29 AM  
Blogger Mrs.T said...

wow.

You're going to call me a B!tch, but I'd tell them to find some place else to squat.

This is why I don't think America's money should be going everywhere else first. I think it should be here, helping feed OUR hungry. I think the money should be supporting our sickly and old. Is that cold hearted? I'm not saying people around the world don't deserve to live or have food etc, I'm just wondering why we support everyone else, and yet we still have homeless. Who are we to tell other people anything about humanity when we don't even have a place for these people?

7:00 PM  
Blogger boo said...

i was born in the year of the rooster. i'm up & about at 6am usually. but i need not wake anyone but me. have a good weekend :)

9:15 PM  
Blogger Flash said...

Looks like a cozy place to sleep...

And sexy legs by the way. Whoo-woo.

I'm suprised it doesn't bother the bosses more though...

9:18 AM  
Blogger Scott said...

My wife would make me get rid of Ma and Pa Kettle. I'm surprised your wife doesn't come unglued about it. The urine stench has to seep into your living quarters. I'm not totally insensitive either, but you have a family to take care of and the world is filled with the types that sleep on your doorstep.

5:03 AM  
Blogger John said...

They were still there when I got in today (8:30). It was the first time I saw them sleeping there, but I've seen them around lots of times. They usually stand by entrance to the Arlington station or in the alley behind the church during the day. The woman scares me. She looks like Sandra Bernhardt, only slightly better-looking.

6:22 AM  
Blogger NYPinTA said...

My mother used to tell me about all the homeless that would sleep in the halls that runs underneath the Plaza in Albany. It was open to the public so they couldn't really keep them out, but at about 6:00 every morning the cops would walk through and wake them all up. She said none of them ever bothered her, but it still had to be a bit creepy, being alone in this big giant underground hallway with sleepy homeless...

12:34 PM  
Blogger mr. schprock said...

"You're going to call me a B!tch, but I'd tell them to find some place else to squat."

Mrs. T, I could never call you that! Not in a million years!


"i was born in the year of the rooster."

I think I'm the year of the rat. Not one that I like, that's for sure. I wish I was born in the year of the rooster.

"My wife would make me get rid of Ma and Pa Kettle."

Actually, this is at my workplace. Not terribly professional to have a husband-and-wife hobo team camped in front of your door.


"She looks like Sandra Bernhardt, only slightly better-looking."

Sandra Bernhardt has better teeth . . or more of them.


"It was open to the public so they couldn't really keep them out, but at about 6:00 every morning the cops would walk through and wake them all up."

Well, that's all I ask — get them out of there by 6:00–6:30. That'll be fine. I get up at 5:30 most mornings.

1:26 PM  
Blogger Scott said...

I'll be sure to bring something extra this week, call it a toll for the trolls.

4:36 PM  

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