Carousing in Downtown Los Angeles a few nights ago, I witnessed an interesting spectacle, part performance art and part gym class ballet. A legion of the Los Angeles Police Department’s finest were trying to corral a homeless chap. The man without a ZIP code, or, pants for that matter, neatly dodged some 20 cops in this strange, modern dance asphalt ballet.
The officers formed a circle huge and round enough to make the most hardened P.E. teacher sob with pride. Arms outstretched, officers shuffled awkwardly to the left, then to the right, all the while shrinking the circle to capture their prey, a nude crazed hobo with all his equipment on high alert.
Nude Crazed Hobo.
Which, I believe, was the Indian name of our Democratic congressional candidate Katie Hill’s first college boyfriend.
I stopped the car and rested chin on forearm to watch. The naked loony evaded the entire LAPD swing shift before one cop, built like an NFL linebacker — an NFL linebacker who STANDS during the national anthem, I might add — caught said guttersnipe square between the imaginary numbers and assisted him toward finding the shortest route to Madagascar.
People, like Bugs Bunny, like to pretend that China is on the opposite side of the planet from Los Angeles. It’s not. It’s Madagascar. Anyway.
It’s hard to say if we have a homeless problem here in Santa Clarita. For one thing, we’re overrun with yuppie condo monkeys, who tend to be drawn inward by all things to focus on the existential.
SANTA CLARITA YUPPIE: “Homelessness. Homelessness. I have a house. But, is it a — home?”
PASSING GROWN-UP: (rolls up newspaper; for argument’s sake, it’s The Sunday Signal; without comment, whacks the yuppie across the nose).
Conservatives feel we have a homeless problem.
Liberals believe we have a homeless — opportunity.
We have an opportunity to make posters. And, control the language. Think about it. Imagine. Here in Santa Clarita, we don’t have homeless people. We have Sherpas.
Just because Sherpas are baked by the sun, live outdoors, dress in those really cool Mongolian dystopian Mad Max raggy outfits — we wouldn’t dream of calling them something so denigrating as homeless, would we?
The city of SClarita could welcome the world’s delusional, daft, screaming and un-potty-trained and put them to work, guiding people over and across this valley’s abundant and scenic mountain peaks. Truly. If you squint and imagine real hard, with the right lighting conditions, theoretically, a Sherpa could pass as a homeless person.
I know. I know. Some of you point out: “Theoretically, one should never have to wash a bath towel.”
Sigh. It almost puts us back to Square One. We could find jobs for the homeless, but that doesn’t help the homeless part because you can make six figures in Santa Clarita and not afford an abode. We need to find good jobs for our homeless.
This is where debutantes come in.
We have an inexhaustible supply of beautiful, smiling, charming and sun-shiny debs here in the SCV. Besides cheese fondue sets and butt enhancements, what do SCV debs crave?
Diamonds for their engagement rings. Using giant, high-pressure water cannons, our growing homeless population would pluck local diamonds and we’d pay the outdoors-dwelling beggars next to nothing. Short-sighted critics might point out there hasn’t been a diamond here since Newhall was inside the tummy of supercontinent Pangaea. Which was somewhere between the Civil War and Vietnam.
I have little patience with naysayers.
So what if we don’t have diamonds. We could use our homeless as mercenaries, send them to visit neighboring cities and rob their jewelry stores, churches, museums and high-end orphanages and return the booty to us.
In exchange, we feed them gruel, whip them to a minimum and house the stinky little jewelry thieves in our local libraries. They’re climate controlled, sleep-inducing and not being used much.
Not the homeless.
There are more draconian measures available.
We could use the services of Valencia Acme International Trebuchet Corp. (661.200.1200), that delightful company that fabricates giant catapults and sells them to coyotes. Every Thursday, at the Downtown Newhall Farmers’ Market, we could launch screaming indigents 51 miles to Ventura, 52 miles if you want them to hit the ocean.
Solutions are there. We just need the will.
And, of course, a sardonic smile.
Back in history, we had a serious problem with large packs of feral dogs roaming the SClarita. They attacked livestock, Boy Scouts and not only lost Mormon missionaries but also their bicycle tires. Granted. Today’s abandoned hellhounds are somewhat apologetic in stature and do not enjoy their vast numbers of yesteryear where they roamed in the hundreds of thousands. Still. The city could organize our remaining feral dogs to hunt the homeless on odd-number months and, on even-number months, the homeless could hunt the feral dogs.
At some point you’d think, numbers on both sides would start to dwindle…
John Boston is a local writer. With 119 major awards. And then some.