October 12, 2011

Hobo Technology Is Not As Advanced As You Think


By COCHRAN, TOWN DRUNK

A whole lot has changed since my early days as the town drunk of Apartment 3. When I first got here, the weed-heads were still using collapsed beer cans to smoke their stash, as opposed to the solar-powered immersion-tank hookahs they’re using now.

Me? I used to sleep on a giant-sized hunk of packing foam, right over there under the dining room table where a land-line telephone used to be. Yeah, those were the days.

Sierra Ice cost five bucks a case back then, instead of the twelve they’re trying to get for it now. No thanks. I’ll stick to the expired Bud Dry that Old Man Ortiz sells me for five cents a can.

Of course all the gizmos and gadgets are light-years ahead of where they were back then. I’ll never forget the day the PlayStation first got here (God bless its soul). It was some pretty hot shit!

I don’t even know how to use all the new stuff like Wii or the Sega Saturn that I found in the garbage two blocks over. Probably because I have double vision most of the time.

And cell phones? Only douche-bags had cell phones then. I don’t get all the texting and talking everyone’s always doing on those things. Who needs all that horse-shit? I already know where booze is for sale.

But if you think hobo technology has kept up with the rest of it, boy, you have another thing coming.

Yeah, yeah, I know that the old-timey bindle has gone the way of Crystal Pepsi (which I can get for two cents a can down at Frank’s Secondhand Food). Backpacks are so cheap nowadays that people throw them away before they even have holes! The only thing wrong with the one I use now is a giant blood stain.

The best part about using a backpack instead of a bindle is that hobos are now largely indistinguishable from the average camping enthusiast, except that campers are usually sleeping in the woods somewhere and not drunkenly wandering city streets all night long.

With the exception of the bindle, however, hobo technology has been dangerously slow to evolve. It’s 2011 and I still don’t have gloves that cover my fingers. Maybe one day, though I suppose the exposed fingers help when I’m picking through the trash looking for dinner.

Speaking of garbage picking, you’d think that by now hobos would have developed a better system for finding food in the neighborhood dump. Like a fancy new kind of shovel, or a robot that does it for you. I’ve been using a pretty sweet stick of late, but I can’t help but think there’s a better way.

Most of the hobos I know have stopped using ropes as belts and moved on to twisted up plastic wrap. It’s amazingly strong, and also water proof, so in many ways it’s superior to the cheap twine that used to be all the rage. Problem is, we’re all still just tying it up the way we used to. A plastic-wrap belt buckle would be sharp looking, especially if it’s the kind that opens beer bottles.

At the very least, someone should develop a plastic-wrap belt-knot that looks cool.

If hobos are to keep up in today’s society, then we have to upgrade hobo technology to greater reflect the modern world we live in now. Unfortunately, I don’t see that happening.

The hobo-scientists and -inventors and -technologists of the world need to start doing their part. Otherwise, the Hobo Way of Life may become a thing of the past.