In the words of Ellyn Taxin (wise sage and regional manager for City Sports), “the warm weather brings out all the freaks.”

She’s right.

In my near-daily routine of walking the streets of Philly (notice I did not say “street walking in Philly.” That was intentional to deflect all inquiries into my moral stability), I am accosted by random people. I’m not just talking about bums (although the bums are really making a comeback in Center City, damn). I’m talking overzealous college students, Obama supporters, and random weirdos.

Yesterday, I was leaving the Rite Aid at 15th & Walnut and passed the homeless guy with HIV that sits outside. He’s a regular but this time he had some skinny strung out lady with him. I did not ask her HIV status, but still avoided their general area. They asked me for money and I kept walking as I normally do…

DIGRESSION: (listen – if you start judging me right now, then go fuck yourself, because you don’t give bums money either and if I gave money to every homeless person or hustler who accosts me on the daily, I’d soon be homeless. Oh, and I work in retail so I don’t make that much so fuck off, bums. There. And if I go to hell for this, at least I will be driving the bus)… RETURN TO BLOG.

… and the woman yelled out to me that I was a bitch. I almost completely lost my shit, but since I was on my way to work, I didn’t want to start off my day by beating the fuck out of a homeless lady who may or may not have HIV. I looked over, shook my head, and reminded them that now they certainly would not get the change in my hand. I thought I was scott free after that confrontation, God having bestowed upon me my one shitty interaction for the day, but I was wrong.

Then I hit the Obama supporters. Listen – it’s great that you kids are all getting political. But asking me on a GODDAMN DAILY BASIS if I am registered to vote makes me want to vote McCain and move to Switzerland (and that is after I hit you with your own clipboard). Yes, I am registered to vote and have been since I turned 18. No, I do not have a minute to support Barack Obama. Whether I personally support or vote for him is my own goddamn business – that’s why it’s a secret ballot, asshole. And I also don’t have time because I’m on my way to work, which is going to be boring because of the recession we’re in, and if you have an immediate solution to that (I bet it doesn’t involve a clipboard!), then yeah, I have time. Otherwise, I have shoes to sell.

Oh – and a personal shout out to the idiot Obama supporter, dorky white college kid with middle class guilt – when you bought that PowerBar and pair of headphones and then took a bag when I asked if you needed one rather than sticking these items into your Timbuk2 messenger bag, you just went against the tenets of the political party you claim to represent, you carbon-bigfooted dummy. I’m going to sic the Greenpeace hippies on you.

And that brings me to the Greenpeacers. They make me the most angry, mostly because they are energetic and I am hungover and on my way to work. They jump out of nowhere in their inconspicuous powder blue shirts (seriously, it’s like urban camouflage, especially when paired with skinny jean cutoffs) and shout at you like a Spartan cheerleader, “DO YOU HAVE A MINUTE TO SAVE THE EARTH?” Cut to me, who looks at them through her sunglasses, strung out, tosses her cigarette on the ground and says “No, no I don’t. But my company recycles running shoes through Nike, so I guess I am doing my part.”

I just realized that I sound like a complete asshole (aw shucks!). It’s not that I don’t, in some way, support causes or have a sense of social obligation (ok… so I kind of don’t have a sense of social obligation but I save the whales and shit – I don’t need Gaia’s wrath during the last days, you know?). I just want to do it on my own time. And I also want to be left the fuck alone. Do not come up to me on the streets unless you know me (and even then, if I am hungover and strung out and you are overly peppy, I might rip off your arms and beat you with them).

Actually, the only street person I don’t mind is the random old guy at Broad and Walnut next to the southbound entrance to the Broad Street subway line who wears a placard railing against George Soros and the British Empire (what?). He just stands there silently, holding out laminated literature and minding his own business, hating the British. I really want to chat with him one day, preferably when I’m drunk, about why he hates George Soros so much (I went to a Soros-founded/funded graduate school when I was in Hungary so I think he’s kind of great, but he could also be the devil since he broke the world currency market). I like that old crazy fucker and someday I might stand next to him, protesting protesters or the death of the Wawa at the Dorcester, or fighting to bring back Grape Street, or railing Asics for destroying the Nimbus running shoe with their latest update (seriously, they took my favorite shoe and made it sucky) or asking people to vote for Miley Cyrus as the youngest female president of Adge-topia ever. That could be my ultimate revenge against the street people – become one of them.