Wednesday, April 1, 2009

April Fools

There are several theories concerning the origins of April Fools Day. One involves the adoption of the Gregorian Calendar. An April fool was someone who still used the Julian Calendar, which it had replaced. Another origin is that April 1 was counted as the first day of the year in France. When Charles IX changed that to January 1, some still used April 1 and were referred to as April Fools, and were taunted by their neighbors.
In Ireland, France, and the USA, it is a tradition to play hoaxes and practical jokes on family, friends, and just about anybody else you may happen to meet, all day.
No one has played a practical joke on me as yet. But I am on my guard.
I have not played a practical joke on anyone as yet, although I'd certainly like to. But I can't think of anything good to pull on the poor unsuspecting Erin.
You lucked out this time Erin. Wait until next year. I should be able to come up with something by then.
The House Republicans played a good April Fools joke on the entire country today by revealing their own budget proposal. Keep the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations, privatize Medicare, repeal the economic stimulus, cut social security benefits. The same old crap that got us in this economic crisis to begin with. It's pathetic. I almost, almost but am not quite, ready to feel sorry for these sorry bastards. They seem to be stuck on both wrong and stupid and don't know how to get off. They are ruled by an outdated ideology that the American voters clearly rejected last November, and have become, well, irrelevant. Mitch McConnel, the Republican House Minority leader complains that he is sorry the President is not being bipartisan enough, to which he means the President is not doing what he wants. Sorry you lost the election Mitch, but the American people have spoken and they voted for progress rather than regress. Better luck next time.
I spent a good deal of my day walking around. Ron wanted his ring back after receiving his monthly pension payment, and I was the only one who could get it for him. I walked over to his place of work, near 4th and Central, and found Ron talking to Tall James who was paying him a visit. Ron gave me sixty dollars and the pawn claim form, and I took off. I caught a bus at 5th and Towne, which took me past Broadway and on up to my bank, at what used to be known as The Library Tower, but has been renamed, The US Bank Tower. I still call it the Library Tower (the tallest building west of the Mississippi) because I'm old and set in my ways.
I got some money out of the ATM machine in the lobby (I one time serviced these machines, or at least emptied the deposits daily, taking them in to the bank. I had to wear a gun which I never fired), then left to return to the Ace Pawn and Jewelery Company.
"Hi Rick."
"Hi Alberto, how's the wife and kids?"
"Good. Good. Hey everybody, Rick's here."
"Hey Rick!"
"Hi Rick."
"Hi Frances. Hi Maricela. How are you?"
"How's Cheryl and Keri?"
Alberto was referring to my dear sister and niece. "To tell you the truth, Alberto, I'm not exactly sure. Cheryl hasn't called me in a while, and my computer crashed and I lost her number," I replied.
"There is directory assistance," he offered helpfully.
We both sighed.
"And how is Erin and Paul?"
"They're both fine."
"And Rodney?"
"One never knows about Rodney."
"So it would seem. You've come to retrieve the ring?"
The total cost of the loan was two dollars. I got the ring back and put it on my pinky.
I stopped at the Subway sandwich store on 5th and Hill and purchased a foot long chicken breast sandwich, with lettuce, tomato, mayo and mustard, oil and vinegar, and a little salt and pepper. I will greedily consume this sandwich in the evening for my dinner.
I only had to pay 46 cents of the sandwich because I had received a 5 dollar Subway gift card yesterday for participating in a survey seeking information on how cost effective to society overall it is to live in a box, like I do, rather than out on the street. The theory being that real homeless people use more emergency services than people who live in a box, who tend to be a bit more stable. It didn't take long, all they really wanted was for us to fill out a consent form to retrieve personal information from the county.
They gave me some Doritos too!
Since the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transit Authority, in it's wisdom, does not run the 16 down 4th Street anymore, I had to actually pay a dollar to catch a Montebello bus from Broadway back to where Ron works. He was forcing his boss, Short James, to watch homemade videos of himself and his family in Philadelphia. I gave him his ring and change, told him about our new Dwarf Orange Tree, and then took off, returned home, where I am currently writing this post.
I'm doing it right now!
Ron would have been happy to come to my box after work to get his ring back, so I wouldn't have to come back to his work place. But by going there I gained at least a good 45 minutes of my afternoon by not having to stop writing and listen to him talk about his work day, or his family.
Not too foolish.

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