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The Orange Headed Man with the Hobo Pouch

by Jordan789 

Posted: 22 August 2009
Word Count: 327
Summary: For mah own challenge. Thanks in advanced if you care to read.

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Content Warning
This piece and/or subsequent comments may contain strong language.

He looked like a Scottish golfer from the nineteenth century: thick orange moustache, tweed vest, a flat green hat with a pompom on top: a hilarious joke shaped like a rotten pear walking on spiderlike legs.

He carried a hobo stick with a pouch on the end, dangling like a scrotum. I watched with mild amusement as he approached one person after the next. Most ignored him. One woman began yelling at him. I heard her say, “If I could understand you,” and then storm off in the direction of the bookstore. What a louse.

I don’t know what population of New York city is insane. Justifiably insane. As in, if anyone with authority paid enough attention they’d cart them off, straight jacket-wrapped in spirit of Ken Kesey.

I saw him making his way down the line and after a few minutes he was only two people away. I could hear his pitch rather unclearly. He spoke in a mumble, as if his tongue were cut in half, and lashed around itself into a braid, and perhaps his lips had been sealed shut on the right side. He had opened his pouch and held them dangling like a piñata before a woman. It was an odd assortment: gag, novelty gifts, mostly. Gum that turned your mouth black. Plastic pearls. A rubber chicken. Groucho Marx disguises.

The woman waved the man off with her hand and he turned to me. I looked at the contents and the man looked at me. I held my head by the chin as if weighing my thoughts and really contemplating what I should buy.

Then, in perfectly clear English the man said to me, “Would you fucking buy something already?”

“How much for the chicken?” I asked. I paid the man two dollars, and he went along to the woman sitting next to me, who pretended to be staring at an invisible squirrel dancing around on the tree branches above her head.

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Comments by other Members

Prospero at 08:33 on 23 August 2009  Report this post
I love these vignettes of yours of life on the streets of New York. A music-hall Scotsman trying to sell bad jokes.



choille at 11:07 on 23 August 2009  Report this post
Hi Jordan,

Very vivid scene.

a[n] hilarious joke....

I don’t know what [percentage of the?]population of New York city is insane.

Probably a cultural thing, but I found it a surprise that the people were sitting down. I know you have mentioned 'line', but is that a queue?

Liked the description of the MC - what a character eh? NY is probably brimming with them.

All the best

Jumbo at 16:02 on 23 August 2009  Report this post

A nice scene, deftly caught. And a great character.Is he real?



crowspark at 20:16 on 23 August 2009  Report this post
Hi Jordan

A lively piece full of interest. Not sure I believed in the ginger Scotsman, but you created an interesting character.

Thanks for the read.


V`yonne at 22:00 on 23 August 2009  Report this post
Gum that turned your mouth black. Plastic pearls. A rubber chicken. Groucho Marx disguises.

made me smile. There;s punctuation missing but you weren't competing so...

As Prosp says - save this one for inclusion/inspiration.

Jubbly at 19:11 on 24 August 2009  Report this post
Lovely stuff Bill, great line re Ken Kesey. Really enjoyed this little slice of life.


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