Sunday, September 10, 2006

Yes, Whither The Hobo Code?

Looks like hobo towns are back in a big way in Ohio. In fact, a new one on the Ohio River's north shore is threatening a tri-state event called "Tall Stacks" (if you know what Tall Stacks is, please don't tell me; I prefer to think it's a pancake-eating contest).

An estimated 20 homeless people have set up camp in makeshift shelters made of plastic sheets, string, old cable spools and carpet remnants along the Ohio River's northern shore just west of the Roebling Suspension Bridge.

These aren't Andy Griffith Show-style hobos, either. No. These swine shit in their own nest and fight each other like wolves!
Several piles of feces, some with toilet paper stuck to them, were evident along the downriver walkway of the bridge at the Cincinnati end of the span Friday. There was also a strong urine smell there.


Sgt. Steve Saunders, a Cincinnati police District One community outreach officer, said the group living there has developed a reputation for being violent with one another, especially after drinking too much.
Wow -- Americans living like animals down by the river, without even the luxury of a van! Some might see that as a real indictment of our country's direction. Not Cincinnati Vice Mayor Jim Tarbell, though.

Traditionally, [the homeless] have migrated to "quaint" riverside settings, but have abided by an unwritten code of conduct, [Tarbell] said.

Nowadays, that code seems to have disappeared, he lamented.

"It doesn't mean that you accept or any way support bad behavior," he said. "It's one thing to have a camp on the river, it's another thing to (pee) on someone's shoe."

That's right, you goddamn bums! If you don't stop pissing on people's shoes and return to the Hobo Code in a goddamn hurry, there'll be no more quaint riverside Hobo Town for you, got it? No more trash can fires, no more bean cans, no more Thunderbird -- nothing. Don't make Vice Mayor Tarbell tell you again!

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