20 January 2013

After commenting yesterday that I felt a little removed by donating from my couch, I decided to put today’s $10 in someone’s hands personally. 

As I was entering the grocery store, a security guard was shooing off a homeless person, who seemed perfectly harmless. When I came back out, the homeless man was sitting on a garbage can. I handed him $10. He didn’t say thank you and certainly didn’t acknowledge that I’d handed him about $9.75 more than the usual amount he probably gets.

 He said his name was Tony something that I couldn’t decipher and added that he was a singer. Of course he was. Even when I’m trying to help a homeless person, it’s someone who wants to break into the music business... What are the odds? It wouldn't have surprised me if he'd pulled out a demo for me to listen to. This is Hollywood, after all.

I said “Tannenbaum?” He said, “Cannonsrdivleshd” or something similarly  garbled. And he seemed rather indignant that I didn’t know who he was. I was trying to figure out if he was an older singer who had fallen on hard times. I said “Cannonball?” And he looked at me like I was the crazy one. Not like I know who Tony Cannonball is or if there’s such a creature. Then I started thinking about Freddy “Boom Boom” Cannon, who had hits before I was born, but I figured it wasn’t him. Besides, this guy’s name was Tony. That much I understood. 

He swept his arm across the parking lot and told me he was going to turn it into a recording studio. I said, “Right here?” He told me yes. He’d written a lot of songs so he was ready to go. He tried to enlist me into his plans. I think he was asking me what I thought we should name the studio, but I honestly couldn’t understand him well enough to continue the conversation. This could have been because he was missing most of his upper teeth. I'll look for him next time I'm at the grocery store and see if I can get more of the story. 

Jan. 20: Tony the singer

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