Is it just me, or does it seem like there are more homeless people in Chicago this year? During this past (2007) incredibly rare beautiful summer we just had in the city, I noticed a marked increase in the number of times I smelled that familiar odor of shit, piss, and sour B.O. (mmmmm…deelish). Every time I turned around I was either being followed by or accidentally in the vaporous wake of someone much less fortunate than me. I remember when I would get asked for money about 3 times a week and at this point it seems like I’m averaging about 3-4 times a day now, depending on how many times I leave my apartment and where I wander to.
The subway and Red Line in particular are beginning to turn into a veritable nursery school for the derelict and deranged. If only the CTA would stock diapers and soap next to the emergency red button, we wouldn’t have to sit and watch in disgust as men and women in front of us lose all control of their bladders and bowels and fill each and every car with the aroma of scorn. How many times a day do the passengers of the Chicago Transit System have to sufficate and gag from having to breathe through their mouth before someone does something about this? I’m all for helping homeless people and giving them a place to live or feed or most importantly, can’t we just install some public showers somewhere in the city, (imagine the change in image we would have! It could be our new slogan:”Chicago – Even our homeless are clean!”) but maybe more drastic measures need to be taken to handle this problem.
It occurred to me the other day while talking to a friend, that perhaps the problem lies with nature and possibly WE are to blame for the marked increase in cardboard condos around the city. Due to our fear of having to ride next to a man who is totally engrossed (no pun intended) in the intricate workings of gang green toes he’s revealed to the crowd around him, via peeling of his soaking shoes and succulently sticky socks, many of us have chosen to drive cars to and from work and downtown, and that is where the problem perhaps originates.
The result of emissions from cars has changed our weather patterns and annual temperatures quite a bit (if you know where I’m heading with this, please continue reading even though you know it’s wrong), and I believe this had a significant effect on our winter last year. Normally, we would have had at least 5 or 6 days and nights throughout the winter season where the temperature dropped to dangerous levels of below zero or more.
In effect a “culling” of the human breeding stock in Chicago was not in place.
Terrible to say, I know. However, it does give one pause.
Another way that mother nature is sending us a message about the environment;
“Knock it off, or you will be BALLS deep in bag ladies”.