Okay, I admit it. I was doubtful.

I actually thought Romney would win… and I wrote something as a contingency plan for the next downward economic slide. Well, no use wasting my hard earned wisdom, so in the next few days, you too will learn to be successfully homeless.

I introduce you to:

The Happy Hobo

Tips on Surviving the Next Economic Downturn.

Happy on next to nothing? It’s just a matter of downsizing your desires and other people’s unrealistic expectations.

1)      The first thing you should know as a Happy Hobo is you’re OK as a human being. Many people have been homeless, even famous people.  So, stop beating yourself up. Maybe you’re just an artistic, free-spirit who won’t follow the corporate lemmings off the cliff. Maybe you’re a good person that is just being abused by a dog-eat-dog world. Think about Jesus Christ’s life, he was homeless. Maybe you are a philosopher at heart in a world that is slowly turning humans into machines. Who knows? Resist adopting other people’s attitudes and prejudices about your situation and learn to take care of yourself.

1)      A word to the wise: Longevity as a hobo will depend on your ability to keep clean and keep healthy. True some homeless people let themselves go; you don’t have to be like that. There are lots of people who pass by you everyday who are also living in their cars or in homeless shelter, but you would never know it. Keep clean as much as humanly possible and treat infections and other health problems efficiently and effectively. Which brings us to the next tip.

2)      The homeless medicine chest: If you find yourself out on the streets, it would be helpful to have: A bottle of rubbing alcohol, a bottle of vinegar, a bottle of whiskey, a pack of gum, and a box of baking soda. Have a place in storage to keep them or a safe stash, and keep small travel-size containers of them with you.

Rubbing Alcohol– The worlds best germ killer. It can be used to sanitize your skin, to freshen up between showers. Keep a tiny spray bottle of it with you, as a cheap alternative to hand sanitizer.

Vinegar– To treat stomach upsets from eating food that might not have been as fresh as you would have liked. Purchased a cheap sandwich that should have been thrown out instead of marked down by the greedy grocer? A tablespoon of vinegar in a glass of plain water will save you a trip to the ER or many unpleasant trips to the restroom.

Whiskey– It won’t help you if you drink the whole bottle at once (it might even hurt you then), but used judiciously, the little Scottish spirit has cured many a sore throat and saved happy hobos from spending  $$ at the clinic to get over a cold. Think of it as your pre-emptive strike antibiotic. A good place to keep your whiskey handy is in a rinsed out Listerine bottle. The whiskey may develop a faint Listerine taste to it (Lister-whiskey), but it will keep your stash leak proof.

Gum– If you can’t find a place to brush your teeth, it will help to chew some gum until you do.

Baking Soda– Great for emergency toothpaste, a storage locker deodorizer, as an antacid, etc. To keep your dirty clothes from stinking up your storage, shake a ¼ cup of it in the plastic bag you put the clothes in. Viola! Keeps the smell down.

Other handies: Lysol (a necessity for shelter living), and dish washing liquid (all-purpose in a pinch cleaner. Washes: clothes, dishes, hair and skin)

In our next Happy Hobo post: Finding Shelter, food, and handling crazy people.


About tjmcfee

Freelance writer. Activist on homeless issues. 48 years old. I write about subjects that need to be examined closely and thoughtfully. The idea for Brain Sections came from reading a book about abandoned asylums. I wanted to set a suspense story in that setting. The inclusion of crazed scientists turning homeless people into zombies is what makes the story unique. View all posts by tjmcfee

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