Saturday, February 10, 2007

Saint Pat spends the night with a knight

Yes, it's true. Saint Pat spent the whole night with one of our local finest. And a fine man he is, gentlemanly and gallant.

This is how the story began:

... there was a little hamlet called Cracktown. It was just beyond the borders of our own Hometown, though some of our citizens would sometimes slip into Cracktown, to its cribs and corner dealers.

Yea, then Realtors and redevelopers, hearing the call of trendiness, and obeying the dictates of The Almighty Dollar, invaded Cracktown with an army of renovators, redesigners, interior decorators, landscapers, hairdressers and real-estate agents, waging war on Cracktown's untrendiness.

"Forsooth, varlets," they decreed to the dealers. "Take your wares and depart this place. We claim it in the name of Trendiness, and in the name of our God, the Almighty Dollar."

Across the burg, now renamed "Trendy District," the dealers and pimps trembled. The Knights of Hometown, summonsed by the Duchess of Trendy District, rode in on their metal steeds, and helped dispatch the unsavory element.

Still, the hearts of Trendy District's newest citizens were unsettled, for lo, though the crack dealers had fled into exile, the poor were still with them. It greatly grieved the hearts of Trendy citizens to see these unstylish, untailored, uncoiffed and sometimes unsanitary peasants walking on
their trendy sidewalks.

It distressed the good people of Trendy District further that some of these peasants might occasionally beg alms from them. It was rumored that alms-begging and an object or two filched from the porch of a renovated Trendy home provided demon beer or perhaps even a burger at the local royal burger purveyor. After all, everyone knows the undeserving poor should be forced to work for their burgers and beer, whether they're capable of it or not.

And the Trendy burghers complained mightily about the church that dared to operate a soup kitchen for the hungry in their midst.

"If you feed them, they will come," the burghers cried, "And then those homeless varlets will wander down our streets. It's annoying, and it brings down property values. Besides, we don't like looking at them. They are not pretty, like us."

But alas, the ministers to the undeserving paid no heed.

The Duchess sent for the Head Knight and instructed him to rid Trendy District of this pestilence, forsooth.

"Round them up," she said. "Put them on a reservation. We need a final solution to this problem."

The Head Knight bowed his head.

"Madam," he said, "Yea, though I would like to obey your request, I cannot. For there are laws higher than yours at work here. These laws say I can't send them to Coventry unless they have committed a crime. I can't even put them in the dungeon just because you don't like their looks."

"Truthfully, I say to you, they have been here even longer than you, even back unto the days of good Emperor Reagan, who freed them from the onus of mental-health services and a place to sleep. They will always be with you," he added.

"Fool," cried the Duchess, after thinking for a minute. "Don't you know these people are responsible for the rampant crime in Trendy District? Our citizens cower in fear behind their heart-pine-wood doors inset with Tiffany stained-glass ovals. Yes, crime is on the upsweep and it's all because of the gnarly homeless."

The Head Knight now scratched his head.

"Truly, madam, we know of no such crime spree. But I will send in my knights, armored to the max, riding in their shiny-white metallic steeds. They shall patrol both day and night, scouring Trendy District in search of marauding homeless," he said.

And so, the Head Knight sent out an edict to all his knights to concentrate their attention on Trendy District, and hunt down these bold criminals.

These knights, in turn, scratched their heads, for it seemed to them that actual crime in Trendy District had waned in recent years, fleeing from the forces of Trendiness. The knights obeyed, even though they felt they might find more dragons and damsels in distress in other parts of the countryside.

They searched. They poked. They prodded. They spotlighted. They field-interrogated. But alas, they found no crime wave in Trendy District.

And so it came to pass that a certain plucky reporter came to ride with one of the knights through Trendy District for the whole of a Friday night, just looking for trouble. But alack, neither knight nor reporter could find anything more amiss than the minor collision of two steeds at a busy crossroads, a few people walking down the sidewalk, just minding their own business, and some of the rich Young Baronets of Trendy District having a slightly noisy party.

And so ends the tale. The plucky reporter returned to Hometown, having enjoyed her diversion with a knight in shining armor.


Grandmère Mimi said...

Pat, you spent the night with a knight! How scandalous!

Ah, your tale is wonderfully told as well as so very true. Similar tales could be told from all over the country.

Well done!

Anonymous said...

I work with the homeless. The situation you described is one we see every day. Nobody wants them near their neighborhood.


Eileen said...

DAng Pat. When I grow up, I wanna be you!

I didn't get to ride with a knight at night! (Jealous...)

Ann said...

click here for article on Tent City in Seattle and environs.

David said...

As our Grandmère Mimi mentioned, I was hoping for a bit more scandal to be revealed within... oh well ;)

Good story, tho' !