The Coprolalia Solution
By Gordon Polatnick
 
 
            
             
  
  
                    The question comes up a lot.  What has happened to all of New York's 
                    homeless?  The truth will shock you.  The economy is strong and that   
                    is part of the answer.  But it's not strong enough to solve social problems 
                    in a single rebound.   I took my gumshoes out of their holster and head out 
                    to 42nd St.  What I found there will shock  you.  The Los Angelization of  
                    Manhattan is in full swing.  The Lion King is a theme park and children 
                    wearing knickers are playing stickball in the street again.  I couldn't believe 
                    my eyes.  It was shocking.    

                    I wanted to see a peep show and buy some junk to unwind and think    
                    about this transformation.  I was shocked to find out that the peep shows    
                    and the drug guys were gone. The store fronts were shut and the buildings  
                    themselves were either demolished or moved down the block to confuse  
                    me.  I was confused but I was determined to get to the bottom of it.  I stood  
                    halfway down the block between 7th and 8th and watched for clues.  Where  
                    were the homeless, the crack guys, the peep shows and the pros?  Where
                    in the hell were the homeless screamers: Those guys with Tourettes
                    Syndrome who used to shout bad words at me as I scored my drugs and
                    watched my peep shows?  They used to be everywhere.

                    I looked around and saw the happy kids playing in the street and the friendly  
                    animals from The Lion King grazing in the vacant lots next to the theater.  In  
                    spite of my shock at seeing these animals I had to smile.   They were  
                    singing and grazing and I smiled in spite of myself.   Maybe the lions ate the  
                    homeless people and scared away the pushers and hookers.  I'm here to  
                    tell you that I almost bought that Brooklyn Bridge till I heard a Tourettes guy
                    coming down the street, then another and another and another.  It was an    
                    epidemic.   I turned in the direction of the invectives and the truth hit me right  
                    between the eyes.    

                    Apparently, the homeless screamers were issued a nice suit of clothes and
                    a cell phone.  They looked like business people.  Ingenious.  As I walked  
                    home from Times Square that day, the city's diabolical plan became clear.   
                    Wherever I turned I saw another well-dressed poor soul with a cell phone
                    carrying on like a maniac.  Some of them were given nice cars too.  They 
                    almost had me fooled.                         

                    I put my gumshoes back in their holster and poured myself a shot of  
                    something strong and French.   I poured some of it on a knife and stuck it in  
                    the wall outlet and I was shocked.   I called the mayor's office and ranted to  
                    them how I intended to blow the whistle on their whole homeless scam.  But I
                    was hollering at their answering machine. The recorded voice played it cool
                    and didn't let on: they just took my name,  number, inseam and jacket size and 
                    blew smoke up my skirt about how important my call was to them.   To tell the
                    truth, the lady who recorded the message had a nice accent and I felt calmer
                    than I'd expected.  A little too calm.  Serene.

                    Thusly, I settled down in front of the TV and smiled contentedly at it for about  
                    6 1/2 hours.   And I suggest you do the same; and stop worrying about what  
                    happened to the homeless.   The homeless aren't worried about what  
                    happened to you.  The homeless aren't worried about anything anymore.   
                    There are no more homeless.    And the screamers were all healed, and
                    are living in New Jersey.  And everyone's doing just fine.  
 

 
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