Walter Mencken 9:23 a.m., Oct. 10
- Community Blog
HOBO MILLIONAIRE: A TRUE STORY
Around ten o'clock Halloween morning I was riding my beach cruiser home after an early trip to the swap-meet and checking out yard sales. I was 2 blocks from home when I passed a freckled face middle school kid on a bike waiting between a driveway and a large hedge it reminded me of a traffic cop in a speed trap. As I passed the kid I heard him whisper to someone “There’s a hobo.” I rode on but felt uneasy so I turned my trusty cruiser around only to confront four boys on bikes coming up behind me. Before it registered with me what was happening the youngest of the four, a clean cut lad sounding disappointed said to the others “It’s only Mr. Pete!” The group, two freckled face brothers sweaty brows, oily faces, a hefty teen with a peach fuzz moustache and black house slippers logoed with 'SD' along with the younger lad, who I now recognized from my volunteer work at the local elementary school suddenly lost interest in me. I had to ask “So you thought I was a hobo?” “Yes” said the first freckle face. “What do you do if you find one?” Without hesitation or even the hint of a smirk freckle face said “Beat them up and take their money and stuff.” “How much money could a hobo have? I asked incredulously. This time they looked at each other rolling their eyes. Freckles taking a tone of superiority asked me “Didn’t you ever hear of the Millionaire Hobo?” “Movie? Video game?” I replied. “It was” continued Freckles, “a rich guy who wanted to see what it was like being poor. He got shot in the face.” The young lad finished the tale “They found a million dollars in his mattress.” “Just stories” muttered the hefty kid. Looking at the boys I told them “I should check with the police about any unsolved hobo murders.” The group rode off but Freckles stopped and said “We don’t kill them we just beat them up until their bloody.” The following day, Sunday Freckles and a group of four others were observed jumping the fence at the local pre-school. They threw trash around and tossed a water-table over the schools six foot fence. When the schools care-taker confronted them they ran but Freckles lost his hat making his get-away. The San Diego Sheriff’s Deputy that responded to the caretakers call showed the hat to Freckles and his mother. Freckles immediately confessed and was sent to his room to write “I will not go onto locked property without permission” 800 times. SD Sheriff Deputy Zacharzur and I had a conversation about my Halloween encounter with Freckles and friends. Needless to say no one was asked to write “I will not beat up hobos”.