Who knew?

One of my most favorite things in life is talking about myself, but I've been so busy that I simply haven't had the time.

I guess it beats the alternative. You know, I was mad about not having any shoes until I met a man who had no feet.

I'm pretty sure that the chief medical examiner on the series CSI doesn't have any feet. I think his legs end just below his knees so whenever he’s standing he’s constantly balancing himself on his prosthetic legs. Not that long ago people with artificial legs used to try and hide that fact, but not anymore--especially if they have one of those new state-of-the-art legs that is mostly a piece of curved metal. They also have really skinny ones that consist primarily of a rod and shock absorber-type piston.

When I was a kid one of my dad’s brothers was missing a leg and he hated like hell to wear his artificial one. I guess he wore it when he went somewhere, but when he was home drinking beer and watching the Cubs play on television, he didn’t see the point of strapping it on.

There was another person from my childhood who was missing a leg that made quite an impression on me. When my mom would take us shopping on a Saturday or Sunday up and down Michigan Avenue, we would always park our old Buick in the same parking lot. It was adjacent to Gately’s People Store, and it made perfect sense to park the car there because it was always our last stop for the day, so we could finish our shopping and walk out the back door to pile in the car.

Anyway, there was almost always this same fellow who sat on the sidewalk in front of People’s Store. He had either one or two pink prosthetic legs—but it was hard to tell because of his long pants. He always wore the same light blue pinstriped suit and he had a hat that sat one the sidewalk in front of him filled with pencils and loose change. This was in the mid to late 1960s and lots of soldiers were coming home from Viet Nam missing assorted body parts.

I always wanted to buy a pencil from the guy, but my mom would always steer us clear of him, as if losing limbs was catchy. I remember being intrigued by this guy’s cleverness. A.) He was well dressed. B.) He lost his leg(s) fighting for the US of A. And finally C.) He was offering something useful for any donation you might want to make. As far as I could tell, his system really worked—his hat always had plenty of quarters and dimes in it.

I remember for a while the homeless in NYC were ‘selling’ some sort of newspaper. I guess the way it worked was in exchange for a buck or a couple of spare quarters you would get a copy of the Bum’s Daily Gazette. That’s not a horrible idea. I wonder if I could wander the streets ‘selling’ copies of my very own daily newsletter? Hmm. That’s such a good idea I’ll bet someone’s already done it.

Duty calls and I must answer, otherwise it will keep calling until I grab it by the collar and smash it into wedding cake.

Talk wit you soon.

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