Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Back When I Was Homeless

Life at the mobile home park: not bad for a starter home
Believe it or not, Lyn's fondest life memories include a very brief homeless stint. Allow me to fully elucidate. Ages ago, your author arrived in Canada to work as a communication executive. The first weekend, I purchased a luxury SUV to use in my prestigious and lucrative new career. As I drove away, the salesman yelled something that sounded like "You need to go see AC/DC on Monday." Despite my passion for the Australian band, I hadn't heard of their concert and couldn't understand the urgency in his voice.

Dirty Deeds Done Cheaper Than ICBC
Weeks later, I learned of ICBC. The Insurance Company of British Columbia is a provincial government monopoly that proclaims lofty compassionate ideals then provides lousy complicated realities (like almost all such bureaucracies). Nice people though. They explained that my now overdue insurance premiums (plus penalties) would be helpfully and automatically deducted from my bank account starting in about 5 minutes. I thanked them for this thoughtful and convenient service but offered no hug.

The tireless public servants further elaborated that I'd receive an excellent low rate, as soon as I presented a letter from my U.S. insurance company verifying my coverage and claim history. Until then, they'd graciously provide me coverage at the same rate as a teenage male with a Ferrari and multiple drunk driving convictions. Oh goody! When a phone call revealed that my U.S. insurer had just been merged with several other companies and my records would take weeks to locate, I faced the sobering fact that I must vacate my hotel and wouldn't have funds to rent an apartment for a while.

Boulevard of Broken Canadian Dreams
I was technically homeless. Still, I somehow resisted the natural tendancy to get drunk or write a country song. Wandering down Granville Street, I came upon a thirtyish man with a tin begging cup and a sign that read "Need to buy marijuana, please help!" That was the last straw. I mustered my personal jedi power: male ego. I drove to the poshest gym in Vancouver and forked over a hefty membership fee that was much less than rent. I drove to a secluded park after sundown to sleep in my SUV.

The best damn advice for anyone
Rising before the sun and park security, I hit the barbell, the treadmill, and the showers before arriving at my office as the most energized and best dressed homeless man in Canada. I then shampooed, rinsed and repeated for the next couple of months. Of course, I'm not seriously comparing my ordeal to abandoned mentally-unstable people who freeze their asses on cold ground in urine soaked clothes and deserve our compassion. However, it was a triumph for me. Life gave me a lemon and I made some lemonade. Within months, I was sailing English bay with grilled salmon, white wine and a district attorney (solicitor) in a bikini.

A senate race matters; a senator's race doesn't.
Last week, a rude critic tweeted Senator Tim Scott that he's a house nigga. His single word response was "Senate". Don't be a House nigga; be a Senate nigga. Our actions and attitude in life are far more vital than our color, gender, class roots, or bad luck. Don't be a homeless man; be an outdoorsman. Don't be a victim; be a victor. Some white Americans live in fear of foreigners. Some black Americans live in fear of cops. Some bitter authors whine about cruel insurance-demanding Canadians who took all their money then demanded an extra vowel that took all the humor, color, and flavor out of life. Don't overdramatize; overcome. Don't whine; win.


  1. I must say one thing: the extra vowel is the right spelling!

  2. Yes it is, William. Like most whining, mine is much ado about nothing when there is so much to do about big things.