All Those People

Cornelius EadyFrom Cornelius Eady’s “The Cab Driver Who Ripped Me Off” in The Autobiography of a Jukebox (1997):

That’s right, said the cab driver,
Turning the corner to the
Round-a-bout way,
Those stupid, fuckin’ beggars,
You know the guys who
Walk up to my cab
With their hands extended
And their little cups?
You know their problem?
You know what’s wrong with them?
They ain’t got no brains.
I mean, they don’t know nothin’
’cause if they had brains
They’d think of a way
To find a job.
You know what one of ’em told me once?
He said what he did,
Begging
He said it was work.
Begging
Was work.
And I told him
Straight to his face:
That ain’t work.
You think that’s work?
Let me tell you what work is:
Work is something that you do
That’s of value
To someone else.
Now you take me.
It takes brains to do
What I do.
You know what I think?
I think they ought to send
All these beggars over
To some other country,
Any country,
It don’t matter which,
For 3, 4, years,
Let them wander around
Some other country,
See how they like that.
We ought to make a
National program
Sending them off
To wander about
Some other country
For a few years,
Let ’em beg over there,
See how far it gets them.
I mean, look at that guy
You know, who was big
In the sixties,
That drug guy,
Timothy Leary?
Yeah, he went underground,
Lived overseas.
You know what?
A few years abroad
And he was ready to
Come back
On any terms.
He didn’t care if
They arrested him.
He said
The U.S. is better
Than any country
In the world.
Send them over there
For a few years.
They’d be just like him.
This is the greatest country
In the whole world.
Timothy Leary
Was damn happy
To get back here,
And he’s doing fine.
Look at me.
I used to be like that.
I used to live underground.
I came back.
I think all those beggars got
a mental block.
I think you should do something.
I mean, you ought to like
what you do,
But you should do something.
Something of use
To the community.
All those people,
Those bums,
Those scam artists,
Those hustlers,
Those drug addicts,
Those welfare cheats,
Those sponges.
Other than that
I don’t hold nothin’
Against no one.
Hey, I picked you up.

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