What's with the hoboes?

If you've seen any of my "700 Hoboes" posts, and you find yourself scratching your head, puzzling over the origin and meaning of it all, I think I can help you.  It's not as weird as you might assume it is after reading one of the hobo posts cold.

A few years ago John Hodgman, a gifted comic, writer, Daily Show contributor and actor (he's PC, from the Mac vs. PC commercials), published an almanac of hilariously made-up world facts - "The Areas Of My Expertise."  It includes a section about hoboes and a list of 700 hobo names.  I've been going through the list of 700 hobo names and making up back stories for them and posting them here.  Simple, non?

I do not have Mr. Hodgman's explicit permission to use these names, but if everyone who reads this blog - yes, all 10 of you - would just go out and purchase all of his books, and if I continue to make zero dollars from this project, maybe he won't sue me.  If he does, I will point out to him that he says in his book, "... here are seven hundred more known historical hoboes whose names you can steal..."  Hopefully that will do the trick.

So read on, and enjoy.  Some of the stories may be amusing, some will be beyond bizarre and most of them will be tales of abject desperation and sadness.  I hope you find a few that you like.

Finally, please don't mistake the silliness of these stories for a cavalier attitude regarding destitute, homeless drifters.  Far from it.  I hope to make them what we all are, homeless or otherwise -- people.


  1. A laudable and interesting undertaking. Good luck with this. As a hobo in the making, I feel I can get behind it without reservation. My hobo name: AimlessJonah.

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Aimless! Unless I start putting 30 of these guys in each story, I'm fairly certain I'll never finish this. Stay tuned, though!