Sunday, April 8, 2012

700 Hoboes: The Whispered Lies Of Whispering-Lies McGruder

"Everything I whisper is true."

"That's my bindle. I've had it for years."

"My father owns this railroad."

"I know the Chief of Police in this town, and we have an arrangement. He lets me and my buddies camp behind the freight depot and bathe in the water tower, and we let him buy us breakfast at the five-and-dime."

"I got this scar in France in 1917, in a hand-to-hand fight with a 265-pound German. He got hold of my bayonet, and I grabbed his, but it was cold and raining and I lost my grip and dropped it in the mud at the bottom of my trench. I had to fight him in close quarters, hands versus blade. He cut me bad, but I just kept punching and praying, punching and praying, and finally down he went. I found that bayonet, named it Nancy and brought it home with me, but some hobo stole it a few years back as I slumbered under the Southern Railway trestle in Lynchburg, Virginia."

"I got no kids that I know of."

"That sign means 'A dog is buried here,' not 'A mean dog lives here.' It's perfectly safe to camp here."

"Babe Ruth was a hobo before he made it to the big leagues. I rode the rails from Cumberland to Baltimore with him and President Harding's stepson, Marshall for the better part of a month. He was a maestro on the harmonica, and a hell of a cook."

"I had a full scholarship to attend Notre Dame. I was recruited to run track in the spring and play quarterback in the fall. I tore an Achilles tendon while bowling with my buddies the night of high school graduation, and they disqualified me. By the time I was running again, the war was on and I was off to North Africa to fight."

"I didn't steal your beans."

"I don't know what it means to lose the love of a good woman."

"I'm stronger than I look."

"That library used to be a speakeasy. The basement is still full of hooch. If you sweet-talk the spinster librarian, she'll take you down there. If she likes you, you might leave with a gallon of the stuff - and a smile on your face. The trick is to recite Shakespeare to her, but you have to stick to the sonnets, and you have to rearrange them just so - to have the cadence and rhyme scheme of a limerick, without changing the words. It's not as easy as it sounds. But don't go falling in love with her; she's very pretty."

"Those ain't my fleas. I had a bath this morning."

"I stole your beans."

"I don't care to know anything about my father or mother."

"One day I'll get a job and leave all this behind."


  1. "I got no kids that I know of."
    ...boy, if I got a nickel every time I said that!

  2. You'd make a great lying hobo. Heyyyyy wait a minute...