Bums in Chicago now want to shake your hand before they ask you for money. I'm not a misophobe—one who is afraid of germs (you bet I had to look that one up)—but I still see no need for physical contact. The bum who asked for money today claimed to be deaf. He probably was; I've never seen that trick pulled before. (I sort of appreciated the guy who came up to me on a bus in February and asked me to donate money for a charity event. He was asking people to add their name to a looseleaf sheet of paper with "AIDS walk" written in pen at the top, and he wanted five dollars per mile. When I gave him a dollar, he said, "No, it's five dollars per mile.")
Or maybe this bum with the handwritten note who kept pointing at his ear is an innovator whose hot idea is about to spread like wildfire throughout the bum community. Come to think of it, wildfires destroy homes, thereby making people homeless.
Hmm ... okay, scratch that cliche. Wait a second—I've got it! Bums should scratch our backs! You literally scratch my back, Mr. Bum, and I'll metaphorically scratch yours with a dollar or two! Don't shake my hand anymore—head directly for my back.
One day I'll be telling my grandkids about my exciting accomplishments. But they'd better wash their filthy little hands and faces before they sit on my lap.