Vagrants. Derelicts. Vagabonds. Lowlifes. Hobos. Tramps. Bums. Drifters. Take your pick, there isn’t a PC term for those getting the shitty short-end of life’s stick. For those who have lived in Boston for more than a school term, you might be familiar with one particularly disheveled character that frequents the streets… er, sidewalks of Beantown. You hear him from a half-mile away and you learn to step out of his way or else he will cycle over your touristy ass. Louie is his name and sidewalk cycling is his schtick.* The myth is when he first started riding his bike on the sidewalk, a badge-welding Baconator told him he needed to affix a bell to it, something shrill to alert pedestrians. I’m sure a bell wasn’t at the top of his priority list, so he opted for the next best thing:
While walking down Mass Ave today, I noticed a small group of people huddling over something. Turns out it was a someone. It was Louie. His bike was just around the corner, neatly resting against a pole and parking meter. He was sprawled on the cement and shouting into the sidewalk. Whenever a person tried to help him up, he’d just yell at them and push them away. I pray these unconventional actions were conventional in his world and that he’s alright. Louie makes up a noteworthy percentage of Boston’s OST.
*Thought I was going to rhyme “name” with “game” didn’t you? Sucka!