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DIARIES OF A WANDERER (subtitle: Thoughts On A New Day)

I put in another nine-hour day at my job at the station. Many stories I wrote this morning piqued my interest. One of them was a story about a Phoenix man “devastated” after the Arizona Humane Society euthanized his cat. He took “Scruffy” the cat, recently renamed “Stiffy,” to the society for treatment of a cut. Well, the recovering drug addict could not pay for treatment until the next day. Apparently, the society put the cat down, which sparked public outrage across the country. I guess countless other cat haters wanted to put the cat down first. The man told a Phoenix TV station, “It’s a total shame what they did.” Personally, I think they did the world a favor. I always say, one cat at a time. But I digress. The man only learned of what happened after looking for his “pet” for three days, only to find it hanging on the wall of a local taxidermist. The society issued an apology, saying it regrets the cat wasn’t put down earlier.
After my shift ended, I grabbed my laptop and began walking down Illinois Street in downtown Indianapolis, on my way to grab coffee and an English muffin while taking advantage of free wi-fi to file this report. It’s a chilly 35 degrees (about ten degrees warmer than yesterday). During my walk, I passed several taxi cabs, two graffiti-tagged buildings and the same homeless man twice playing an alto saxophone. How did he move so fast? Whatever. I dropped a dollar in his “collection coffee can (I think it was Brim, but can’t be for certain)” both times. I finally made it to Café Patachou in the Simon building, where I was greeted by the same hostess who greets me each time I visit. Candice always knew how to start a day on the right foot — not that she had a choice. Her left leg was amputated two years ago following a horrible accident involving a tree chipper. But I digress.
I sat down at a table for four. I was hoping the two strangers already sitting there wouldn’t mind. They didn’t say anything, only to get up and walk away without saying goodbye. That’s just plain rude. My friend Angie met me about 15 minutes later. She didn’t waste any time opening up about her latest failed relationship. I’m just not sure why she always has to take me down with her.
Speaking of taking me down with her, the 100th anniversary of the Titanic disaster is next April. An England-based travel company is helping to honor the event by offering a unique cruise next spring re-tracing the route of the doomed liner. The ship will depart Southampton April 12th and stop at the exact location the Titanic met its demise in 1912, where a memorial service will take place. This sounds interesting. After reading the fine print, I discovered more than 1,500 passengers would be sacrificed, while some 700 others would be spared and ordered to cry about it for the rest of their lives. Reliving history comes at a price, though. Tickets are costing as much as $5,000. I just wonder what cruise company is going to front the ship to be sunk. A second cruise departs New York City and will stop in Halifax, Nova Scotia, where the graves for those who couldn’t swim are located. The ship will then cruise to the memorial site to pick up the surviving passengers from the first ship.
I was just about finished with my coffee, but had only eaten half my English muffin when I realized the homeless man to whom I gave two dollars on two separate occasions was now outside the restaurant. After shutting down my computer, I ate the other half of my muffin, said goodbye to my friend and paid my tab. I tipped 10%. But my kindness made up for the other 10%. Somehow, my server wasn’t impressed. I walked out and gave the homeless man another dollar. He was grateful, and played me out as I walked back up Illinois Street back home to my downtown apartment. I wondered if I would ever meet the alto saxophone-playing homeless man again. I also wondered if I’d ever invite my buzz-killing friend to join me for breakfast anymore.
Fifteen minutes later, I was home. I turned on WISH-TV to see what other type of steam they were going to blow up my %#^ today. I jotted a few ideas down. Not bad. I’ll write about those later. I’m off to sleep now, only to wake up and do it all over again at 11 o’clock tonight. The weekend is almost here. The new year is just as close!

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About Randy Shy

I am an award-winning producer in Indianapolis with a passion for writing and making people laugh. If you ever run into me on the streets, there's a good chance I will have just made someone laugh -- perhaps not you, not yet. But your day will come!

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