Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Who’s the Rumpus

Rumpus was a nasty old guy who lived near the arcade we went to when we were kids. When I say lived I mean his cardboard palace was close to the arcade. The dude never bathed, and was always asking for money. He never said much. His signs did most of the talking. It was always something catchy and funny, like reading those church marquees. I don’t know who thought of it first Rumpus or the churches, but I guess funny signs bring in the business.
The arcade’s name was Green Charlie Video Arcade and Entertainment. We just called it Greasy Charlie’s. My mom would have killed me if she knew I went there some afternoons after school. Charlie was a nasty guy. He had one of those back rooms with adult videos and what not. He didn’t let kids back there, but we knew what he had. Why else would all the winos come into an arcade? Rumpus never went in to the back or even the arcade for that matter. He always sat outside never saying anything. I guess they never called the cops to shoo him away because he never did anything to anybody. That is until one day he grabbed my arm as I opened the door and said, “I’m running for president. Will you vote for me?” I told him yes, mainly because I was freaked out. Funny thing being that ever election year I check the ballot for his name. I’d vote for him if I saw his name. I don’t know why, but he did have some pretty funny signs.


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