june 20, 2003 | 11:23 pm

[ sam | subject ]
[ irate | mood ]
[ what sam hetty used to say | soundtrack ]

Sam Hetty passed away the other day. He was just this crazy homeless guy that I ran into a few times. I'm surprised I recognized his name. Am I supposed to care?

I remember one time, after an afternoon doing the Jumble at the coffeeshop, I was getting into my car when he came up to me to announce that "Sam Hetty is purple!" (He had a habit of speaking in the third person.) Confused, I replied that he didn't look bruised to me. He looked offended at what I said. "Sam Hetty can not get bruised!", he scolded me, rolling up his sleeve to expose his arm. "You see that? Like a rock!" I had to take a step back just then - he smelled like something that was dug up from the ground.

Another time, I was crossing the street to get to the mailbox when I heard him bellowing atop a milkcrate, "Why, Sam Hetty would swap wise for ease anyday!" Some random guy on the street applauded him and said, "Few people would take wisdom over convenience. Good for you." Well, Sam, he practically barked at him with a scathing reply of "You sure do hear good, boy, but you don't listen!" I was annoyed that he would treat a stranger that way, then minded my letters and went on my way.

The last time he approached me, I was coming out of the convenience store. He was sad and I noticed he had a paperbag in hand. "I know now that she was right," he kinda confessed to me. "You really can take the man from the East just as easily as you can take the East from the man.."

I think he was talking about himself. Whatever.


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