Joseph John The Technicolor Hobo

London Travel Blog

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It was summer, I was in London. My friend and I were sitting on the porch to our dorm, having some sandwiches from Tesco. It was maybe 10PM or so, and we were just sitting, chatting, and munching our cheese sandwiches.

A man in a purple sweatshirt that read, "HAWAII 2004" in multicolored lettering on it stumbled towards us, carrying a bottle of...something. He had a beard and a pretty neat hat.

"HELLO," he stumbled and slurred at us.

"Um, hi!" we replied nervously.

"Hey you girls, you girls...Are you AUSTRALIAN?" he asked.

"No, we're American" we told him.

"OH! America. Lemmie guess. You're from NEW YORK?"

"No, we're fro..."

He cut us off.

"No lemmie guess. You're from CALIFORNIA" he shouted.

"Nope," we cut in, "we're from Michigan. You know, near Detroit"

"Oh. Americas a big place you got a lot...52 States! 52! Fucking 52!"

"Yeah sure," I said, and looked at Jana nervously. We were cornered against some walls and he had us blocked in as he stumbled about.

Some other guys came up and sat with us, asking for a light for his cigarette--fellow Americans.

The hobo went on, "Americans....fucking Americans, you fucking elected THE TERMINATOR! Imagine that, only in America...So what are your names?"

So we all went about and told him our names. The whole time, he's drinking and stumbling about in front of us.

"MY NAME IS JOSEPH," the homeless man declared to the sky.

"Well...kind of like the guy with the dreamcoat?" one of the guys who was sitting near us asked. "Do you have a technicolored dreamcoat?"

"Yeah! I STABBED him for it!" the hobo said laughing, brandishing his unlabeled bottle of booze like a knife, "I stabbed him and I made this sweatshirt."

So he ranted for a while, then started making fun of the way we talk.

"You talk funny. You can't say CUNT right. CUNT. Americans are all like...coooont. cuuun'. There's not venom! Coooooooont," he said in a high pitched voice, gesticulating effeminately and setting his eyes on the two men in our party, "Say it! Practice saying CUNT. Call those cunts, there," he pointed at us, "call them CUNTS like you mean it"

"Umm that's not a very nice word, why would we want to say that? We don't even know these girls!" the guys protested, but to no avail. Joseph the hobo brandished his bottle at us threateningly.

"SAY IT, say cunt!"

"CUNT!" the guys repeated.

"Know what else you Americans can't say? You're all like, 'I want a hamburger and fries please. I want a hamburger and friiiiiiiies' and I'm like, GIMMIE A HAMBURGER AND CHIPS, YOU FUCKIN' CUNT!"

Then he talked about the sky for a while, meditating on the vastness of it, and pondering building a ladder to the moon.

He also then reintroduced himself to John.

Finally he stumbled off the step in front of us and we saw our break and get up and excused ourselves, saying we had class in the morning and had to go to bed, running in the dorm.


So there you have it. The wonderful story of Joseph John, the Technicolor Hobo.

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photo by: ulysses