PC and loss

by on Sep.02, 2010, under Current

I have often found myself at odds with the “politically correct” movement. Just when did Americans gain the right to “be not offended”? This poppycock has gone on long enough.

Gone are the days when, in polite company, one could reference that which there was a strong dislike for as “gay” or “retarded”. Farewells have been tearfully announced for gems such as “midget”.

Some of the more tragic losses have gone unnoticed and this is the crux of my complaint today.


The Hobo… Beloved and cherished staple of the last minute Halloween costume. Formerly seen as a hallmark of the American Halloween season, it has been hunted to near extinction. The “Indian” has also gone by the wayside.. but being largely a creation of Hollywood, it’s loss is not so mourned.

For years their numbers had been dwindling, a result of the modern media and the tendency for parents to run around at the last minute trying to find purchasable accoutrement. The bias I hold for store-bought Halloween garments cannot be understated… c’mon people, use some imagination!!

Gone is the happy image of the train-hopping tramp, replaced by the crazed, drug-addled, freeway exit-ramp window-washer, begging for change to purchase his “nip-o-the-stuff”… the once resilient wanderer killed by the urban vagrant.

I, personally, have not witnessed the Hobo in it’s native habitat for a good 19 years and the last specimen was past it’s prime, on it’s last legs, begging for some sort of recognition from it’s peers. The sample was received with mixed acceptance. Dirty cover-alls, smudged face and a “will work for food” sign fashioned from a bit of cardboard refuse… was found to be wildly amusing by those with a cynical sense of humor and also by much shaking of heads and scoffing glances by the more prudent local residents. I’d like to think that he’s out there somewhere…his mournful call of “Trick or Treeeeaaaat!” flitting though the ether.

This Halloween season, I ask that you take a moment to consider the possibilities the age-old Hobo may hold. If you are one of those “last-minute” costumers… consider what fun and happiness the Hobo might bring. Let not this powerhouse of American Halloween uniforms be retired. Let not it slip into eternity. Don your ragged trousers, your worn and torn over-sized jacket, your 5 o’clock shadows, your ragamuffin hat and saunter proudly wherever your holed shoes may take you.

Viva la Hobo.


29 comments for this entry:
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    I remember watching the trains go by near my house and wondering if there was a hobo on board. Ahh the innocence of a child.

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