Worn out Shoe Strings

This picture is ALMOST the spitting image of  HER – the bag lady we call Shoe Strings. The reason I say almost, is because when my computer crashed I lost my photo imaging program that I was getting really good at in photochopping normal pictures into what I wanted to show you – however,  now I have a newfangled one with all the doodads and I’m frigging lost. Oh well,  just use your imagination…

Back to Shoe Strings. When you look at this picture just imagine her squatter, blacker, bent over like a paranthesis. Grumbling as she skitters, always with  an “up yours” attitude as she slowly wheels her cart to  your front porch. A cart that is filled with either A. the flashlight that went missing from your garage last week, B. The neighbor’s weed wacker that you asked to borrow a couple of days ago – and you didn’t believe him when he said he couldn’t find it, you thought he just didn’t want to loan it to you, or C: Some type of confused rodent she’s trying to pull off as a prize cat at a bargain price. And she comes by EVERY night. ….Ever since you  gave her a dollar and a ride to the Quik Mart, well… you’re her golden goose.

The story of Shoe Strings has been going on since back in September, when Todd saw something in the window at 3 a.m. and went to investigate. What he saw was a pair of “shoe strings” hanging down from the window at crotch level.  It was crotch level because whatever arthritis Shoe Strings has causes her to stay bent at an angle – and our front window is just perfect for her to look into, and scare the bejesus out of whoever’s at the computer.  Her name is Shoe Strings because the first thing we ever laid eyes on was two dirty shoe strings in the window – that of course, turned out to be two dirty hoody strings dangling from her sweat jacket.  But hell, Shoe Strings stuck. My nickname of course – besides, it sounds so much better than “hoody strings”.

Anyway, Shoe Strings has kind of adopted us as her “benefactors” – and I will say she is quite the character. Sometimes, when I’m done researching, writing, and getting my SEO articles back under the deadline, and I can relax, I find her show up visits down right entertaining. But other times – like when I’m going over a bill that shows my car insurance is doubled, or I’m in the middle of trying to figure out just how the hell a 650 square foot apartment can elicit a PG&E bill of $240.oo per month – and she comes knocking on the window, calling “Hey DAD!” (That’s what she calls Todd), those times I don’t feel quite so kindly towards her – and I’ll tell you why.

Shoe Strings is a hustler. She doesn’t give up till she gets what she wants. And, God Love her – I know in her own “streetwise” way she considers Todd and I friends – and vice versa – but we ALL know that when Shoe Strings comes by, she’s not going to be leaving until she’s either sold us something we thought we got rid of at a garage sale the week before,  she’s weaseled us out of our last dollar OR, she talks Todd into taking her somewhere by car.  And just to make sure that WE know she’s marked us as her territory, she leaves one of her two stolen Rite Aide shopping carts on our porch like a calling card, so she has an excuse to return with more things we don’t need.

Now, I love Todd with all my heart. There’s pretty much nothing I  wouldn’t do for him, except for THIS. Todd brought the saga of Shoe Strings upon us all by himself. ALL BY HIMSELF. One night, he was feeling good, was in a great mood, and HE OPENED THE DOOR AND welcomed Shoe Strings into our lives by paying her an unheard of hustler dream street price of  $15 for a stolen lawnmower – and our fate was sealed. Our fate was sealed that night he invited her into our driveway – let her invade our privacy.  Now she’s here forever, or at least for as long as we live here. That having been said – every night as I hear the creak of that stolen cart’s wheel slipping over the potholes in our street, I look at Todd pointedly, and start packing up my things.

This is the one time it doesn’t work on my heart when Todd starts feeling sorry for himself…Too bad!   Or, when he bats those incredibly long lashes and looks at me like, “Aren’t you going to fix this, Honey?”  No. I’m. Not.  So, I smile, grab my wine,  and my smokes – do a Mission Impossible tumble slide past the window if need be so I remain undetected by her eagle eye.. and say out loud – NOPE!  Whoever smelt it dealt it! Have fun.

Even though I love him, this is ALL him. He did it to himself. He finally got enough Shoe String to hang himself with.

Del Paso…. Heights? You said we was moving to Del Paso TEXAS!…

 DISCLAIMER: Our new place isn’t as bad as you’re going to read below – im just stretching the facts for a tall tale is all – and i kinda like my own wit! So although drive by’s happen from time to time on this street; and YES the police DO get called out here often and the HELIOCOPTERS do fly over here nightly- it’s NOT as bad as i’m portraying it in this post – there is NO hooker hotel and NO “shooting gallery” next door (that i know of anyway) and when people pass out in front of my driveway…i just run over them – (since the cops don’t stop here that much I figure i have about a 50/50 chance of getting in trouble….)

Some of you know weflufinchair had to move because of our Fluffy.  I suddenly realized I hadn’t really gone into DETAIL about my new place, my neighborhood and the surrounding area. Just pretend for a moment I’m writing a REAL real estate rental ad. (Don’t worry, if it were really THIS bad, i wouldn’t be living here…).  




Cozy duplex  located in the Del Paso Heights neighborhood of Sacramento, Ca. Del Paso Heights is a ‘working class’ neighborhood with a high demand for rental housing. The property is located on a moderately quiet street with a large park, grocery and other amenities within walking distance. 

Please allow me, the renter, to add a few more details… 


ourcribA About the property

This duplex  is located right smack dab in the middle of Del Paso Heights – an infamous suburb of  Sacramento, Ca.  The duplex is too small for more than one couch, yet affords ample access should your neighborhood home invader choose to engage in a  “spur of the moment home invasion” – so convenient for last-minute gift ideas!

 This building was constructed during the  1940’s, during that era of “we trust in our government” – when whacking your neighbor and burying the body under your own porch was still a future endeavor by a yet-unborn John Wayne Gacey. 

Meet your neighbors and check out the neighborhood!  

The dwelling is situated at such an angle as to have a 24 hour unobstructed view of the neighboring house – and it’s activities.   One won’t have to spend much time at all before guessing that the aforementioned structure serves as a hooker motel by day – with quite an extensive patronage. The client base is large enough that resident parking becomes scarce at an alarming rate by  by 11 a.m. each day.   Those clients possessing vehicles seem to have been given a special “group rate” discount for “massage” services –  as they all seem to arrive at the exact same time – parking their cars, motorcycles and sometimes bicycles in front of the duplex’s driveway ..for hours.  And the festivities next door only grow more festive once darkness  hits  –  when the hooker hotel is magically  transformed into a “shooting gallery”, catering to another type of customer – that of the corner drug dealer – who is also the day time pimp, by the way.  Although this clientale appears to have lost the ability to drive a while back, strangely enough they’ve retained the skill of parallel parking – and do so bodily as they manage to pass out at just the right angle to block the driveway for the rest of the night.   

Adjacent to this duplex is a large, deceptively peaceful-looking apartment complex that’s home to a multitude of colorful  “border brothers”.  The unforgettable  drive- by hootanannies  (complete with loud threats,  cursing in spanish – and all to the tune of happy mariachi music being played on CD in the background)  commence nightly and without fail  between the hours of 8 -10, Monday through Saturday (with Sundays off for Mass).   

Economic demographics

The street itself  is one of a few located in this “working class neighborhood” – named this for several reasons: 

1. Residents living on this street are always “working” to dodge stray bullets that fly without warning at their heads, sometimes “just for no reason at all – boredom maybe…” (quoting one resident gang member) 

2. After about a month of  living here, most residents suddenly find a renewed interest in working  –  and therefore get two, sometimes three jobs which keep them busy and out of the house for most of the year. 

3. Since technically drug dealers are generating an “income” of sorts by selling crack and prostituting their mammas at night   – right  after she makes cooks them a meal and washes the dishes of course – it stands to reason they be counted in with the “working” class”.   Although the finances gained are sometimes at the expense and safety of others, it’s been determined to be legal ever since the government set this very precendent into motion years before.  

The Environment

The street IS moderately quiet…once the gunfire has stopped,  and the bodies have been photographed, tagged, bagged and hauled away.  As policemen rope off the last of the crime scene, and the crowds fall away a moment of quiet settles over the HOOD.   As the tired public servants sullenly head back to their black and whites to make the drive back to Dunkin Donuts, they hold out  no hope of finding that their maple bars and coffee will still be on their abandoned table when they return. 


Yes!  The police station is only a half a block away, and the squad cars can be spotted cruising up and down this very street many times during the day – but the occupants won’t be stopping by for a personal visit again anytime soon – at least not until the next media-driven local crime wave forces their appearance at the scene.   

Our beautiful park! 

The street is located next to a large golf course/park where the muggings and rapes – anal and regular – start without delay at 3 pm on the nose every day, rain or shine.  At 3 pm the instigators have already been out of their coma for an hour and have shot up a couple of lines of puta.  They’re hopping, hopped up, and raring to go !   

Convenient shopping!

The local convenience/grocery store down the street is unique in which a trip there often results in one being robbed two times for the price of one!  The first assault occurs upon ENTERING the store and finding sky-high prices on just the things you stopped in to purchase. The second attack occurs as your LEAVING the establishment still bitching about the prices. This time it’s not milk or hotdogs that are administering the beating,  but one of the many angry homeless panhandling gangs native to this region.  You’ll find you’ve been under close surveillance the instant you informed them you had “no change” to give them  – YET..you were observed going into the store to  buy groceries. Very interesting. These gangs take special offense at being lied to. 

No matter which gang a panhandler belongs to he shares a few common traits with his brothers of another mugger.  Each member has an empty package of cigarettes in his pocket, carries a moldy wiffle bat in this right hand and a cracked coffee mug stating “Number 2 Dad” or “Kittens are cute”  in his left.  Every gang is accompanied by a fat and smelly female whose apparent job is to sit on her fat ass, laugh and point while the robbing and mugging is going on.  To add insult to injury your one un-bloodied eye will often retain enough vision to see that she’s stuffing her face with the remnants of the last box of vanilla zingers the store had to offer – the very reason you stopped at the inconvenience store in the first place, after spending hours checking in all the stores in the “normal areas”.  


On the upside – restricted breeds such as rottweilers, pit bulls, American Staffordshire terriers and the like are welcome with open arms here – in fact, most residents have a set of them!