Saturday, July 5, 2008

The Smiles are high...

... in the City that's mile-high.

It's a debate that has gone on since at least the time of Greeks: which modern American city has the funniest homeless population? It was said best in the count of monte cristo; "you sire can rob me of my life, but thine canst taketh not mine good humour."

Any observant citizen of Denver, CO can probably tell you that Denver has, without a doubt, the wittiest bums (British people insert "smart ass" joke here). Most everyone by now has seen a homeless sign saying something along the lines of "Why lie? Need cold beer". According to Hamilton Withers' 2005 article in A Bum Life, this slogan not only originated in downtown Denver in 1992, but since then has been used nationally by bums from the bus stops of L.A. all the way to the on-ramps of I-287 in New York/Jersey. The creator of the slogan who went by the name, "Dale" was a disabled Vietnam Vet who only wanted his kids back and as little at 25 cents made a difference to him, God bless. Dale passed away a just one year ago but not before he came up with some other catchy homeless slogans such as the sequel: "Why lie, space ship broke down, need parts."

Dale's cardboard originals are framed and on display at the Denver Rescue Mission, where other hungry patrons have been inspired to make their own creative signs with hopes that they will catch on like Dale's "Why lie?" did, as well as hopes that you'll pass them a spare dollar when at a red light.

Studies have shown that Denver is unique in its subculture of clever homeless in comparison with other metropolitan areas. Below is just a random smattering of the jaw-droppingly witty signs you can see around Denver proper.

Mayor John Hickenlooper: Our city's homeless signs are the pride of Denver.

Ken Blackwell: Our city's hilarious homeless are just one of the many perks of living in Denver.

Allen Iverson: I just take it one game at a time. They played real solid, we're happy to get out with a win.

copyright 08 z and stee enterprises