Dear Dirty America


Lyle Shove-It, Famous Hollywood Bum & Oracle, Fears Not NSA Surveillance Programs

June 12
21:28 2013
Los Angeles

I’m not sure why I stopped accessing the free council of Hollywood’s most famous bum and oracle, but the repeated scandals and invasions of privacy coming out of Washington drove me back into the dusty coat jacket arms of Lyle Shove-It.

I used to see Lyle once a week at our special location; the meeting point of two famous Hollywood streets, but I will not tell you which, because Lyle and I have a special bond, and we don’t break our word to one another. I’ve promised not to make him famous, and he’s allowed me to pass on his wisdom to others.

What do you think, I asked him as soon as I sat at the other end of Shove-It’s Hollywood bench, about the revelation that the US government is quite literally watching everything people do online, through their computers and smartphones, and viewing their pictures, and saving every bit of electronic information put online by American citizens?

What do you think of the surveillance state our nation has turned into? I almost shouted. I get worked up by these issues.

I’m not sure why I didn’t first say hello to Lyle Shove-It, rather than launching into my bloated question. I should have asked how he’d been, and maybe apologized for not seeing him recently. But I know Shove-It isn’t much for hellos and goodbyes.

But he remembered me. Not many young men with long blonde hair seek his council. Actually, nobody seeks anything from him, and that’s the way he likes to live.

Shove-It seemed to be suffering from nasal congestion that day, and I hoped it wasn’t serious. After a quick bit of sniffling and snuffling, he still didn’t say anything.

Well? I asked loudly. What about it? What if the government’s secret intelligence agency wired up your shopping cart and tracked everywhere you went, and recorded everything you said to the people you meet everyday? They’d have all your locations mapped out, and how often and at what times you saunter between them.

“All they’d hear,” Shove-It finally said, and then he looked at his cart as if he’d never seen it before, “is a bunch of clanging and clacking. They’re welcome to record it and use it any way they’d like.”

Suddenly, he stood. He wiped his forehead with his grimy green army hat, and then pushed the cart about ten feet down the sidewalk. The cart’s front right wheel was loose. Every foot it touched down on the pavement and spun. It clattered terribly.

A young Midwestern couple wearing matching polo shirts walked toward us on the sidewalk. They moved into the street, risking the dangers of fast-moving traffic, to avoid us.

Lyle Shove-It sat down again. He left the cart where he’d pushed it. A dusty pair of white sneakers balanced atop a filled plastic garbage bag. What was inside, I didn’t know. “See what I mean?” he said.

After that, Shove-It went back to looking out across the street. A new Thai restaurant had opened since I’d last visited. How long has that place been there? I asked him.

“For awhile,” he said.

I remembered then that once, a couple years ago, Shove-It chided me about paying so much attention to time. I believe I’d asked him how many years he’d been coming to sit on that bench. “I’m not a record keeper,” he’d said, and then added, “and that’s what’s kept me sane.”

If you don’t know who Lyle Shove-It is, here are the articles featuring the Oracle’s wisdom:
Hollywood’s Most Famous Bum & Oracle Weighs in on the Supposed Kardashian / Bryant Feud (read it here)
Old Farts Don’t Belong in Teenybopper Bars (read it here)
Lyle Shove-It Has Fetish for Sarah Palin (read it here)
Lyle Comments on Lebron James’ Move to Miami (read it here)
Hair Care Tips from Hollywood (read it here)
Shove-It on Having a Black Man as President (here)
Shove-It Talks Religion & Jesus Christ (here)
Oracle Talks About the Repugnant Nature of American Politics (here)
Bedbugs Infesting Many Homes in US, but Park Benches Still Safe to Sleep On (here)

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