RUSH: This is Annette in Fairfield, California. I'm glad to have you on the program. Hi.
CALLER: Hi there. I'm really glad to be there. I've been trying to get in to tell you this little story. My grandchildren are no longer playing cops and robbers or cowboys and Indians like we did when we were kids. Now they're playing homeless.
RUSH: (laughing) Okay. I'll bite.
RUSH: How do you play homeless?
CALLER: A couple years ago I bought my granddaughter one of those little grocery carts that you can get like you see beginning shoppers, and --
RUSH: Wait, wait, wait, wait. I sadly, or no, I do not have young crumb crunchers. So are there toy shopping carts? Is that what you're saying?
CALLER: This particular one is one that I got at a store that was going out of business.
RUSH: Is it a miniature, or was it real one, just small?
CALLER: It's miniature, and it's very sturdy. It's not one of the plastic ones.
RUSH: Okay. All right.
CALLER: Anyway, I thought, well, this will last --
RUSH: Suitable for a child homeless person to live in and call home.
CALLER: Exactly, exactly. I thought, well, this is a good thing. This will last her awhile, and, you know, you can always put the extra toys in or whatever you want to do. Well, anyway, my daughter went out and the kids were out in the backyard playing, and they had the grocery cart with them, and there was a ruckus going on. And she said, “What's going on?”
“We're just playing homeless, Mom. It's okay.” And she said, “What?” They were playing homeless. The two little boys were fighting over the grocery cart, and my granddaughter was sitting off to the side kind of just watching it. So my daughter said, “Why do you have gloves on?” “Oh,” she said, “’Cause the guy down at Ralph's has gloves on, and so I wanted to, you know, copy him.”
RUSH: Ralph's, the supermarket, behemoth chain, yes.
CALLER: Right. This is LA. And so she said, “Well, what are you doing?” She said, "Well, I'm sitting here managing.” And she said, “What do you mean managing?” “Well, we have this camp here and I just thought there should be a manager, so I'm the manager.”
RUSH: Wait. Your granddaughter is off on the side while a couple of young boys are fighting for home, fighting for the shopping cart.
CALLER: Yeah. Yeah.
RUSH: She's wearing gloves watching it sort of --
CALLER: Yeah. To copy the guy at Ralph's.
RUSH: To copy the guy at Ralph's. But what's Ralph's gotta do with homelessness?
CALLER: Well, that's where she had seen them.
RUSH: Oh, the homeless people go to Ralph's?
CALLER: Well, they hang out at the front, sure, in the parking lot, whatever.
CALLER: This is LA, remember.
RUSH: I know. I thought they were at Skid Row in LA down the street from the police station.
CALLER: No, no, no. They're in the neighborhoods. They've taken over the little park down the street.
RUSH: Well, I know the shopping cart is their home, you can find videos, the homeless advocates, on how to give people shopping carts. Can you imagine that as a definition of compassion? “Here, homeless guy, I love you, I care about you, take this shopping cart, have it be your new home.”
RUSH: They end up feeling good about it.
CALLER: Look how shiny it is.
RUSH: And they put all their earthly belongings in it and start trudging around town. So the game of homeless, these two guys are fighting over the cart, the too young -- how old is your granddaughter at the time --
CALLER: My granddaughter is 9.
RUSH: She's 9 and the guys that she's playing are the same age?
CALLER: The boys are 4 and 5.
RUSH: So 4- and 5-year-olds are fighting over the home.
RUSH: And your granddaughter's wearing gloves off to the side.
CALLER: It’s hysterical when you first hear about it, and then you think, oh, my God. How horrible is this?
RUSH: Well, yeah, but we still need more information. They're playing homeless, but aside from fighting over the shopping cart, what else does it involve?
CALLER: I'm not really sure, because I don't think it lasted very long.
RUSH: Well, I was gonna say, because neither of them actually are homeless.
CALLER: No, and there really wasn't much in the grocery cart to fight over because they hadn't really had enough time to accumulate (crosstalk) --
RUSH: This is a real tough question. Do you think, whether they knew it or not, were they making fun of the homeless or were they trying to be like them?
CALLER: Hard to say, 'cause I wasn't there. This is just a report from my daughter. Probably (crosstalk) --
RUSH: Oh, you were not an eyewitness to this?
CALLER: No, but I do have a photograph.
RUSH: Oh. Your descriptive powers are such that it sounds like you were there.
CALLER: Well, I do have a photograph. That's the advantage I have.
RUSH: Well, that would help.
RUSH: It definitely would help.
CALLER: So I thought you would know or would like to know what passes for entertainment in California.
RUSH: Well, I don't think you have anything to worry about unless -- unless -- your granddaughter takes these two guys to a Dumpster to teach them how to dive.
CALLER: (chuckling) I don't think that's gonna happen.
RUSH: If they're playing homeless with shopping carts now, you can't be sure.
CALLER: (chuckling) I think --
RUSH: You can't take the chance. You gotta make sure they don't think there's something romantic about Dumpsters.
CALLER: I suspect my daughter took care of that. She's, uh... She's pretty levelheaded.
RUSH: Ha-ha. Okay.
CALLER: But I just thought you'd like to know.
RUSH: I love hearing the story. I'm envisioning this.
RUSH: I'm seeing them playing homeless. Of course, a lot of people think it's much healthier than playing cowboys and Indians with fake guns.
CALLER: Well, cowboys and Indians or cops and robbers. That's probably not allowed anymore (crosstalk) --
RUSH: No, like dodgeball. Dodgeball isn't allowed --
CALLER: It's pretty violent.
RUSH: -- other than at the (crosstalk) --
CALLER: You know, we used to play nurses and war, you know, soldiers and --
RUSH: Oh, we still do that!
RUSH: Nobody's ever given up playing doctor and nurse.
CALLER: Well, I've given up my nurse's cap for the homemaker thing, so, yeah.
RUSH: All right.
CALLER: You'll rarely find me out in the yard.
RUSH: Let me tell you something: If they stop playing doctor and the nurse?
CALLER: That's a whole other game.
RUSH: Well, it's a time to maybe be concerned here.
CALLER: That's a whole 'nother game so, anyway --
RUSH: Depending on these guys --
CALLER: -- be careful when you get a grocery cart.
RUSH: These two boys that were fighting over the shopping carts, how were they dressed, how were they attired?
CALLER: (laughing) Are you sure? (laughing)
RUSH: (laughing) I just want to know how deep into the game they get.
CALLER: (laughing) Well, I don't know where he got it, but my grandson was wearing a gold lame jacket.
RUSH: (laughing) Okay.
CALLER: (laughing) I'm sorry.
RUSH: (laughing) Like you said, it's California.
CALLER: It's California!