WASH, the Worldwide Association of Street Hobos, announced today that it was ending its programme of ‘getting the message across to traffic’ and will begin the withdrawal of ‘brave, frontline foot-soldiers, who take on moving vehicles from the very edge of the pavement.’
Spanning more than four decades, the traffic-shouting programme has been one of WASH’s longest-running and most successful campaigns. In their distinctive uniform of woolly hat, worn-out boots and ‘four seasons’ outerwear, and kitted out with a shopping bag in which to carry essential light refreshment, Junction Hobos are recognised as a traditional feature of street culture, as they engage vehicles individually and collectively in an on-going debate about genealogical heritage. Now the campaign organisers say they are more than happy with the results and their work is done.
Not everyone agrees. There are those who think the campaign was derailed when the shopping bags were upgraded to trolleys. ‘I set out to be part of the solution,’ explained seasoned campaigner Old Tom, ‘but there I was, pushing a four-wheeled pram with a heavy fuel consumption and finally realised I’d become part of the problem when I found myself being shouted at by gangs of youth hobos. What is a ‘nutbag’, anyway?’
The future looks bleak. With pension rights eroded by inflation and lifestyle choice, redundant Junction Hobos are planning a mass rally under the bridge tonight. As Old Tom sorted himself out a ‘The End Is Nigh’ placard, he said ‘I’ve only got one word for any of them. Bastards.’