[text version of The Rude Guy Podcast #60 August 1, 2009]
- So you wanna live in your car
So you wanna live in your car!
I felt sorry for myself because I had no house, until I saw a man who had no car.
Screwed by corporations? Lost your house? Stop whining and go live in your car. Like me.
There’re lots of good reasons to do it: no rent, no mortgage, no grass to mow. Can’t be found by cops, process servers, auto repo guys, ex wives or needy kids.
Save on gas. You don’t have to drive to work. You can sleep right in the parking lot. Don’t have to drive home, you’re ALWAYS home.
Sound good? Here’s what you need to know.
It’s best to have a van or SUV with tinted windows. You want to be able to park anywhere and have no one suspect you are sleeping inside. If you snore, cut off your nose. Cops will roust you out of nice places like parks and beaches, so you gotta be able to sleep on any quiet suburban street. Stealth.
Shitting and showering:
If you’re planning on shitting and showering in your van do us all a favor and go hang yourself right now. Peeing is different. I need to pee several times a night so I bought a yellow, plastic wide-mouthed screw-top bottle in the camping section at Wal-Mart.
If you are living in your car you cannot afford to shop anywhere EXCEPT Wal-Mart.
Also, it’s not a bad idea to take your morning “constitutional” there, or McDonalds or some 24-hour food store.
Showering is trickier. I often swim and shower at the beach. Some communities have free or nearly free swimming pools. You might have to join a discount health club to get at a shower. Just don’t wear out your welcome with your friends. You’ll need them for other things.
Most folks use cell phones. Nobody ever calls me so I just use a cheap headset and Skype on my computer whenever I get somewhere I can poach bandwidth. Skype is 2 cents a minute almost anywhere on earth. Can’t beat it.
Food is a problem. I hate not being able to cook. I used to cart around a gas burner bottle and pots and pans but gave up. Too much effort for too little cooking. Bought an ice cooler but soon learned I could go broke buying ice. So now I just use the cooler for storing dry food. I score canned food from food pantries and sandwich fixin’s with foodstamps. Your mom lied. Mayonnaise does not spoil out of the fridge.
A few times a week I hit the church soup kitchens for dinner or Salvation Army for lunch. You get two choices. Starch with salt, or salt with Starch. Really tough on my high blood pressure.
I keep most of my stuff in a storage locker and just go there every day or two to grab the things I need. That way I don’t have to worry about losing my laptop.
Car-sleepers are the aristocrats of the homeless. Ground sleepers have it rough, fending off dogs and bums.
I sleep on a foam futon in my car and have an office in a storage locker.
As the economy tanked the Storage Locker place made me an offer I couldn’t refuse. I got a four-times bigger locker, 10 by 10 feet, for half price: $140 a month. Now I can microwave coffee and ramen noodles and Italian sausage and baked potatoes. And it’s also quiet enough that I can record and edit podcasts, and take afternoon naps. Up town!
And when it comes to cars, check out this rolling riot. No one will even bother to wonder if you are sleeping inside something like this.