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A Practical Guide to Hobo Code

The Olympic Trials are nearly upon Eugene. For many, this means flying in from other parts of the country and renting a hotel room or apartment for a few days and enjoying this spectacle of world-class athleticism.

Indeed, Eugene has gone to great lengths to make the city a fun and welcoming place for people to come and enjoy during the trials. Also practically upon us is the (in)famous Oregon Country Fair, which begins on July 11, a mere 5 days after the Olympic Trials wrap up.

The upshot of all of this is that Eugene’s already-sizeable transient population is set to increase dramatically for the next month or so. In the interest of helping sports-minded hobos find their way around the city during the Olympic Trials and hopefully minimizing the confusion and possible bumfights over stoops and alleyways that might occur when the homeless Country Fair crowd arrives, I thought it might be helpful to post a link to this guide to hobo signs.

Hobo signs can be useful for a transient new to the area who might be wondering where he can get “work for food,” where he can “fake illness” for a place to sleep, which houses are “easy marks” or where “anything goes.” They’re also helpful for warning the wary drifter away from houses where judges live, “men with guns”, or dangerous “brutal” men.

While I do realize the inherent irony in writing on a blog about hobo signs for transients, it is my sincere hope that at least one bum will stop abusing his body while looking at pornography at the Knight Library long enough to find this post. After all, if we can help just one tramp avoid a “bad tempered owner”, then we’ve made the world a better place.

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