A buddy of mine recently quoted a memorable breakfast conversation from Pulp Fiction when describing my recent life choices. In Tarantino’s Masterpiece Jules (Jackson) tells Vincent (Travolta) that he intends to “walk the Earth” “like Caine in Kung-Fu” to “meet people” and “get in adventures.” Vincent responds, “So, you decided to be a bum.”
(check out the video to the right if you have no idea what I'm talking about)
I guess you could call me that. After all, I do meet 2 of the 3 criteria that Vincent used to qualify Jules as a bum.
- No job
- No residence
- No legal tender
I will not have a job nor will I have a permanent residence. I will have legal tender as I have spent months saving for this trip, but if those are the only 3 qualifications 2/3 of the time I could be labeled as a bum. That didn't quite sit right with me, as ‘bum’ is not usually a prestigious classification. It prompted me to examine the ‘bum’ label a little further.
According to Merriam Webster online a ‘bum’ [noun] can be defined in the following ways.
- One who sponges off others and avoids work.
- One who performs a functions poorly
- One whose time is devoted to a recreational activity
- One with no settled residence or means of support
OK. Let’s look at these one by one.
- I have no intention of sponging off others, I can support myself, but I definitely intend on avoiding work for a while, at least work of the indoor cubicle type variety.
- I don’t generally perform any function very poorly, unless of course I’m hungover, then I don’t do anything well.
- I fully intend on devoting 100% of my time to recreational activity in the coming months. Can't argue with that at all.
- I will not have a settled residence as most days I will wake up in a different place than the day before, but I will have a means of support (health benefits, insurance, etc.)
Well shit. It certainly appears that, depending on your point of view, I could be and should be considered a bum. My friend’s movie reference seems like it was in fact appropriate. To be honest after reading some of the definitions I don’t mind the moniker, but I prefer to be thought of as a recreational bum, just like the ski bums, climbing bums, and beach bums that can be found across the country enjoying things for the rest of us.