Ottawa's Festival of Ideas Since 1997


The man was sleeping on the damp sidewalk with only a pillow and a sheet. He could barely feel his ngers because of the heavy snowfall. The man was woken up by a teenager kicking snow on him. The teenager was about 16; he was drunk.


The teen begins to harass the homeless man by insulting how he smells and how he looks. The homeless man hasn’t taken a shower in a year and has worn the same clothes for three weeks now. They are the warmest clothes he could nd: a loose jacket, ripped pants, wet socks, worn out shoes, and a hat.


After the teenager gets bored, he leaves and the homeless man is sitting there feeling hurt. Even though he gets remarks like this often, it still hurts getting made fun of. There are some nice people, though. Some people stop by and give him food, clothes, money and dog kibble. He thanks them for helping someone in need. The homeless man has a dog that he cares for very much. As such, he spends almost all of his money on his dog.


Also, the homeless man has schizophrenia, so if he somehow had three wishes, like if a genie popped out or something, his rst wish would be for the voices in his head to stop. His second wish would be to have enough money so that he and his dog could live in a house. His nal wish would be for every homeless person to be treated fairly and been given full bellies.