I sometimes mention this scene in The Fisher King. Waits’s character has a great speech:
NY station hall.
Jeff Bridges as DJ Jack Lucas.
Tom Waits as disabled veteran in wheelchair. Legs hidden. Holds cup which says “I love NY”.
TW: Did you hear Jimmy Nickels got picked up yesterday? JL: Oh yeah?
TW: Yeah, he got caught pissin’ on a bookstore. Man is a pig. No excuse for that! (woman throws coin in cup )
TW: Thank you babe. We’re heading for social anarchy when people start pissin’ on bookstores. (man throws coin next to cup )
JL: Asshole. Didn’t even look at you…
TW: Well, he’s paying so he don’t have to look. You see, the guy goes to work every day. Eight hours a day, seven days a week. He gets his nuts so tight in a vice he starts questioning the very fabric of his existence. Then one day by quitin’ time, boss calls him into the office and says: “Hey Bob! Why don’t you come on in here and kiss my ass for me will you?” Well, he says: “Hell with it! I don’t care what happens. I just want to see the expression on his face as I jam this pair of scissors into his arm.” Then he thinks of me. He say: “Wait a minute! I got both my arms. I got both my legs. At least I’m not begging for a living.” Sure enough Bob’s gonna put those scissors down and pucker right out. You see, I’m much like a moral travellight really. I’m like saying: “Red, go no further! Boo-ie, boo-ie, boo-ie, boo-ie, boo-ie, boo-ie, boo-ie, boo-ie, boo-ie… ”
Funny, I remember him saying a “moral stoplight.” Anyway, the concept is still intact in my little pea brain (nice writing and Waits rocks!).
Found the Tom Waits Library today.