Tuesday, May 8, 2012

I decide to give busking a try.

I need money.

Or rather, I want money. In truth, I have all I need. David is providing food, transit, and room, and enough spending money for cigarettes and the occasional expenditure. But I could use a bit more cash. I would like to spend a few evenings hanging out in bars and pubs, buy the odd joint, and perhaps even get a souvenir for my mum.

I put up the donate button on the right over there, but with my tiny readership, it doesn't bring in much. I do appreciate those that have given. The money was well drunk, er, spent. So, I've decided that I need to earn money. Finding a job is damn near impossible, as we are only in any town for a few days before moving on, so I could only come up with one practical idea.

Busking.

Those that know me well are aware that I have no buskable talents; I cannot sing or dance or juggle or mime or craft silly sculptures out of tableware. But, I can talk, and I can even be amusing at times.

So I made a sign. "Ask Me Anything - €1"

Years ago, passing through Union Square Park, I spied a gent with such a sign. I laughed and asked him if it was working out for him. He just smiled and pointed to the "$1." I gave him a buck, and he said, "No, not very well at all." I asked if that was the best he could do, and he just smiled and pointed to the "$1."

I'll do better than he. I'll allow free follow up questions and attempt to give answers that are entertaining enough to be worth an euro. We'll see what happens.

---

That didn't work very well. I sat on a small wall near the Colosseum holding my sign for forty minutes before the most beautiful police officer in all of Rome told me that I needed authorization. I told her that I could go home. She thought that was a good idea.

In those forty minutes I got several second looks, many laughs, and one euro. And that wasn't even a question, but just appreciation from another busker - some dude dressed as a gladiator, ready to hold his sword to his chest so a foolish tourist can pretend that he's killing a Roman as his wife takes a picture.

Several people took photos of me and my sign, but none offered a euro, even when I requested it. There are two types of people who take photos of buskers - those who pay a buck, and the cheap motherfuckers who think  they can do whatever they want whenever they want. Don't be the second type.

I think I'll make a few more signs before my next outing. I can shuffle through them when I catch someone's interest.

"Relationship Advice - €1"

"NYC Cab Driver Stories - €1"

"Help an American Get Drunk - €1"

Any other good ideas?

Perhaps I should ask permission of the police before I start out again, or perhaps it's easier to ask for forgiveness, as I did today. I'll play it by ear.

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