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.


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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