Long live rock, I need it every night

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

A little effort for the something?

Maybe I shouldn't have been, but I was a bit surprised when I approached the escalators at the Gallery Place Metro station recently. We've all seen folks hunkered down in high traffic locations looking for a donation. There are a variety of fund raising tactics used in cities across this great and generous land. The cardboard sign is a popular ploy. A clever message scrawled in magic marker. Magic indeed. I've been told my shoes need shining on occasion. Some day I'll look into how canvass shoes look with a shine, but I'm not sure how lucrative the shoe-shine method really is anymore. And it's especially awkward without a chair. Thankfully the windshield-washing fad seems to have lost its luster. God only knows what kind of liquid is in that spray bottle. But overall, I appreciate the effort. As Huey Lewis said, "I'm taking what they giving 'cause I'm working for a livin'." So true.

Entertainment for cash is by far the best, and perhaps most dignified way to go about raising funds. Don't forget about Tracy Chapman. What an inspiration to panhandlers everywhere. Even after she left the underground of Boston and got famous, she kept it real. Always dressing like a homeless man. The upside down bucket drums were a real innovation in the early 1990s... but actually, I'm kind of sick of those now. It's always the same beat. But I do like the musical panhandler. Heading to the ballpark and hearing "Take me out to the ball game," gives me tingles. But I've noticed some opportunists cutting some major corners. Have you seen the guy jammin' the electric guitar, accompanied by some CD playing background music to round out the sound? I think that's cheating. I had a Casio keyboard that did the same thing, but I never took it on the road.

This brings me to my whole point. I got to the Metro station and came across this guy.

He had a boom box.

It was playing music.

And he had a tambourine.
And he had a cup.
And that was it.

It's like this guy showing up at your door on October 31 demanding candy:


Anonymous said...

Austin is the alleged "Live Music Capital of the World" and we have NO musical panhandlers aside from the occasional drunken singer or bucket-beater. It's a disappointment.

Jumbo Slice said...

I'm guessing it's too hot to play outside for a few coins. Either that or all the musicians actually have paying gigs. Wait, working musicians? That doesn't seem right.

I'll miss the musical hobos/panhandlers/bums when we move to Austin. Somehow I think I'll get over it though.

Anonymous said...

My brother, my uncle and I were accosted by a woman outside a bar in Eagle Lake, Texas on Thursday night, looking for money "to buy some Ramen." My brother gave her a beer instead, and she seemed most appreciative. The next day, the same woman approached a group of us enjoying a post-hunt barbecue plate, asking whether we were "church people." She had just gotten out of the cab of a trucker's Peterbilt. You can draw your own conclusions as to her various methods of fundraising.

Anonymous said...

JS, you are moving to Bat City?! What will happen to the DC Rock Club?!

You can fill the musical panhandler niche during your transition...

Jumbo Slice said...

Rock Club is expanding. I'm moving in 2008 (if all goes according to plan) to set up Austin Rock Club. The future of Rock Club is franchising and the future is now.

Mrs. Slice and I are visiting again in January w/ Germer and friends. We'll all have to go out. We can take turns reading passages aloud from "The Dirt".

Anonymous said...

Oh, I hope we can take advantage of that franchise opportunity. I'll start working on t-shirts.

Still waiting for the next excerpt of "The Dirt." It's almost as good as GOSSIP GIRL.

Jumbo Slice said...

I'm going to take a leap of faith and give Gossip Girl a try. I'll watch three episodes and then decide if it retains it's "season pass" status or not. Stay tuned...

I have to admit I'm a little desperate. The writers strike has taken some of my favorite shows off the air. I've had to fill the time reading. I'm now reading pregnancy books which explains my desperation for alternate entertainment. Reading that my wife will probably have nasty gas is not that fun.

Anonymous said...

All the coolest people are moving to Austin.