Sunday, February 24, 2013


It was cold but windless and sunny.  I knew that if I did some didge busking close to noon at Value Village I’d fill my busk pot.  I was wrong.  Nary a nickel got tossed into my didge cage.  I’ve learned a lesson, I think.  People are munificent when it is windless and sunny … but warm.  I can understand this.  We are all gregarious featherless creatures wanting to congregate and chat outside … when it’s warm.

Cold weather days do not encourage phatic chats.  Cold weather days encourage not even a nod of the head, never mind a reach in the pocket for some coin to toss a foolish, hardy didge busker.
I’ve, too, learned a lesson of didge busking.  

Here is my thought.  The quintessential busker slings a guitar.  Nothing beats strumming in the sun while blowing a harpoon.  My didgeridoo is a secondary busking instrument.  A solitary guitarist looks great and sounds the part.  A solitary dooist looks great but … sounds great in duo.  A dooist’s buskspot is definitely enhanced with another musician percussionist on shaker, or djembe, or conga, or bongo, or pan.  Guitarists can strum alone; dooists need to be in duos.  (There are, of course, exceptions. Just look at some awesome didgeridoo players on Youtube!  I do not didge like they doo …  because they are from Mars.)


I’ve created this personal myth about myself and have put ample amounts of introspective time on this buskology topic.  When busking I am cap-a-pie:  hatted when sunny, curtainedly bareheaded when not, devilocked near summer end.  In the heat I sport a tight white t; when not in the heat I don a crisp and collared long-sleeved white shirt.  My pants are either blue jeans boot-cut, or long and heavy hiking shorts with lots of pockets.  For wheels I wear steel-toed work boots, for trolling up and down the strip.  When I know I’ll be stationary, I wear leather hiking sandals.

On request, I dress as the concrete cowboy.  I’ve two or three western style hats – an olive brixton ranch hat my favorite, and a dozen cowboy shirts.  I’m tall, dark, and handsome,  and people say I look like a cowboy.  I look the cowboy because I really am a cowboy (and have the street creds to prove it)!

This cowboyography that I've created is my personal myth.

The Personal Myth is a social therapeutic construct (Sam Keen, 1973) that encourages adults to tell their own stories.  In this regard, any of us or all of us can be self-guided into rationalizing our belief systems, especially in relation to why we are here, in this particular spot of our personal journey through life.  It can happen to me is the wise expression of an adult mantra.

Fact:  Adults generally take fewer risks than when they were younger.  Adults generally become more conservative and thoughtful in nature than when they were younger.  One’s Personal Myth is a consequence of adult life reflections.

The Personal Myth is in contrast to the Personal Fable.  One's Personal Myth is a creation that will prove true.  We can become what we believe we can become.  One's Personal Fable is a belief that will prove false.  We cannot continually cheat death by taking chances that are statistically life threatening.

The Personal Fable has been coined by psychologists to describe adolescent egocentrism.  Adolescents generally perceive themselves as being special and unique, and have the selfish belief that no one else can relate to their experiences.  The Personal Fable is also characterized by exaggerated feelings of invulnerability.  It will never happen to me is the foolish expression of an adolescent mantra.

Fact:  Adolescents and college-age individuals take more risks (than either children or adults), as indicated by statistics on automobile crashes, binge drinking, drug use, contraceptive use, and crime.  As a result, even though adolescents are at the peak of their physical health, their death rate is disproportionately higher than that of any other age group.


  • One very worthy person that marched in my Chaucerian Parade this week was Nathan, the barista. Right after my didge busk I stopped by Atlantis Coffee for a cappuccino.  I observed Nathan as he prepared it.  After he poured the coffee into my white ceramic cup, Nathan proceeded to make a simple star by squirting the steamed milk-foam into a line design.  Next, he squirted six more short lines of foam around the perimeter.  Last, he took a simple wooden stir stick and vibrated it right in the middle of my drink.  Six white seagulls magically appeared, flying around on the surface of my blond cappuccino.

“Hang on, Neil.  I’ve got to get a picture of this one.  It’s the best yet today!” he said as he grabbed his camera.  Click ... then glub, glub.

  • Also marching this week was Krista, owner/operator of the Island Kitchen at Value Village.  Krista is always so positive and always gives me the best times to busk.  On Friday it was the busiest in a long while,” she said. “And this morning, they were lined up at the door at eight o’clock!  This afternoon, not so busy, maybe later today,” she offered. 

Maybe not later in the day, Krista, for nary a nickel was tossed into my buskpot!

  • And I must present Christina, my Grand Trunk Troubadour bandmate, who, too, marched in my Chaucerian Parade.  Christina posted the picture of the Grand Trunk Hotel, for which we were named (on the header of this blog entry).


  • Murder by decree in South Africa because

Oscar Pistorius is facing murder charges … and so is the chief detective on the case, Hilton Botha … and so is Oscar’s brother, Carl.

  • Uran, formerly known as Iran, because

 Iranian scientists have announced findings of new deposits of raw uranium and … already … Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has identified sites for 16 more nuclear power stations.

  • Fibre myopics because

Soylent greens are rotting in the Republic of Kenya.  Each week single farmers toss 40 tonnes of edible green beans and broccoli to the rot pile because they are not the right shape, size, or color for United Kingdom supermarkets.  That is 40 tonnes of waste per week for each single farmer!  Each waste compost amounts to 40% of entire crops, which could feed up to 250,000 people per week, while currently three million Kenyans rely on Food Aid.


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