|MY TAKE TODAY AT THE FARMERS MARKET|
"Do you see this? Two cents may not seem like much right now but it’s more money than you are going to make here tomorrow or the next day or the next day or the next day."
The brobdingnagian wearing the cowboy hat stopped strumming his guitar and glared at me.
"I’m telling you this because you believe you are the only one entitled to busk here. You tell other buskers that you’re here for the whole day and you don’t even give them the dignity of eye contact when you say such nonsense. My feeling is the management inside does not know that you shun other buskers with your rudeness. My feeling is the management is not aware of the manipulative self-created monopoly that you’ve established here. My feeling is that when I mention this behavior of yours to the store manager, he may not be at all interested in being a busker regulator. Fact is he’ll likely just shoo you and the rest of us away. So this two cents (I tossed the two pennies into his guitar case) is going to be the last bit of coin you’re going to make here unless in two hours from now … you’re gone."
Fact: Every early morning this bully busker would drive up in his brand new Honda Accord, park on the far side of this provincial liquor store parking lot, unload his lawn chair and guitar, and proceed to hold this particular buskspot all day long.
Fact: Whenever any other busker, most of whom being half his age, approached him with the question of how long he was staying, he would inevitably reply without eye contact, As long as I want or … I’m here for the day.
Fact: I’d heard this story about him a few times. This morning I experienced this story. This afternoon I tossed two pennies into his guitar case.
The next day I went to back to that same buskspot. But his time it was occupied by a brutto tempo busker, Gordon. Gordon had ridden his bicycle from Toronto, Ontario and was heading west to Vancouver. Gordon was sleeping in a camp ground, rolled in a sleeping blanket he stored in his bicycle basket. Gordon has been a busker for over 30 years. Gordon stated that he never showers. Gordon said that he hates people but loves the busking lifestyle. (Gordon, without my prompting, admitted this was an oxymoron.)
Gordon suggested I come back in a couple of hours if I wanted him to be gone from there. Gordon was a brutto tempo busker and ... generous.
|GORDON, THE BRUTTO TEMPO BUSKER|
Fact: I did return in a couple hours and Gordon kept his word and rode off, literally. But before he left, Gordon asked how long I’d planned to be there.
"One hour," I replied.
"Then I’ll be back in an hour," he said.
Fact: Gordon returned in an hour.
Fact: Next day I saw Gordon again, as he bumped me from another location, five miles from this one. Gordon had ridden there on his bike.
Dear reader, I do apologize for my aggressive behavior toward the bully busker but … not so strangely … I would do it again, fight fire with fire, and adopt the persona of a bully busker in this kind of situation. There is a bright-line between being this aforementioned bully busker and this brutto tempo busker, and in this particular case, the bright-line distinguishes generosity from greed. Gordon had charisma and was generous -- the bully busker was a greedy charlatan.
Amongst the members of the buskerhood, unfortunately, this bright-line is commonplace. Being a seasoned busker, I’ve acquired a disdain for the bullies and an appreciation for most of the brutto tempos. [See my blog entry, THE BRUTTO TEMPO BUSKER posted September 29th, 2013.] Being seasoned (pun intended), most brutto tempos realize the social importance of the buskerhood. I must mention that I, being a seasoned busker, have acquired a knack for dealing with either, philosophically appreciating both in yin and yang fashion, so to speak.
My extemporaneous attack on the fat bully busker wearing the cowboy hat resulted in the instauration of a premium and profitable buskspot for the rest of us, at least for the time being. (My use of the fat adjective is only to offer the reader a graphic image of what this bully busker looked like because … though he was worthy of a mention, he most certainly was not worthy of a picture in my blog!)
Marching in my CHAUCERIAN PARADE this week:
|DAVID AND BARON, AFTER BUMPING THE BULLY BUSKER|
The very next day after I bumped the bully busker, David and Baron, a guitarist and drummer, bumped the bully busker (again), and then were bumped a couple hours later by Gordon (of course)!
This is my globe-trekking son, Travers, showing off his healthy lifestyle (sarcasm intended) somewhere in the region of the Black Sea. (Travers is NOT a busker but ... I could not resist posting his most recent picture!)