Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Enemies Out Of Former Friends

I almost fell into the same trap as the night before, by drinking and then just vegging out until such a time as the time got so late that I decided not to go into the Quarter to busk, weighing the cost of the cable car each way against what I might expect to make at such a late hour.

I still went in, knowing that it was JazzFest here, and that there should have been a lot of people in the street.

There were a good amount. I started out, not wanting to play much as I sat at the Lilly Pad; and made a note to myself that drinking earlier in the day and then passing out, and then waking up with a slight hangover, and then going into the Quarter with half a desire to just turn around and go back home to sleep; was not conducive to busking.

I played; after a skeezer who had been near my spot left.

He was skeezing by the trash can outside Lafitt's Blacksmith Shop Tavern.

I started to set up and he came over and said: "I'm going to tell you this just the way you would tell it to me. I'm panhandling right over there; and if you were playing right over there; I wouldn't just jump in your space and f*** you up. I wouldn't do that to you, and I'm asking you not to do it to me."

Well, many thoughts raced through my mind.

I am playing past the curfew, which is "illegal." Is panhandling illegal? I am not even sure.

I told him that my lady friend owns the property and that I am allowed to play there; and I stopped short of telling him that I knew everyone in the neighborhood and could ring whichever of their doorbells that I thought would rouse the most passionate against skeezers one of them to run him off.

He eventually left. I played, not too bad; but it was a Tuesday and I think I made 10 bucks in an hour and a half.

I am thinking of adjusting my strategy. Now that I have an amplifier; I think I am poised to make some enemies out of former friends on Royal Street....,


alex carter said...

I hate unprofessional panhandlers. When I worked that trade, I moved, I was a walking panhandler. If I pissed someone off, it wasn't that big a deal since they could see that I was a moving target and would soon be out of their general area. I always asked once, I always said thank you, etc. Look up "aggressive panhandling" - that's illegal. Non-aggressive panhandling is actually legal. But I consider it to be society's safety net, not something to be done if you can possibly get by doing something else.

Daniel McKenna said...

It (panhandling) should be a sacred instrument, reserved for those really in need; It would be nice for a panhandler to say; I'm totally broke, because I messed up and I won't see another paycheck for another 6 days because I had to change jobs; but I sure would like to drink a few beers; I worked my ass off today....
instead of; the "I haven't eaten all day" hustle has been feeding my heroin for so long, I don't even consider working anymore...
I think the panhandler was just fishing for me to say: "Hey, if I give you 10 bucks will you let me have this spot?"

alex carter said...

Bingo. I look at it sort of like how people don't normally eat porcupines, but survival courses tell you how porcupines are easy to kill and eat, so you don't use them unless you really need to, then they're there.

What bugged me was people assuming I took drugs or was a smoker.

It's really easy to get food, if nothing else restaurants will have bread and butter, which I'd hustle and bring back to the guy I was renting a couch from, because he was mostly a drinker and not an eater.

I really far prefer to do something that contributes to society even if it's just yet another playing of "Autumn Leaves" than beg.

But, nonaggressive begging is legal just like it's legal to ask the time or where the bus stop is.