Friday, September 30, 2016

Upsold Down The River

  • 32 Dollar Thursday
  • New Harmonica
  • Bite On Couch

Last night, I went out to busk, after having been delayed by people whom I ran into and chatted with.
It was almost 11 PM, when I sat on the milk crate and launched into what has become my latest and greatest song, "Come On, Get Happy," the Partridge Family opening song (for the second season).
It runs 1 minute and 7 seconds on the TV show, just long enough to splash the screen with monochrome pictures and the names of the actors, ending with Reuben Kincaid.*

*There was a band named "Reuben Kincaid" that I saw a flyer for years ago.

It is a song that forces the busker to either become happy or go home; almost impossible to do without a smile on my face; as sarcastic as that smile might start out being.

I was playing pretty well, having taken apart the harmonica that I thought had a note blown out only to discover that the reed just needed to be unstuck.

At one point, a guy came by who was pretty drunk, and it became clear after not long that he was pretty broke. Soon, two more guys arrived who seemed interested in my music. The first guy skeezed one of them for a cigarette, which was handed to him with the words: "This has got to stop..."
I was actually able to get the first guy to leave by starting to pack up my stuff.

They all started to leave, saying "We understand; you're not making any tips with us hanging around," but the first, most drunk guy was the first one to actually walk off, at which point, I told the others that I thought that I recognized him from his having sat next to me before, drunk and singing nonsensically along and yelling at passing tourists, as he had started to do.

The second pair stayed and listened, shot a video of me, and were soon joined by a couple young ladies who were with them but had stayed behind in Lafit's.

One of the guys requested "Layla," by Eric Clapton, of which I only knew the intro; having been confused by the existence of both the plugged and unplugged versions that are slightly different.
I was able to change the subject by playing other Clapton songs, and promising that I would learn Layla by the next (to)night.

"Can I pay you in advance for learning it?" asked one of them.

"Sure, there's a lot of uncertainty in the world."

He gave me 20 of the 32 dollars that I would make in about 3 hours.

Now I have learned Layla. Chances are that they won't come back tonight, as tourists often want to do different things on successive nights, but I am at least prepared. The conversation between them and the young ladies centered around cruises that they were planning upon taking. Maybe there will be another 20 dollar bill for me if I nail the Clapton song.

This would be good, because, when I went down to the French Market to replace my 12 dollar harmonica with another, I was talked into buying a 20 dollar "Folk Master" brand one.
I will probably thank myself for spending the extra money, but not before I go out and make some more.

I kind of spent the money that I was going to give to Rose and Ed towards the TV. But, I figure that, since it is the last day of the month and they get their monthly dole in about 5 hours, they are pretty much past the point of needing the 5, 10 or 15 bucks (I hadn't decided) that I was going to give them.

1 comment:

alex carter said...

Maybe you could do a little illegal side business by selling weed, or something, then you could be "that lousy busker who sells weed".