Upon having the opportunity to visit a tourist locale recently, I took time to partake of the the local culture.
Now some cities are just making the best of what they got, and rely heavily upon the hype to put butts in the seats. And then other cities have a pretty comprehensive arsenal of entertainment choices. So when you are confident of your offerings you feel less inclined to prevent the urban leisure technicians from plying their wares. This particular city had a somewhat lax policy towards innovative self employment strategies.
Now we had just departed from the main tourist drag where you see pretty much everything including one enterprising individual dressed as an inanimate skeleton statue. When the tourist ventured too close he would lunge at them with a hearty "Boo" and point to his tip box as the crowds screamed with delight upon learning that a skeleton wanted nothing more than a tip rather than their soul. OK fair enough.
Further down the line the strip transitions into more of a town vibe with shops and bars and what not but still very touristy. Now here's where the hustle continues. Sitting next to a standard issue street trash can was a full blown urban leisure technician in full regalia complete with missing teeth and shoes with more hole than shoe. Now he was just sitting there holding a freshly cut and very leafy tree branch in front of him that obscured his presence from semi-drunk holiday mode tourists. Now when in a strange place with lots of people I pretty much I pretty much stay in threat detection mode so I spotted him right away. But most people didn't. And so the group of women right in front of us received the benefit of his offerings. I saw the whole thing. Out he jumped with his bush in hand with a hearty "Boo".
There was screaming and laughing and a quick little ruckus before home boy went immediately back into position for his next victim. A good time was had by all.
I got half a block down the street and said to myself "naw, I'm not letting that pass". That is a worthy hustle. I turned around and went back to hand homeboy a dollar and he directed me to his improvised tip jar, a restaurant take out box. Of course it is!
This renewed my faith in America.
Homeboy could have stood there pestering passersby for unearned financial favor and in this environment probably made a fairly decent living. But no! This brotha decided to join the capitalist system and earn his keep despite his lack of proper shoes, much less any type costume. And to be truthful about it, his contribution to his tourist based economy was just as valuable as most of the rest of the overpriced crap in town.
I don't know his name but homeboy is the recipient of the official jackedUPjazz hustle of the day award.
2 days ago