Diary Of A Busker Day 444 Friday September 6th 2013 Winchester (Opposite Nero/Bellis, Time: 2:30-4:50pm).
On the way down the High Street, I pass those two homeless/Drongo/buskers, sitting outside the abandoned JJB shop. They don’t look like they’re in any rush to start playing, so I set up – not at The Butter Cross, but just inside The Pentice: the area I’ve avoided since being insulted by the Bun Bitch from Reeves, who, by a quick glance through the window, doesn’t appear to be there today. Good.
I get a bit of luck after a half hour, in the form of two CD sales – at once! This amazing occurrence is right after the Elvis number, thereby making it Song Of The Day. An elderly couple ask to see the two CDs, now advertised as £5 and £8. After my brand-new-yet-untried-until-now sales pitch – ‘This one, which is £5, has seven songs, but this one, which is only three pounds more, has TWENTY!’, the man (wisely) decides to buy the more expensive one…as does another man – a Yorkshireman, after he has a look at them both. This man says he’s ‘lost’ his wife (shopping, not dead), and after I say the CD’s £8, he says ‘But it’s worth it!…oh, there she is…’ So that’s £16 in a matter of a couple of minutes, and it’s quite possible that that wouldn’t have happened if I’d had the old sign up. But then again, I’ve had the new sign up for over a week and this is the first sale…so who knows…and who ever will?!
Not long after the amazing double-sale, the homeless/Drongo/buskers come down to ask if I can tune their guitar – a classical one with ridiculously high action and a large black winged design around the soundhole. I suddenly realise the one who’s asking – the one holding the guitar – is the guy who came up the other day to say someone had stolen his guitar, so he must have got it back. I say of course – I’ll tune it, which brings forth the first of several ‘God bless you’s from him. Every time I say something, like ‘These tuners are really good – you can get them quite cheap now, although they’ll probably charge you a tenner at the shops up the road’, it’s – ‘God bless you’ or ‘God bless you, mate’. After a few of these – with the ‘mate’, an optional extra, at the end, I say ‘It’s OK, don’t worry about that – god blessing me’. Then he shows me his left hand – ‘See, it’s difficult to play, I’ve got a short finger, after an argument with the law’. (What, did a cop bite the end off?) Anyway, it’s definitely shorter than his other first finger, although his fingernail’s still there. All fascinating stuff on a Friday morning.
After I give him his guitar back, he plays – with great difficulty – the first chords of that crap Oasis dirge – Wonderwall, and I feel sorry for him. Then they go off, with another ‘God bless you’…and not long after that, I have another surprise bit of luck, in the form of a young guy: all in black, dark glasses, unshaved, smoking, who hands me a £10 note, no less, and says ”ave a couple o’ beers’, and all I can think of saying is ‘Are you sure? Really?’ He, again – ‘Yeah, ‘ave a couple o’ beers’. And that’s it – he carries on. In fact he never even stopped walking. I’m not sure but I think he might have had a ‘couple o’ beers’ himself, already.
Earnings: £48.30p (Including two CDs at £8 each. Profit: £6.60 a CD)
Note: My playing today was, I think, better than usual. My theory being: it’s OK to do long sessions if they’re not on consecutive days.