Diary Of A Busker Day 462 Saturday October 12th 2013 Winchester (1. Opposite Oxfam, Time: 3:15-3:50pm, 2. Next to The Slug & Lettuce, Time: 4:05-5:05pm).
Things are slow down the arse-end. I give it half an hour – no, thirty-five minutes (the benefit of the doubt), then count-up: £4.40 – slightly under the average. Just after I pack up, I’m walking up the road and Mandolin John’s coming towards me. As he gets to me, I say ‘People are mean, John’, and he says ‘I know, but who can you blame? One person? Everyone?’ I say ‘Everyone – they’re just mean. I’ve made £4.40 in fifty minutes’ (wrong: I must have been thinking I started at 3 o’clock, not when I actually did, at 3:15). John says ‘I’d feel lucky if I made that. I’ve made £1.20 in two hours’. Well, now I DO feel lucky. In fact, if I HAD done the 50 minutes – as I said to him – and got the £4.40, I would have still been lucky, compared to him. A pound and twenty pence for slogging it for two hours – that’s terrible – indeed, I say ‘That’s terrible’. ‘Maybe I have a narrow appeal’, he says. Maybe so, but there’s no excuse for that: £1.20, and all the people about. I think if that was me, I’d want to kill myself, or I’d be seriously trying to find a way out of this, or out of this town…on one of these buses coming down the road…or under one.
John then asks if he can borrow 4p to buy some Rizlas, so I give him a twenty pence piece, which is mean, I suppose: I should have just given him a pound coin. In fact, I’ll do that next time I see him playing. (‘People are mean’ – indeed: me too!) At home, I told Doll how much he got. She said it was unbelievable and disgusting. Poor bloke.