Thursday, July 15, 2010

Tales from San Francisco

I wonder what they are teaching in Scotland these days? Certainly not about prominent historical Scottish figures. I'm in San Francisco on business for a few days. I ran into two girls from Scotland. One was a physical therapist. The other was still in school. They were visiting the states. I asked them about the Scot, Adam Smith. Neither knew who he was.
There's a homeless man near Union Square who has a bit of a street gig. I had noticed him earlier in the week. I watched him a bit and figured he made $20 to $30 a day. $50 on a good day. He stands frozen like a statue and holds a cup for people to put money in. I called him over to me. I told him how he should tweak his act. With the tweak, I think he'll pull in somewhere between $100 to $300 a day--maybe more.

I told him to ditch the cup, get a bucket and put a sign around his neck that says drop a dollar in the bucket to get a fortune. I told him to get fortune scripts and hand them out with flare when someone drops a dollar in the bucket.

He knew right away that the tweak was a winner and thanked me profusely. Earlier this summer, I saw someone do the fortune thing at Faneuil Hall in Boston. People were literally lined up to give the guy a buck. I figured the Boston guy was making at least $100 an hour--probably closer to two hundred.
I see Mel Gibson in the news with his mad rants at his former woman. No one really turns into a man until he runs into a woman that causes him to go insane like that. Most of us get that taken care of in our twenties, for an actor, because of all the fawning, the learning curve seems to be steeper and longer, but that is all that is. As for the racist stuff, Whoopi Goldberg put that into decent perspective.

UPDATE: I see where Mel smacked his former gal pal and knocked a couple of her teeth out, which is really getting a bit out of control, but sometime a woman can really get to you, ask O.J. In the immortal words of Goldie, though, "Any man can control a woman's body, the trick is to controlling her mind."


  1. "I called him over to me."

    What, were you in a wheelchair?

  2. No,there were a few people around him and I wanted to give him my thoughts out of the earshot of others.

    BTW What's your problem with people in wheelchairs. They are quite capable of moving to any location they want to get to.

  3. My "problem" (as I suspect you well know) was not with wheelchairs, the people who need to use them, or their auto-motive capabilities, but, rather, with what came across as condescension in your reported summoning of the homeless man. Guess I should have instead asked if you were chained to a lamp post.

  4. Someone offers good advice and the PC cop searches for failings. Wonder what the poster would have offered to help the man get a leg up (on life)?

  5. Agreed! How dare you offer him advice without going up to him and begging an audience! Geez some people.
    Get a life, Anonymous [above].

  6. LOL, I love the uppity Anon#1, looking out for the poor and downtrodden everywhere!

    Come now, Anon, you know Wenzel, being a gentleman and a scholar, could have just as easily hailed the homeless man with a respectful and dignified, "Sir, excuse me, if you'll come join me over here I'd like to have a word with you!"



    Amazing, $100/hr, and tax free? You won't stay homeless for long at that rate, not "involuntarily", anyhow. So, if you can pull that kind of cash as a homeless street grifter entertainer, why work a legit job?

    Reminds me of a song...

    No one really understands the experience that change lives
    That pave an agnostic a place to lay in decay in toxic waste
    So most every identity paraphernalia to familiarize with smiles neatly
    painted on a robotic face
    But not this man, he played the bucket with his hands
    And got paid but it was change people dropped in his can
    twenty-three years ago he was a lawyer by description
    But I guess all of a sudden he resigned from that position
    But I've never seen the sky quite as clear as his eyes
    As he blistered fingers paint down on the plastic
    And in a twisted sort of way it all makes sense
    While they rush to die he provides the soundtrack so tragic
    He sits on the corner of 7th and 1st
    And I was thirsty for a question anyone would nurse
    One day I asked he why he gave up his career
    He said, "I didn't, I just took off the name tag" then he added

    Make Money and die that's the American Way
    It don't matter what name you gave the bucket that you play
    Make Money and die that's the American Way
    It don't matter what name you gave the bucket that you play

    "How Much Do You Pay?" by Eyedea

  7. Had the Scottish girls heard of Sean Connery, who heroically supports Scotland's (long-overdue) secession from the UK?