How much do panhandlers really make? Can you possibly make a living at this? How much of a difference does a funny sign make? Will people give to a guy in a banana suit? Does every sign have to say "God Bless?" Important questions. I aim to find the answers. Give me a dollar. God Bless.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Cop vs Banana

This is a still from the documentary that Jonathon Morken is shooting on my adventures in panhandling. This cop is booting me from the offramp, but he's pretty nice about it and he answers many questions about panhandling laws and what not. Shaking hands with a banana is probably not an everyday thing for him (most bananas don't have hands.) I can't wait to get my first ticket for being on a freeway offramp!

This is Morken and John (all three guys in this production company are named John) shooting while I panhandle. They stay hidden as best they can. John's not fishing, he's holding a boom mic. Nowadays they have me wearing a remote mic on my costume too.

Of course they don't pay much, and sometimes they make me but frenchfries with my days wages, so maybe you could spare a couple bucks? God Bless.


Blogger Mad Guru said...

Have an idea from you to increase your income. Provide a service as you panhandle.

I'm reading a novel set in the 1940's and a panhandler is mentioned who encourages folks to give him money by announcing the scores of baseball games to those getting off of work (back in the day when games were day games).

You could become a 21st century panhandler. Yell out stock quotes. Provide traffic updates while you stand on the offramp. Weather reports. Banana buying advice. Where to buy cheap gasoline. Motorists would love that.

Musical panhandlers always seem to earn more. I think folks respect an effort that you're doing something.

6:00 AM

Blogger thepanhandler said...

Interesting idea, but at what point does it stop being panhandling and become busking? A line I'm skirting as it is.

6:07 AM

Blogger Mad Guru said...

Well, I'm not sure what the International Panhandlers Association uses as criteria for determining whether to put Panhandler or Busker on your business card.

Yes, you are skirting that line. One could argue that the entertainment value generated by your donning a banana costume moves you into that realm. Me, I think it's just semantics.

If you want to maximize revenue while minimizing effort (and who among us who roots for the success of blogging panhandlers doesn't?), I don't think providing a weather report in sunny California would be too taxing. My two cents.

11:52 AM

Blogger thepanhandler said...

Good point. I can see it now.

"Today's weather: Warm, Sunny"
"Tommorow: Warm Sunny"
"Ask me about the ten day forcast!"
"God Bless!"


12:59 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a great idea for you.
You should panhandle outside of a store with a big sign that says "Help Wanted" or "Now Hireing"! Let the hilarity ensue!

2:51 PM

Blogger Thomas Slatin said...

This is creative. They should give you something; for being creative, if nothing else.

3:27 PM

Blogger fringedweller said...

Hey, did I see that correctly?!? Gas is 2.29 a gallon!!! Where and when was that photo taken? I'm so there. Gas in So Cal is a frightful 2.60+ for the cheap crap!! Boo-frickin' hoo hoo hoo.

1:35 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gas is less than that elsewhere, fringedweller. Here in TX it's $1.95 or so.

2:56 PM


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