Help Hurricane Victims
Okay, we'll forget about my soy latte needs for now. Click the link, help the hurricane victims.
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.
The auction is over and it was won by a man who really likes money. View his eBay profile and you will see, he is the president of money's fan club, he is money's groupie, he would eat a mile of money's... Oh never mind you get the idea. I guess I'll be advertising his site www.gotbadcredit.net (like got milk? It's got bad credit? Get it?) I'll be out on the offramp with his sign within the next two weeks. We first need to sit down with a focus group, and meet with our committee to come up with the best possible wording. Click here to see the auction.
The Auction is almost done. Click here to check it out.
Why am I so interested in finding out if panhandlers are secretly living the good life, and earning more than I do working? Well, one reason is that I hate working. I'm not lazy, I've just never found a job that "satisfies my artistic needs." I've started another blog, cataloging my many attempts at becoming a productive member of America's work force. www.RockAss.net/allmyjobs.
So Ebay pulled my auction because it had links to other sites? I read and re-read their policies and my links were within their requirements as I did not link to sights that were selling the item directly. In fact, the sites I linked to do not sell at all except ON EBAY!
The auction for advertising (or any other message of the winner's choice) on my sign is going very well. The page has recieved over 2500 views in just a couple of days and the bidding's up to $40. View the auction here. It's funny having a stranger be the high bidder. What evil plans do they have for me.
Today I went out with the camera crew, which I generally do on Sundays. Morken (the head film geek) wanted a different setting, so despite my protests I carboard signed it on a new offramp. I used my "Big Bills Okay! I Can Make Change. Please Help, God Bless." sign. I got nothing. Twenty minutes and nothing. Not a damn dime.
The auction has begun. Yes you can buy space on my sign, which in turn will get you seen by up to 100 people! But that's not all, the sign and the story of the sign will then live here on my site where it will be seen by tens of thousand of people.
Yesterday I went to panhandle at Safeway and I met the crew of folks that works that parking lot every day. I talked with them for quite a while and then a couple of them took me to their camp. They have a mattress hidden in the bushes between a freeway off ramp and the street. They've lived here for about three weeks, which is a pretty long time they tell me. The have to move every few weeks usually, moving along when the cops, or too many other homeless folks find their place.
A newspaper in Pittsburgh mentions me in an aritcle about panhandling and anti-panhandling laws. It's a pretty good article. Read it here.
Figured I'd play on the fact that the gimmic is getting old to folks that have been along from the beginning. It didn't amount to a-lot of money (about $6 an hour) but I had more people laughing in their cars then ever. Not sure why. I thought it was kinda funny but somehow this one really cracked folks up. I didn't bring my can with me to shake at people to get more dough so I held my hand out. Holding at the can or holding out my hand makes a difference. It's a direct request. It's right up there with eye contact. More important though may be asking for a specific amount. I actually have a cool story coming up involving a panhandling experiment some other folks did. They determined that asking for specific odd amount, like $1.37, would bring in more money. I'll certainly be giving it a try. I've got some great costume things coming up (mummy, mime, more) but I'm waiting until the heat dies down a little. The banana suit is hot enough!
It must have been 170 degrees today. Oh my god was it hot. I checked in with three other panhandlers, all of whom were doing just the rush hour, and not even the full hour. People seem to give less when they don't want to roll down their windows and face the non airconditioned world.
Story and Art by Jarod Von Hindman of www.headinjurytheater.com
Damn! Are there a-lot of teases out there or what. Folks look at me and then reach into their pockets, but they just pull out their cell phone. They don't call anyone, they just pull it out, like suddenly it needed to be free. Or they pull out a pen. What? Did they think they were gonna write a quick poem? One woman, I swear to god, pulled out two bucks, which she then played with! Just fiddled it around. And do you think people would be reluctant to slurp their big gulps when I'm standing their, outside, no airconditioning, sweating. Nope. They look right at me and draw deep, long sips of sweet, sweet, soda. Maybe these are things people do at red lights anyway, but I swear it's eye contact with me that the triggers these behaviors. "Oh, the cardboard sign guy looked at me, better take a big huge bite of this hamburger." Maybe it's like trying not to touch your face. Try not to and all of a sudden you need to touch you face, even if you don't normally touch your face at all. So, they see me looking at them, and they're like, "Oh, crap, I made eye contact! Okay, don't do anything that'll make him think I might give him money. I'll just reach into my pocket for a pen." Quit Teasin' People.
I went out panhandling yesterday downtown. On my way there one of my neighbors told me that there was someone already in my spot. It's nice that my neighbors have all grown accustomed to a panhandling banana living amongst them. I had a feeling the panhandler on "my" offramp would be Jackie and sure enough I saw her at the gas station in a little tiny skirt combing her hair. She never stays on the ramp for long. I took my position on the offramp and began plying my chosen trade.