The Busking Life – Foolish Times Dances in the Street, don’t litter.

by Michael Houston

Well Disciplined and Almost Good Enough for Daytime TV
You don’t have to hate cooking shows, compadres y comadres. Shake it, bake it, measure everything exactly and follow directions precisely and you will get your refined starches worthy of Louis XIVs table and achieve the girth of the Costco shoppers you admire most.

Stir Fry or Die?
Alternately, you can chop and toss a load of items into a frying pan and stir fry your way to wisdom and long life, if you can caramelize those onions rather than bond them to your skillet. I have a burnt black bean recipe that will season your saucepan for life.

Street Time!
Better yet, get out of the kitchen and take in the sights, sounds, smells and delightful smelling hordes at your local Monterey County farmers to table market, ya’ eegit. If you don’t own a dog, frequent dives, and spiritual gathering places it’s your only chance to meet people outside of your 12-step program, happy hour haunt, nail salon, classroom, dollar-only, or convenience store.

Eat While the Getting is Good
We of the busker, itinerant street mariachi class and our fellow open air marketeers avail ourselves to exquisite chicken on a stick, hummus on chips, English toffee, Guerrero and Guanajuato tamales, spiced pecans, locally grown fruits and vegetables, and myriad organic and other culinary delights. If you’re not too full from all the free samples, you may even consider buying something. Remember, first free lunch at the membership box store, and then gorge yourself on samples at the street markets.

Nature’s Geniuses – Music And Sea Gull Droppings From Heaven
Open markets, like opening day at a Giants game, offer both musical offerings and sea gull bombardments. The music offers a gambit from the horrific folk (mine), to the brilliant. Where else can you catch kids with violins, Joey’s musical world-funk-fusion, David’s mandolin wizardry, our beloved Dixie ensemble, and ragamuffins on sabbatical from Mumford and Sons? It’s magic. Everyone on the scene looks like off duty extras from Beyoncé’s Coachella gig.

Dance on, Peaceful Warriors!
And you? Not ready for prime time. Most of us aren’t, but thanks to the First Amendment and cable regulations we are blessed with the best regional public access television in our region. Ergo, you too can become television producers never envisioned by the founding fathers and mothers. Grab you camera and tell your story, ladies and gents.

Herstory Strikes Again…
Don’t tell me women did nothing but stitch prototypes of old glory. Didn’t Molly Pitcher cannonade the Brits and Harriet Tubman lead the Combahee River Raid freeing hundreds of slaves? And don’t get me started on the real Mother Jones! Tell the story, sisters and brothers, aunts and uncles, grandmas and grandpas. Sing your song, people! Have fun. Be nice. Geeze, you’d never guess dis grandpa was a preschool teacher before taking to the busking life.

Theater Call!
As the days grow longer you can trick your mind and body into going to live theater. No, not the circus we call market day! We mean thespians, orchestras and such. Consider a night of matinee at Morgan’s MPC theater, the Golden Bow, the Paper Wing, the Carlos Cherry, Spectacular Dance in Marina, the CSUMB Globe Theatre, Carmel’s Sonset, the Aurelian
State, Angelo’s Wharf Theater, Carmel’s Bosque Theater, Hartnell’s Western Sage etc. Get out there and sit on your butt!

Ya’ Make Me Wanna Shout!
And what about music, you may ask? What would I know? I’m just a street busker who writes for the Times. (Think New York, Irish, Sun- or of London, but Foolish is what you got!) Blessed is Derek the whistle champion, Sean the Piper, Alan the Open Miker, Eddie the guitar, Molly’s vengeful pipes and fiddle, Dirty the Cello, Tribe the Spirit, Sunday Sessionaires at Asilomar, Friday jav juicers in PG, Tuesday loungers in Jade, Mike Pez accordion, Tomas’ room fulla’ sax, Martinez keyboard unlimited, Beau’s sessions, Amy’s canadienne, Troy the wailer, and all who make our ears and hearts vibrate as we shake our bootays, clank our manacles, and stomp our chinelas.

Peace in. Peace out!

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