“Do you always get the place you want?” I ask Robert as he prepares for today’s busking gig.
“No,” he replies. “There’s the charity mafia.”
The charity mafia refers to individuals who knock on your door and ask you to donate to a specific charity. They also operate out in the open, taking up public space, trying to get your attention and philanthropy. Apparently they get paid to ask for monetary donations.
“Why don’t you tell your listeners that you have a cause, too?” I suggest. “You are trying to finance your studies in Boston.”
Private education in America is known to be expensive. Some people spend their entire adulthood paying off college loans. Every penny counts. It’s a justifiable cause to ask people to give for education.
Besides the threat of the charity mafia, buskers are only allowed 15 minutes of play time per location. This means he would have to pack up his heavy concert guitar, guitar case, music stand, and sheet music every 15 minutes. Furthermore, the highly uncertain and changing weather conditions in Holland present clear and present danger to audience engagement.
“When will you be back?” I ask as he prepares to leave at 1:45 pm.
“Five or six.”
“That late? I need you to help me clear the attic. I can’t do it alone.”
Ironically, the more we clear the attic, the more we donate to charity.
Charity begins at home. Why is he seeking the attention of strangers?