“This rough-looking, strange guy cornered us, asking for money. I had to give him £5…”
You don’t have to be a parent to appreciate how it feels to hear your 17-year-old daughter say that.
You can imagine my reaction.
I was pissing myself laughing.
“That’s fucking brilliant!”, I even said.
Before you call social services, I should explain…
Our eldest had gone to Liverpool with her boyfriend for a day out.
While there, she was approached by this rough-looking guy, who immediately thrust a CD into her hand.
Not any CD though…
… this was his latest rap album.
Yep, “Shit Khalifa” here was flogging CDs on the street – a practice Dre and Snoop still do to this day.
(Their stall at the Telford Car Boot Sale is the stuff of legends)
Like most street peddlers, “50 Pence” was bold and confident, but he also had something most panhandlers don’t have…
“He was so funny”, my daughter told me. “He barged up to us and was like, ‘hey guys, yeah… I know ANOTHER struggling artist. You don’t have to pay anything, I’m just looking to get my music out there… and get my first mansion… or a Big Mac that I didn’t find on the floor…”’
“He didn’t stop.”, she said.
“You two guys look awesome. How long have you guys been together? A Year? And you HAVEN’T put a ring on her yet? Better stop dragging your heels…”
As she told me the story, she was smiling and laughing.
“How much did you give him?”, I asked, trying to remember that I should probably stop admiring the cajones on the guy and at least try and be a responsible parent.
“Did you feel like he robbed you?”, I asked, already thinking this would make for a good email.
“No… I think he earned it.”
“YES”, I thought to myself and immediately added “daughter robbed in Liverpool” to my “email fodder” board in Trello.
The truth is, not only does my daughter hate rap music…
… she doesn’t even own a CD player!
Despite this, she’s still happy “Lay Z” is out there with her fiver in his pocket.
Why? Because this was never about the CD…
… it was a mini street performance.
My daughter and her boyfriend got their own personal 5-minute show that put a smile on their faces and made their day a little better.
Buskers often use a line when they’re “hatting” the crowd. It goes something like…
“If I’ve managed to put a smile on your face, and helped you forget about some of the troubles and strifes that are going on in the world, even if only for 20 minutes or so…
… that’s got to be worth a few quid, right?”
People don’t buy THINGS…
… they buy THINGS that make them feel something.
On the face of it, my daughter paid £5 for a CD that I’m 90% sure is probably blank, but she’s really paid for the experience…
… of being robbed in a strange town.
Yeah… you should definitely call Social Services.
Note: there is an “all too perfect” twist to this story that you’re probably going to read and think, “he’s made that up…
I promise I didn’t…
Halfway through telling her friends the story at school, one of them interrupted:
“You mean the guy with dreadlocks and the red carry bag?”
“Yeah, that’s him.”
“He did the same to me and Tom last year…”
As a Sherlock Holmes fan, I’m REALLY hoping that there’s a touch of “The Man with the Twisted Lip” about this…
Have a good ‘un!