Busking: Costumes

Q: Is it kosher to busk in costume?
A: Yes, as long as you aren’t dressed as a pig.

Q: What if the costume has nothing to do with the busking?
A: Buskers are individuals. You are an individual. Therefore, you are a busker.

Q: I’m multitasking – busking and cleaning car windows in the intersection. Can I mix costumes?
A: Sure. Many busker/window cleaners like to stick a .45 in their waistband to increase tips.

Q: I busk with a young woman. She says my Woody Allen costume is creepy. I tell her it’s a homage.
A: A homage to what?

Q: I busk with a tuba. Can I costume it as a guitar?
A: As long as you blow into it and never pluck it.

Q: I busk in a group. The others dress as .Beatles. I prefer Minnie Pearl. Is that ok?
A: The Beatles were heavily influenced by Minnie Pearl.

Q: Is it ok to busk as a superhero?
A: I had a great answer for this one, but I can’t remember it.

Q: My dog busks in a suit. Is this animal abuse?
A: Bespoke is fine. Off-the-rack is a no-no.

Q: I am a gypsy. Is my native garb a costume?
A: Thanks for the photo. I didn’t realize there were gypsies in نجمينا‎. I’d take off a couple of layers. You look hot.


For Daily Prompt.

Marriage license kiosk opens up at Vegas airport in time for Valentine’s Day

You need energy to busk. You need to get up and get out there.

The sidewalk is the busker’s home, his neighborhood, his city, his world.

Or hers, until English gets a non-gender pronoun other than “it.”

Some think that buskers are only about sidewalk entertainment. Not so. Buskers are about life. Busking is meant to be a full-service endeavour.

I do not seek to entertain. I am of the clergy. My purpose is to conduct religious worship and perform other spiritual functions associated with beliefs and practices of religious faith. To provide spiritual and moral guidance and assistance to members of the community.

And yes, to marry couples. Singing and dancing (by me) included.

That’s my biretta on the curb there.

Be advised that I only marry couples, one born male, one born female. If you were born on the spectrum, I have a cassock you can shroud yourself in while I take a peek and check to see what’s what.

You’ll need a license. No license buskers out today. There are kiosks at the airport, in all the major casinos, and at all Chevron stations. The slots at most churches can also be set to pay out in marriage licenses.

Part of your vows must include a pledge not to use the divorce-lawyer buskers you see over there. God loves all his children but those guys piss Him off. Once you’re hitched, stay hitched. For the children’s sake. And while I’m thinking about it, don’t patronize the condom buskers either.

During the wedding liturgy, I’ll be performing “In Christ Alone,” “Make Me a Channel of Your Peace,” and “On Eagle’s Wings.”

Please take a number and step to the end of the line.

Pax vobiscum.

Subway Buskers Corner: Holiday Hint #53

Put up a little table and next to your tip hat situate a big bowl of figgy pudding with a ladle, paper plates, and plastic spoons. You can obtain ample dried figs, in their original wrapping, from the Trader Joe’s dumpsters. Happy holidays!

50/50 Word Challenge

Busking at Zuccotti Park

Suggested donation:

$1 – I show up dressed as a banker and say, “Hey, what’s going on here?”

$2 – I show up dressed as a midwestern retired person wearing Tea Party buttons, and  shout, “You’re all terrorists!”

$3 – I set up a table as a stockbroker, peddling tip sheets for $100 a pop.

$4 – I dress up as a cop and go around asking young women if I can manacle them.

$5 – I set up a short-sale table.

$10 – I show up as the head of Goldman Sachs and shout that I’ll hire the first hundred folks to hand me a resume, because I respect go-getters. I’ll need to be up on a stand to avoid being trampled.

Free – I hang out selling MJ by the joint.

Busking 16

If you’re down around 23rd and 5th, stop on the corner and say hello, even if you’re too strapped in this double-dip economy to throw a buck or two into my hat.

I will peel vegetables for you, at the following rates:

Free – Your banana.

$1 – A dozen smooth spuds.

$2 – A dozen spuds with those annoying eyes all over them to dig out.

$3 – A dozen cukes, so you don’t have those rinds I hate in your salad.

$4 – Two bunches of broccoli. Don’t tell me that you throw this vegetable into the water unpeeled, to turn gray and mushy, and then serve it to your innocent and unsuspecting children.

$5 – A dozen peaches, after you put them in hot water to loosen the skins.

$10 – A pumpkin. Why would you want a peeled pumpkin? I’m not askin ha ha!

Watermelon – Please move along and take your watermelon with you.

Busking 15

Busking at the Transit Station.


$1  My mom

$2  My dad

$3  My uncle Louie

$4  Our mailperson Celeste

$5  That funny guy down the block

Busking 14

Busking at 6th and 72nd.


$1  Buchanan – Bachelor twerp who didn’t stop the Civil War.

$2  Arthur – NY Customs House grifter who slid in when war-hero Garfield got shot.

$3  Cleveland – A fat guy. Grover, so you know how I’m going to handle that.

$4  Taft – Another fat guy. Sort of like Oliver Hardy.

$5  T. Roosevelt – Googly-eyed, toothy hyper dude.

Busking 13

I got rousted from 7th and 62nd so I moved over to 8th and 64th. Officer O’Reilly’s beat stops at 63rd.


Drop your money in the hat and name the song.

If I don’t know the song, I’ll improvise the music and lyrics.

1. If you don’t like that, I will give your quarter to Anne and ask her to try.

2. If you don’t like her version, Anne will give your quarter to James and ask him to try.

3. If you don’t like his version, James will give your quarter to Judith and ask her to try.

4. If you don’t like her version, Judith will give your quarter to Arnie and ask him to try.

5. If you don’t like his version, Anne, James, Judith, Arnie, and I will take off our hats, stand in a line, and with our hands over our hearts, sing the National Anthem. Then please move along.

Busking 12

You’ll find me at 7th and 62nd.


Put your money in the hat and name your song.

1. I’ll tell you that I don’t know it. Do you know the words?

2. You tell me the words, or move on.

3. Do you know the music?

4. You hum the tune, or move on.

5. Can you sing the song, with those words and that tune?

If you perform the song, I’ll return your quarter. Otherwise, move on.

Busking 11

Through my friendship with Azradangle, an archdemon of the 7th circle of Hell and a pretty funny dude, I’ve been busking down in the Inferno this weekend. My offerings to the souls of the damned:

$1  I give you a quick spritz, providing you with .o1 seconds of relief from your eternal suffering in the flames of perdition.

$2  I chide you for your past worldly peccadillos, which didn’t seem so bad at the time but yet here you are, for chrissake, my chides distracting you for .02 seconds from the searing heat of the fiery coals of the nether world.

$3  I tell you that joke about the priest, the rabbi, and the imam, which ends up with a humorous reference to all those lost souls like you, insane with pain and trapped in your own self-inflicted Gehenna, just like your mom warned you, but you wouldn’t listen, you.

$4  I show you 4Chan clips of your ex “going wild” in Cancun, where it’s warm, sure, but not like this place, this underword hades of torment where your feet burn off for the first time every morning before breakfast.

$5  I sing and dance until you realize what a mistake you’ve made asking me to do that and beg me to stop, but then for an extra $5 from Azradangle, I keep going for what seems like eternity, but which is actually only a smidgen of a smidgen of eternity.