Buskers: Smile or DIE!

Alan the Busker by Bryan Ledgard on Flickr.
Alan the Busker by Bryan Ledgard on Flickr.

Okay, maybe not die.

But if the council in Oxford gets their way, buskers will have to “smile, enjoy themselves and entertain others at all times” or face a 1000 pound fine.

That’s right. We’re talking Government Sanctioned enjoyment. Imagine a council ad spreading the message playing Charlie Chaplin’s “Smile though your heart is aching, smile even though it’s breaking…” and you’ve got the idea.

Putting aside for a moment the whether-this-is-right-or-wrong, let’s think about HOW the hell do they plan to enforce this?

Mr Twister by Richard Masoner on Flickr
Mr Twister by Richard Masoner on Flickr

Officer: Hey you! Yes, you, the clown with the balloons! Smile, damn you!

Busker: But I am smiling.

Officer: No you’re not!

Busker: See? It’s face paint.

Officer: Oh. Ok. Carry on.

 

 

New Year's 2012 by Eli Christman on Flickr
New Year’s 2012 by Eli Christman on Flickr

 

Officer: Hey you! Yes, you with the music! Enjoy yourself! I can’t see you smiling!

Busker:  But I AM enjoying myself! It’s just my mouth is occupied with the tuba!

Officer: That’s no excuse!

Busker: Have YOU tried smiling with a mouth full of brass?

Officer: I refuse to answer that. Okay. Carry on.

Buskers Festival 2012 by Giaomo Folletti on Flickr
Buskers Festival 2012 by Giacomo Folletti on Flickr

 

Officer: Hey you! Yes, you with the accordion! I find your interpretation and overall arrangement of that song a little on the melancholy side, and it is too repetitive; it’s too drab and uninspired. You’re not entertaining enough.

Busker: But entertainment is a subjective experience dependent on the dynamic relationship between the performer and the audience.

Officer: Oh. Okay. Carry on.

 

Officer: Hey you! Yes you with the marionettes! Be entertaining or I’ll cop you with a ticket!

Busker: I’m trying but my wife’s in hospital, we’re struggling and I’m just trying to make a little money to pay for her medicine.

Officer: Aha! So you admit it! A THOUSAND POUND FINE FOR YOU!

Busker: Huh?

 

Old Man Marionette by James Manners on Flickr
Old Man Marionette by James Manners on Flickr

Officer: Just pay the damn fine, okay?

As dicussed on ABC Local Radio 612’s panel “Is This Controversial” June 2, 2015.

Share on Facebook3Tweet about this on TwitterPin on Pinterest0Share on Google+0Email this to someone

Tags

Jenny Wynter Written by:

I’m a comedian, cabaret performer, improviser, writer, Clown Doctor and mother of three. In other words, I divide my life between strutting around onstage like the egomaniac I am, dolled up and trying to win the love of complete strangers and wrangling kidlets.

Be First to Comment

Leave a Reply