Paying homeless people $70 a day to serve as human wifi hotspots is a bizarre way to make a buck, but it's indicative of the hustler's spirit at South By Southwest this year.
Ben Westhoff Abnormally attractive pedicab driver
Folks are grinding hard and employing increasingly gimmicky measures to make money.
But there's more to it than that. Like the bands parachuting in from optimistic heartland outposts hoping to catch the ear of that one pretty widely read blogger, on 6th Street the entertainers/buskers/scantily clad swag dispensers are clearly seeking a bit of fame themselves.
So start your stopwatches, energetic exhibitionists, because your 15 minutes are about to begin.
The Hula Hoop Gypsy came all the way from Delaware, but she neglected to bring a decent tip jar with her. Her small paper tray (normally used to hold french fries) blew away with the wind. We retrieved it and donated her first offering, in hopes of weighing the receptacle down. Oh well, they say you get into hula hooping for the love, not the money.
In truth we weren't all completely impressed with the Violin Monster's playing; then again, it's probably difficult to master your instrument with tiny slit eyes. But he made our donation worthwhile. After the bill dropped into his case, he reared back and howled at the sky.