By Sam Spoofinburg, crime reporter and guest contributor to the Citizen Thymes
ASHEVILLE- No, not all of Asheville’s ragged winos with harmonicas in their ball caps are Mr. Bojangles.
But they are streetwise to the city panhandling ordinance, which allows street musicians to busk for coin, but busts panhandlers for asking for that last 87 cents they need for a bus ticket to go down to Apalachicola to bury their dead grandmamma.
According to the Kung Fu Kowboy, who monitors the street scene for the illumanati, many of Asheville’s panhandlers are also street musicians.
“Hell, you can get a kazoo at the (Salvation) Army for a nickel,” said Kowboy.
“Don’t even have to put it in yo mouf less the cops be around. An innibody can toot the ol kazoo – you wanna hear me play Brahm’s Rhapsody in E Flat Minor?”
Kowboy’s story was confirmed after observing Asheville bums busking firsthand.
On North Lexington, Junior “Mad Dog” Worley lay in a pool of vomit with a half-empty (or is that half-full?) bottle of MD 20 20 in his back pocket. Roused by gentle prodding with a ballpoint pen, Worley said he plays the spoons for the cops all the time.
Worley pulled a couple tablespoons out of his jeans and gave a stirring rendition of the first movement of Berlioz’s Symphony Fantastique.
“Feller from Juilliard offered me a full scholarship the other day,” said Worley.
“But I’m afraid formal training might ruin my natural gift. Besides, I’d have to wear a shirt and shit.”