As soon as I saw three high schoolers walking down my subway car with drumsticks this evening, I knew I was in for it. “Sorry for disturbing you folks,” the band leader said, prior to disturbing everybody. He said his group was seeking donations to buy drums, and would give us a demonstration. The three of them proceeded to bang on the floor with their drumsticks for three minutes–and then they went around the subway asking for contributions. From a pure business standpoint, I wondered whether they would have done better had they collected money first, in exchange for NOT playing. Then I was reminded of this Marx Brothers bit:
Ravelli: Now, for rehearsing we make special rate. Thatsa fifteen dollars an hour.
Spaulding: That’s for rehearsing?
Ravelli: Thatsa for rehearsing.
Spaulding: And what do you get for not rehearsing?
Ravelli: You couldn’t afford it…