Well, after the shit-storm I created yesterday on my Facebook page with the NFL players who disrespect our nation in protest, I decided to bring us all back together with nice story about humanity. Now, dog owners will get where I'm coming from with this. If you have to be away from home for long hours at a time with your dog at home, if you're like me, you'll have a dog walker come to your house and walk them, so they're not peeing all over your house because you left them at home so long, right?
This bearded fellow is Chuck McCarthy. He recently auditioned as a homicidal biker for a TV show, and is finding glimmers of fame, and possibly a business franchise, with another role he's created for himself.....Los Angeles's first People Walker. That's right! You probably wouldn't hire Chuck as you would a dog walker because we can all hold our urine.....sometimes.
Chuck walks humans for $7 a mile around the streets and park near his home, pioneering an alternative to dog walking that requires no leash, just an ability to walk, talk, and, above all, listen. The idea struck the underemployed actor several months ago as a joke, or an imaginary way to make extra cash, until it became real. Chuck said, "The more I thought about it, the less crazy it seemed" as he drained a bottle of water. He now takes hydration seriously with all of the walking he is doing.
A homemade T-shirt declared him The People Walker. Now, that's low-budget, mobile advertising at it's finest. He says, I've been doing walks almost every single day for the past week and I'm even getting repeat clients, which is what you want." A stroll with this soft-spoken, hulk seems to be what much of LA wants, based on the response on his Facebook page and homemade flyers, which read: "Need motivation to walk? Scared to walk alone at night? Don't like walking alone at all? Don't want people to see you walking alone and just assume you have no friends? Don't like listening to music or podcasts but can't walk alone in silence, forced to face thoughts of the unknown future, or your own insignificance in the ever expanding universe?" That one made me chuckle. See what I did there? Chuck made me "chuckle."
Well, it seems the answer to these questions is "Yes." Chuck is fielding hundreds of emails a day from the lonely, the curious and the adventurous, all seeking a stranger's ambulatory company. He said, "I try to listen more than talk. Conversations with clients are seldom confessional, but I respect their confidence."
So many requests have been coming in that Chuck has recruited five other walkers to serve different parts of LA, though he will not take any cut from their earnings until he figures out a professional business model. The business could grow fast. A woman in Israel has already copied the idea, someone in Britain wants him to do it there, and a guy from NYC asked him to walk his eight-year-old son to the bus stop each day.
Chuck is amused and excited by the attention he's receiving and is considering a crowdfunding to hire techies to design an Uber-style app. The app would let walkers and clients rate each other for personability and walking speed. I applaud you, Chuck, for being a humanitarian and for really trying to bring human interaction back into a world that is digital. I think this is a brilliant idea....a funny idea....but brilliant, and will really work in cities like LA and New York. Humanity is not lost yet! But you still need to stand and honor America! See what I did there?