For the Dashiell Hammett Tour I have drifted over largely into doing Tours by Appointment.
Kind of inevitable. Easier. Better money.
After 45 years, bound to happen. And I still meet people who ask me how many times a day I do a tour. Come on, you’re kidding, right? Think about it for a second.
Nonetheless I still do tours where anyone can show up with $20 clutched in a paw and walk the walk.
I almost had a couple of tours recently, anchored by people coming in from out of town. But they didn’t work out. One guy eager to do it was given the Ixnay by his family. They didn’t want to do it, so he didn’t get to put gumshoe to mean street, either.
(By the way, I don’t hold even a little grudge against them — the vast majority of people alive today or alive 45 years ago wouldn’t want to do the tour. They’d hate it. Knowing the situation, I have never tried to pull generic tourists into the net. I want people who’ll enjoy themselves, with the right cut to their jib, so it looks like a trenchcoat.)
Another date was getting set up, until I found out that the woman would insist on translating it live into Spanish, for her husband or somebody — she offered to translate for anyone else on the walk who only spoke Spanish.
How many people who only speak Spanish do you think have ever shown up for the Hammett Tour?
From my long years of personal experience, I’ll say None.
(And no offense to the Spanish language. Same thing goes for German. Korean. Urdu. What have you.)
I couldn’t trap anyone else who might come out, paying $20, into standing around listening to her showcasing her linguistic skills, so that one got shoved aside, too.
But then Mario Ruiz from Portland asked when I was going to offer such a walk, and I told him to pick a date. Late June — and someone rolling in from the UK asked for one in early July.
$20. Three Hours. Just show up. At noon.
If you want to know the available dates, pop me an email — email@example.com — and I’ll let you know.
Doubtless I’ll do a few more anyone-shows-up Sundays in August, September and probably October, too, if you want to check back on those later or get on the list to be notified.