You've heard of those dog-walking apps like Wag, where you can summon someone to go walk your dog? Now there's a thing like that but for humans in Los Angeles, California.
Meet Chuck McCarthy, the People Walker.
They're on Facebook, if you'd like to take a walk and don't wanna be lonely.
“The affable art school graduate with a bushy beard and merry eyes mostly used to work on a laptop in a Hollywood coffee shop, trying to make ends meet by creating web GIFs and landing the occasional acting job, writes Nita Lelyveld in the Los Angeles Times [paywall-free link here]:
“Scared to walk alone at night? Don’t like walking alone at all? Don’t want people to see you walking alone and 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?” So went McCarthy’s first tongue-in-cheek sales pitch as the People Walker.
He started walking around in a hand-drawn T-shirt that declared his new profession, peppering neighborhood utility poles with funny promos — some cut out of cardboard or old jeans.
What could be more L.A. than a People Walker?
The media began calling almost before the first walk was booked. Then a steady stream of college students, retirees, waitresses and actors asked if they could earn a little cash on the side by becoming people walkers too.
Now McCarthy has a business, which gets a cut of walkers’ fees. He has investors. He even has a tiny glass office to go to in a co-working space high above Burbank.
Great story. Read the whole thing.
City Beat: The loneliness problem in L.A. starts with traffic. Could it end with a walk? [LAT via SDUT]
IMAGES: Top graphic courtesy of The People Walker on Facebook. GIF via [WIKIMEDIA COMMONS]: “Eight consecutive images of a man walking with a boar. From The attitudes of animals in motion : a series of photographs illustrating the consecutive positions assumed by animals in performing various movements; executed at Palo Alto, California, in 1878 and 1879.”
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