The 'People Walker' Charges Just $7 Per Mile To Take You On A Walk
In a society ripe with an obscene amount of excess capital sloshing around the top, only barely trickling down to the vast remainder of the population (billions of people), things are bound to get funky. The 'gig' or 'sharing' economy is a prime example; people with no choice but to work on a short-term, contractual basis without the benefits of a 401K, healthcare or the promise of a sustainable future.
While this usually ends up looking like a job with Uber or Postmates, a Hollywood man has decided to take advantage of our society's other defining trait—that is, chronic disconnection and loneliness—to make ends meet. Chuck McCarthy is the founder of "People Walker." No, it's not a sex thing. Rather, for $7 a mile, McCarthy or one of his employees will keep you company while you go for a simple walk. As his flyer explains, McCarthy offers his services for those who need a kick of motivation to go walking, those who don't feel safe walking alone, and those who are afraid that other people might see them walking alone and think that they (the customer) has no friends.
See, McCarthy was was first thinking about becoming a dog walker. He's an aspiring actor playing the hard-knock industry game, just waiting for a his big break. But, as he explained frankly to KABC earlier this week, "I didn't want to pick up dog poop, and that's kind of what you're getting paid for, really, for dog walking."
To be clear, the weekend staff here at LAist has nothing against McCarthy charging folks $7 a mile (is that closer to $14 or $21 hourly, before taxes?). We're, more so, just puzzled that McCarthy has had such a successful time with his startup venture. While safety in (walking) numbers is an understandable benefit, it's not like Fryman Canyon is what one would call a dangerous environment.
Believe it or not, McCarthy's business has already grown to at least five people other than himself, covering such areas like downtown L.A., Hollywood, Eagle Rock, Los Feliz and Fairfax. We're not sure whether or not People Walker offers its services along the Pacific Coast, or in the hills of the San Fernando Valley, but maybe it should.
As for why someone might want to hire a People Walker, McCarthy's got a handy Q&A already set up!
Honestly, we've got no complaints here. While the fact that people are paying money because they're afraid others might see them walking alone and ostensibly think that they have no friends, anything that gets people out of their cars and into the splendor of Los Angeles' pedestrian environment is an undeniably good thing. Here's to the future of a pedestrian friendly Los Angeles where we're all escorted through the streets by People Walkers!
(h/t to Curbed)