Friendly Spider-man "pays the price" for being street superhero

WildCreaturesPublished: January 26, 2018Updated: January 29, 201817,438 plays$22.64 earned
Published: January 26, 2018Updated: January 29, 2018

Toronto Spider-man, Mark Zilio, also known as Peter Parkour, demonstrates his ability to entertain people passing by. With a quick wit, one liners, and super climbing ability, he makes them laugh or stop for selfies and video. He offers friendly greetings and shows concern, asking them to please stay safe. Staying in character, he jokes about Mary Jane, J. Jonah Jameson and his relocation from the streets of New York to Ontario's capital city, Toronto. He will happily strike a pose while they capture the shot. Perched on garbage cans and street signs, he takes his part seriously.

Spider-man also talks openly about the city's requirement that all street performers (buskers) must hold a valid licence and permit to practice their art on the street. He pays the price to perform: $79 for the licence and a $44 yearly renewal fee.

But Spider-man isn't just a pretend crime fighter. He actually made national news after he apprehended a shoplifter who was making a getaway from a costume store at Halloween. The woman was being chased by two security guards when Zilio saw that they needed some help. He swooped in and caught the thief, restraining her until security could catch up and make the arrest. Like something out of a movie or comic book, Zilio put an end to the crime in true superhero fashion. He modestly brushed off the incident as just doing his civic duty when he was asked by media to comment at the time. He took the same approach when asked to comment during this video.

As required, he displays the licence and permit for all to see while he engages the public. He also displays a subtle tip jar beside the licence, in the hope that the passersby will feel his routine is worth a little spare change. Occasionally, Spidey will politely invite people to contribute a little towards his income. Like all street performers, Zilio buys his groceries and pays his rent, as well as his busking licence, with the generosity of those who think his entertainment is worth some "Spidey cents".

What Zilio doesn't comment on, but what you can clearly see in this video, is that tips are hard to come by. The vast majority of people will laugh, converse with him, even stop to take photos and videos, without dropping a dollar or two.

In a country where we pride ourselves on generosity and politeness, this seems less Canadian than one would expect.

As a matter of etiquette, if a street performer makes you laugh, stop to watch, or if you take a picture, you really owe him or her a dollar or two. And if you're going to post it on social media, maybe it's even worth a five.

This is even more true for a modest superhero like Zilio who actually fights crime when it happens on his watch.

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    • 2 rumbles
      ray1876 · 50 weeks ago

      My spidey-sense is tingling! Never pass a busker without dropping something.

    • 2 rumbles
      cdngreenwaterdiver · 50 weeks ago

      a tough gig, bit more outfit required in the winter i bed, wooly Spidee suit

    • 2 rumbles
      einsteinparrot · 50 weeks ago

      He is in such good shape! I'd tip for sure!!!!

    • 2 rumbles
      EmotionsofAfrica · 50 weeks ago

      What a cool guy!!