Anyone who’s taken a Levys’ tour knows that we’re LUNY about lightsabers! No we’re not a bunch of hopeless Star Wars fanatics that go to conventions and attempt to access “The Force.”
Instead we have a affection for $11 toy-store collapsible plastic lightsabers simply because they’re the perfect tour guide’s baton.
Any good tour guide knows that you need to have something tall to wave for your group to follow, not unlike a flag. In fact, many tour guides use a flag and some –less ceremoniously– just grab a colorful baton, a golf club, a bright orange Mr. Quackenbush Duck-head umbrella, what have you.
We Levys are all about the lightsabers because they’re cheap, easy to replace, easily collapsable, don’t set off metal detectors, heck they even come with their own belt clips! We all have different colored sabers, which we use strategically when we have to maneuver our groups around and past each other: in crowded tourist areas like Strawberry Fields.
These are called “spins,” and a lightsaber is instrumental in knowing which guides is with which group and when its time to move on. Of course, when two guides meet in the same spot, we often have a “Guide Off” which sometimes ends with Mark slicing down on one of our arms while shouting “Luke, I am your father!” Hilarity all around. And most importantly- the groups LOVE them! In fact, as anybody who’s seen our short video The Tourfather knows, a light saber is one of the 5 things our guides need “. . . to give them a tour they cannnot refuse!” Pop Quiz time - What are the other four?
So when people ask me if I like my job, I usually tell them- “You know what my morning is like? I wake up, shower, get dressed, make coffee, grab my lightsaber and go to work.” It’s a sweet life.
By Gideon Levy