Here's something: twice during my short time here in Ann Arbor people have asked me for directions. When I was in my mid-twenties or so, I became convinced that strangers asked me for directions way more often than other people. The first line of evidence was just that I seemed to get asked for directions a lot; way more than, say, I myself asked for directions (and I'm not at all one of those guys who's adverse to asking for directions). However, it would also be the case I would see strangers pass by other people in order to approach me for directions. Indeed, when I was walking with other people, it seemed like strangers would still fix upon me as the main person of my group they were asking.
I was never sure how to explain this. A charitable theory would be that something about me made me appear both (a) like I know where things are and (b) non-threatening. I thought that, sexism of the world being what it is, my being male might have had something to do with part (a) of the equation, but I didn't know what to think vis-a-vis part (b). In any case, later in my twenties and into my early thirties I felt like the phenomenon had basically stopped and that I was no longer being asked-for-directions any more than is normal. However, lately I've wondered if I've gone back to being disproportionately approached. If so, the main way that I'm similar to the Jeremy of 8-9 years ago and dissimilar to the Jeremy of 3-5 years ago is that, ever since the Astonishing Weight Gain of 2003, I'm back to being overweight. Accordingly, my current theory is that being portly makes a person seem less threatening and so seem more congenial to be asked directions. Presumably somebody in experimental social psychology will eventually hit upon this idea as well and they will do an experiment showing my hypothesis to be, as ever, correct.
Anyway: I might not be able to parlay my affable corpulence into a multizillion dollar empire like certain daytime talkshow hosts I could name, but at least I get to help the world get where it's going.