It's 6am and a couple friends and I walk out of my building to get some food. Katz' deli gives half price food to pedicab drivers like my friend Aaron, and I can't turn down a deal. As we walk across the street we see a shady looking fellow walking near where we're parked. Hopefully we can avoid contact.
"Hey guys... can you help me out? My car ran out of gas... "
It's the same tired hustle that we've heard a million times. His story winds on to the tune of a thousand silent violins as we look for the polite pause to fill with our excuse to leave.
"I have my license. You can hang on to it. Or I can write you a check."
At that point it doesn't occur to me that any gas station that's open is likely to accept his check.
I'm intrigued. How could a scammer trade his license for three dollars? I consider that he might be legitimate, but it doesn't seem likely. I ask to see his license, and it's him. I bend the license like a bouncer and look for some finer details. It's real.
Jonah is growing tired of the conversation and offers three dollars. I take his license.
He briefly looks concerned.
"How will I get my license back?"
"We're going to Katz' on sixth. Just meet us there."
"What if you're not there?"
"I live in that building. I'll leave it with the front desk."
We walk off three dollars poorer, leaving him one license lighter. Curiously it seems like we've both gotten a bad deal.
As we drive to Katz', we ponder the situation. Legit or hustler, WHO is willing to give their license to a stranger to hold in escrow for $3? It's insane.
We eat our half price meal at Katz', eagerly awaiting his arrival. It seems more and more likely that it's a scam. This doesn't seem like reasonable behaviour for a real person. How does he have his license and checkbook, but no debit cards, credit cards, or cash?
He never shows up.
I get back to my place. I don't want him looking for me. At the same time, I don't want him getting his license back without giving me $3. I don't like being scammed. I debate whether to leave the license at the front desk or to hold it ransom, assuming he ever found me.
In the end I decide to leave it on the front desk with the note "Lost License". I don't particularly want to involve myself with this guy anymore.
What do you think? What would you do once he didn't show up?
I follow the generally accepted White Boy Creed of "don't make eye contact." It's magical. As long as you don't make eye contract you haven't heard them, you don't exist and they don't exist.
It's like when you were really young and you thought that if you covered your eyes you were invisible. Same deal. Only it works.
One bum told me an interesting tale about how he's so poor that his family has to unscrew the lone lightbulb in the house and take it with them if they're going into a different room and want light. I laughed in amazement and gave him a $5.
I saw him again about 2 months later and this time he said he needed bus fare to get back home and wanted to sell me his umbrella for like $3. I asked him what he did with the $5 I gave him last time, and he admitted the umbrella thing was a "hustle" and we ended up in a shouting match with him saying I needed to lose weight and me calling him on his balding hairline. A draw.
One time my friends gave some RANDOM guys in a car $35 because the guys said they could get them good weed...guess what?! the guys never showed up again....obviously
You know its odd. I have been asked several times for money downtown and sometimes its just some guy askign for a dollar but there have been several occasions in which i have been asked for exactly 3 dollars and 2 of the times it was because someones car broke down and they needed to make a long distance phone call on a payphone to call a friend or something. one time i really didn't have 3 dollars and this guy kept talkign to me for at Least 10-15 minutes dispite my attemps to leave. its seems like one could EASily get $3 if they went down onto redriver or a more congested street and just asked 3 people for a dollar. i even suggested that he do that and he wouldn't. I deffinatly thought it was strange that he needed exactly $3 so badly and wouldn't go ask anybody if he could borrow thier cellphone. I really don't see what you can significantly do with a measly $3 surely crack is more expensive than that
You have his "address". Go to it, stake it out until you see if it is actually his house. If it is, beat him senseless. If it is not his house, beat up whoever lives there. Violence is always the answer.
I wouldn't have let it get as far as him not showing up. I always say I don't have any money—which is frequently true as I usually avoid carrying cash at all.
However... leaving it at the desk as lost is a good call.
One wonders what a guy who's willing to give up his license for $3 is after. He's gotta be desperate, and he can't realistically expect to get the license back. So, desperate for what?
I was more F than A or C, but any way you look at it, I was an AFC. An Average Frustrated Chump. I had a crush on a girl named Renee, who lived on my floor in the dorm.
For weeks I lived in agony, wondering if she liked me. I'd make subtle hints and get back subtle responses which weren't nearly conclusive enough for me to do anything about it.
Things came to a head on Friday night. I had to ask her. Not in person, of course. On AIM.
I walked into the airport in Seattle, ready to fly to San Francisco. I was checking in, and the kiosk I was using gave me the option to change my seat. I mostly fly on the East Coast, and really only on Airtran Airways, and on Airtran it costs money to change your seat. This time however, it was free, so I decided “What the hell” and hit the button. I immediately noticed I was in the back row, all the way on the left. There wasn't even a window, it was almost as if it used to be additional storage, but decided to put half a seat there to make an extra couple of dollars. There were two other seats open, one center seat about 3 rows from the back, and one in center of the very first row of coach. “Hot damn,” I thought, and I grabbed the seat at the front of coach.
I got onto my plane, and noticed there was no where in front of me to put my bag, and the flight attendant made me put it in overhead storage (which I hate using). The plane was about half filled when another guy who looked about my age (19) sat down in the window seat next to me. He had kind of scraggly, unkempt hair, and an earring that looked like (and probably was) just a woodchip through his left ear. He sat down next to me, and the flight attendant immediately yelled at him to put his bags up above. We exchanged grumblings about having to put our stuff up, and then we started talking.
“It's weird being in an airplane again,” Marty commented, looking around uncomfortably. “In fact it's kind of weird to be surrounded by people.” I asked if it was his first time flying, and he responded “No, I've just been... out of touch with the world for a while.” He then went on to tell me about how he had just spent the past four months by himself in a log cabin in the woods of Northern Minnesota, fifty miles from the nearest road. He told me about how he was in the backwater bar in Minnesota, talking to some loggers. This one logger was telling Marty about his grandfather had built a log cabin up north a long time ago, but no one had had time to go there in fifteen years. Marty thought about it for a second, and then asked the logger “How much?” The logger was a bit taken back, and replied cautiously “Nine hundred dollars?” Marty wrote him a check on the spot, and then met back up with the logger the next day for a topographical map. “It's the only way you can find it,” the logger said. Since it's so far from any roads, you have to find the right hills, follow streams and rivers, and take the correct forks. Marty got some equipment, and then headed off.
He arrived in the closest town (50 miles from the cabin) and proceeded to make three trips to the cabin. He was hiking the whole time, so he could only carry so much. He arrived towards the end of winter, and had some trouble the first month. He shot three bucks, but didn't preserve the meat of the first two correctly and the bodies were covered in flies and maggots within 45 minutes. The third one he did right, but had to dry the meat in a corner of his cabin for a month. He said “it smelled like a dead animal.” He paused, and then laughed and added “Well I guess it was a dead animal.” The cabin had a wood stove, a wooden desk, some candles, and not much else.
He spent a lot of time cleaning up the cabin and the surrounding area (no one had been there for 15 years), and spent the rest of his days hunting small game (rabbit, squirrel), fishing (in lakes so clear you could see 30 feet below the surface), and exploring. He told me about how he used a series of pink bandannas to tie around trees, so he could find his way home. When exploring, he'd tie them around trees as he was about to get out of sight of the previous one. On the way back home, he'd untie and collect them, leaving no trace he was ever there. When he arrived back home, he would sit at his desk and read books, write, and draw.