Scam, Scheme or Person in Need? You Tell Me
I was waiting for my train at Farragut North the night before last, bathed in that familiar after-work fatigue, when a fellow approached me. "Excuse me," he said. "Do you have a twenty for two tens? I'm a cab driver."
Now, my first reaction to something like this is to mumble, "Um, no, sorry"--even though I knew I had a twenty in there, I've been taught not to pull out my wallet in public--and that's pretty much what I did. But I wanted to deconstruct this and get your opinion: Was he trying to scam me? Consider:
Item: Why would someone need a twenty for two tens? Doesn't it usually work the other way around? Don't you typically want to break a larger bill for smaller bills?
Item: He was holding some money up to me when he said this, but all I could see was a $5 bill, not a $10.
Item: Why the odd detail "I'm a cab driver"? Was this to explain his need for folding money
of a certain denomination? Was "cab driver" meant to elicit some sympathy or solidarity? (Why not "I'm a pediatric surgeon" or "I'm a certified C++ programmer"?)
And if he was trying to scam me, what exactly was the scam? I can see the scam if he'd said, "Do you have two twenties for a ten?"
This guy obviously wasn't Robert Redford in "The Sting." Or was he? What do you think:
Part of me wishes I'd gone along with his request, just to see where it had led. Has anyone else had something like this happen to them? What happened? Maybe we can use this blog as a clearinghouse for penny ante confidence games (if that's what this was).
In Other News...
Local blogster Princess Sparkle Pony rounds up the delicious coverage of Sarah Palin's pricey wardrobe. One of my favorite local bloggers, Silver Spring, Singular, has had a fascinating thread going about zombies in Silver Spring. Why Silver Spring? Well, that's where he blogs. Why zombies? Well, duh. This post and discussion on where to hide when the zombies come is probably more useful than all those brochures and PSAs Homeland Security did on sheltering in place. And it's a good thing to read before taking part in the Silver Spring Zombie Walk, a zombiefied bar crawl that ends at a showing of "Night of the Living Dead" at the AFI Silver Theatre on Nov. 1.
Speaking of the undead, a Georgia company, Eternal Reefs Inc., will pack your cremated remains into the stuff it sends to the bottom of the Chesapeake to create artificial reefs, "a service it markets as an environmentally friendly and less-expensive alternative to traditional burials." I wonder if they hire directly from the Mafia. Talk about sleeping with the fishes.
"Wx" is the abbreviation cool people--well, I--use for "weather." Weather is bigger than it ever was. By that I don't mean the stuff outside our windows--that's pretty much the same size as it's always been--as the stuff on our TV and computer screens. We seem to be obsessed with things meteorological. Our own weather bloggers, the Capital Weather Gang, are a hit. And now they're sponsoring a photo contest. They're looking for creative snapshots of the sky. Here's mine, snapped not 10 minutes ago:
Not very creative, I guess. I'm sure you can do better. And don't forget our contest, "What Does It Mean to Be a Washingtonian?" Answer that question in 300 words or less and you could be $100 richer. All right now, back to work, you.
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