Thursday, November 2, 2006

Know What?

I don't like being tricked. I am much more likely to give you something if you ask for it straight out than if you try to trick me into giving it to you. Case in point?

I don't do this all the time, but when conditions are right, I have been known to give a few bucks to the bums on the medians, and more than once have I unloaded whatever change is in my pocket to the random guys who ask for it downtown or on campus. I even felt a little guilty one day not long ago because when I pulled my fistful of change out of my pocket for the bum next to the market I saw a lot of pennies in the mix. "I hope he isn't offended that I'm giving him a bunch of pennies," I thought to myself, right before I realized, "dude, he's the one demanding money fromm *me*. Anything I give him is more than what can be expected."

I did studiously avoid looking at him as I exited the market a few minutes later, just in case he was upset at my contribution.

On to the trickery, then. The other day (Halloween, in point of fact), I was accosted as I chained up my bike outside the building my classes take place in. Well, no, not really. I had locked up my bike and had returned to the sidewalk and was just standing there looking at my phone because somebody had called me. As I was standing there, some guy was walking by, and said, very much in passing, "do you have a lighter?" He was holding a cigarette. Naturally, I said no, because I really didn't have a lighter.

He continued walking, then stopped as if an idea had occurred to him. "Hey, do you want to vote for me?" Umm, yeah. I love voting for people I don't know who ask me for a light. I told him that I didn't know who he was (mistake number one! I should've just said no, and walked away), so he launches into this spiel about how he's in a radio personality class, or some crap like that, and he had to get voted for so he could win a trip to Paris and like his weight in beer or something. If I had been in a hurry to get to class, or to get anywhere really, I never would've let myself get conned into sitting down to listen to his scheme. However, I had an hour to kill, and was still busy looking at my phone, so I wasn't really paying enough attention.

He led me to a curb and we sat down and he pulled out this documentation ("to prove I'm legit")(cleverly in a little clear holder that also contained a baby picture?). At this point I finally began to realize that something obnoxious was going on. Then he pulled out another clear holder that had a little schedule of magazines I could suscribe to. "Just point to a magazine that you don't hate and I'll tell you how cheap it is!" At last, the lights and alarms in my head were going off in full force. I'll have to change the batteries, though, cause they took way too long to get started.

When the stupid me realized that he was just trying to con me into purchasing magazines that may or may not actually be sent to me, magazines that I don't want in the first place, I began to make my apologies and tried to excuse myself from the conversation by telling him (truthfully) that I was beyond broke right now, so I couldn't even pay for the magazines. Either he didn't care or he didn't believe me (likely, since I was dressed rather nicely that day in my expensive new attire purchased for me by my parents), because he started pleading with me, saying I didn't even need the money right then, they could defer payment, and it's really lousy of me not to even give him a chance. I explained as I handed back the magazine schedule that I did in fact give him a chance by listening to all his garbage. Then I noticed that only one of us was engaged in the act of handing back the magazine schedule. He refused to take it back, ignored it quite unashamedly. I finally laid it down on the curb next to him as he outright swore at me in a frighteningly passive aggressive manner.

I wish I had slapped him or something, instead of meekly walking away.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This dude sounds like a real nutjob! Holy, yeah thats the way to sell something dude.