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E-mail, Feeds, 'n' Stuff

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

I'm like a magnet for this stuff

I'm such a rube. I must have "Gullible, has money" tattooed on my forehead.

Today I'm downtown waiting for the no. 4 bus when along comes this guy in a baseball cap, t-shirt, and jeans. Bearded, fairly clean cut, looks like he's had a shower in the last 24 hours. Maybe he's in his late 30's. Here's his sob story: He's from Welches. He was doing some floor refinishing work in Northwest Portland this morning when someone stole his truck. The cops won't come out to help him. All he's got on him is his truck keys (which he's showing me).

He can take a bus from the downtown mall to Sandy, but to get from Sandy to Welches, he'll need to take a cab, and that's going to run him 25 bucks. So could I help him out with 25 bucks?

Something about the guy tells me he is for real. I've also got the Good Samaritan gospel rattling around in my brain from just two days prior.

I give him some dough, but not 25 bucks. He says, "Thank you. Give me your e-mail address -- I'll pay you back." I tell him that maybe the best thing would be for him to help somebody else out some day. "You know, I just moved up here from California," he says, "and I don't help people out. Maybe I should."

And on he goes down the street, hitting up some other old white guys on the next block.

Have I been had? Or what?

UPDATE, 7/22, 4:05 a.m.: We now have his photo.

Comments (65)

Likely had, I think. Someone using a similar line (car stolen, needs to get to Welches) approached me several years ago at the Portland Teacher's CU on NE Broadway. He seemed very legit at the time, and I gave him $5. But, the next day I saw him downtown on the bus mall pulling the same story (with someone else). I couldn't see how he couldn't have gotten home by then.

Got the same story @ the Max Station on 60th, sorry only use debit card.

hey wow. that guy has approached me too a few months ago. same basic details, pickup stolen, a working contractor in p-town, although i think he used "zigzag" as his home.

he is good though! but he failed the sniff test for me (could be the 6 years in SF that hardened my heart though...)

Hmmmmm... Maybe we can have some fun with this guy in future posts.

Does anybody out there know who this guy really is? You can e-mail me if you like -- I'll keep your identity confidential.

Jack, I live in Northern Italy. I travelled over here a week ago on business only to have my wallet and my airline ticket stolen. Can you spare a couple of thousand dollars for a guy to get a ride home?

You were had.

A rule of thumb for you that you already know: If anyone hits you up for money, ignore them or say no and keep walking.

But I guess I'm Heartless, and have no bleeding heart.

ignore them or say no and keep walking.

Problem: I was waiting for a bus.

The guy had a good spiel. But I'd love to put him out of business.

He might be on the internet. My son, who attends the University of Pittsburgh, tells me that some of their campus panhandlers (perhaps unwillingly) have myspace pages, pictures and all. A student dorm time waster.

To add to the fountain of knowledge.....a few months ago I was going into the Natures on 15th and Fremont and was greeted by a teenager saying he was collecting money to go on a basketball trip with his school.

Would I sign his form and give him $$....seemed like a young entrepreneur so I was wavering......just then one of Portland's finest drove into the Starbucks parking lot on 15th to get coffee.
Young entrepreneur did a 40 yard dash in the opposite direction that would have put Ladanian Tomlinson to shame.

So Jack, I have a cousin in Nigeria who is a bank official and he knows of an account in his bank................

Even though you were had, you did the right thing (recall that relevant Bible parable in your head). However, you'd also be doing the right thing be exposing the guy as a con man.

In doing so, you'd be following the lead of Danny Wallace, one of my favorite authors. His book -Join Me- tells about his experience starting a cult, which has as its central purpose (for a while) to be good to elderly men. So a group of his joiners give a man named Raymond Price, who says he is stranded, 38 quid for a train ticket from London to Devon. They later learn he was a con artist who does this regularly, and Wallace exposes him by starting The Raymond Price Fund For Keeping Raymond Price Out Of Trouble (TRPFFKRPOOT).

You could shut down this dude in a similar way. If I'm approached by this guy, I'll say "sure, I'll give you a few bucks...but can I see your drivers license to confirm you're from Welches?" Presto--I've got his name...and then you'll have it too, Jack.

Some of these folks must have gotten an A in creative writing.Great story. I was in NYC a while back and approached St John's cathedral. This guy gets up off the steps and launches into an explainatiom of the Cathedral's details. Then can I spare a buck? Ok, for a charming speil a buck. Then the others trotted over for their buck.

In Belize City, a handsome Garifuna man wih white hair and beard approached me. "Ah, and where might you be from sir?" he asked in a richly resonant voice. Ummm, Oregon I answer. "And would the capital of Oregon be Salem by chance?" I can't remember if I gave him money or not.
Jack, the nice part about your story, (assuming it's true) is that you're a smart lawyer yet still likely got taken in. That confirms that you're a real human being.

I got had by a guy and his girlfriend who needed a bus to Aspen Co. but had to get a rabies shot for the dog they had with them so they could get on the bus. This was in Hollywood. I saw them a month later on 82nd and Multnomah. If that guy could hoodwink me, the heartless recovering conservative, maybe he should go work for Sam Adams.

Yeah, I think the only ones we are ever 'had' by is ourself. E.g., "Heartless, and have no bleeding heart," "hardened my heart" -- have been 'had.' There's punks and royals on the street, what a day and a night in life, when we have a good one.

Forget who got your money. You had yourself (afterwards) the feeling of giving it -- how's that working for you? Not quite the same as the feeling after giving it to a musical performance artist, maybe, although it sounds like this shyster put on a song-and-dance.

No doubt you can catch the guy. So? And give him more? Some H E double-L, ya' think, or other style of misery in his life?

And then you have yourself (afterwards) the feeling of giving it ....

To me, the thing is, about a person engaging me with a story, is not the story come into my life but the person. Sometimes I give my money to persons who say nothing and to persons who say something. Sometimes I don't give my money to persons, silent or singing. Silly me. It's a personal thing.

One night not so long ago, as I exited a downtown dancehall, 'after hours,' there were these two ladies of the night who engaged me with a story, along the way to my car. They weren't trying to get to Welches; Zigzag, maybe, or Troutdale, so to speak, but I was unaimed at the gorge. I'm not sure where I'm going with this story, just that when we stopped what they meant to start, we amazed ourselves for a couple of hours what interesting persons we were to each other. I remember.

Mybe my all-time favorite title and subtitle in print, (in Esquire, once):

What is a rube?
Someone asked me where my fans come from,
and I said there's a slow leak in Iowa.

That sounds exactly like a guy who approached me about four years ago. Same story. He never sent the money. Sorry Jack. Clearly he is good.

Why cant these guys replace the customer service reps from india? At least we can understand them and the money should be similar....HA..Ha

I think the Travellers are passing through Portland, land of low-hanging juicy rubes.

Last week I was hit up on SW 12th by a guy with some story about leaving his Day-Timer with all his money in it on a gas pump at 23rd and West Burnside, and he didn't have any money with him, and to prove it he showed me...an empty wallet! So he had to be telling the truth!

Because if I lost all my money on NW 23rd, I'd walk 11 blocks away to look for it. Wouldn't you?

He got about 30 seconds into the spiel before I said "Day-Timer? What is this, 1988?" and he walked away, not even arguing; there were better marks coming up the sidewalk.

Rules of thumb:

- If they show you an empty wallet, car keys (to a missing vehicle), or an empty gas can, it's a scam.

- If they offer to repay you and ask for your email or home address (!), it's a scam.

- If there's a need for $20 or more to catch a bus, get home, or get to work because they'll be fired if they don't: it's a scam.

Giving Travellers money doesn't make you a Samaritan; it makes them more likely to stick around your town and take advantage of others.

That's the same guy, I'm sure. It's time to track him down and put him out of business!

Two years ago, a woman at the bus mall asked me for a dollar for bus fare so she could get home. After giving her the dollar, I was annoyed when she asked me again for a dollar fifteen minutes later. Since then, I have given a couple rides to people in need but have not given money to anyone that has approached me on the street. Working downtown, I get asked for money several times a day, often by the same people, with a wide variety of long-winded and fallacious stories.

I've usually found that a clean-cut person that has showered recently, has a home in the country, owns a truck (or at least did earlier in the day), and is employed usually has and would use one of the following before resorting to begging:

a) a wallet with $25 in it
b) a checking account with $25 in it
c) a debit card
d) a credit card
e) the address to the nearest Payday Advance (‘specially with their new low rates!)
f) a friend, coworker, employer, or family member willing to provide a ride or money in the case of an emergency

In the unlikely event that this is not the case, I would like to think a police officer would show up for a grand theft auto call.

a grand theft auto call

I think you've been watching too much "Dragnet." You don't get a cop on the scene for a mere stolen car in Portland any more, do you?

I just said I would like to think a police officer would show up. Isn't car theft just a cite and release crime now?

Funny story though (as accurate as I can remember it) - about a year ago, a coworker gets his car stolen. A friend of his spots the car and follows it to an apartment building out in Gresham. The car's owner then meets the police at the apartment parking lot. The police refuse to knock on the door of the apartment that the thief went into, they call a locksmith (I think the locks were broken/replaced/something), and then leave the scene. While the car's owner is waiting by himself for the locksmith to show up, the thief runs out of the apartment and drives off in the car.

To add to the fountain of knowledge.....a few months ago I was going into the Natures on 15th and Fremont and was greeted by a teenager saying he was collecting money to go on a basketball trip with his school.

I live just to the southeast of the Natures on 15th and I swear those guys come door to door down my street every three months. People must cough up money in my neighborhood because they keep coming back.

Some young ladies came by selling spray cleaner door to door. When they were asking me a million questions about my house and the neighbors I got the distinct feeling they were casing my house... I was burglarized shortly thereafter as were 2 other houses on the street...

Another one of my favorites are the "former" gang members who are trying to "work with the children now" and ask for donations by intimidation. I haven't seen them around for a few years though.

I never give money to anyone asking. I work downtown and see the usual suspects day after day. I will buy them food if I have never seen them before or a cup of coffee if it is cold but I'd rather just give it to the Portland rescue mission.

I just said I would like to think

Sometimes when people say this, they mean, "I think." Sorry for the confusion.

There used to be a youngish kid regularly hanging around the Rose Garden parking lot after events. He presented himself as somewhat shabby with his mouth hanging open and handed you a card reading, "I am deaf and unable to find a good job, could you please spare some extra money...," or something like that. Call it heartless, but we used to gesture "No, sorry. No money on me," wait until he was about 30 yards away, and then in a normal voice call out, "Hey buddy!" Naturally, he would turn around to see who was calling him...

you been had, bro' Jack.

i fell for the same spiel about four years ago up there around PSU. same story -- right down to the Welches part -- prolly same guy. coughed up some scratch for the boy. said he'd pay me back.

thing was, three days later a coupla blocks away -- same guy, same story. told him he really needed to remember the folks he already hit. he went all red in the face and walked on.

cab ride from sandy to welches sumpin new, tho. don't think they got cabs in sandy. or do they?

You're a good guy Jack, pay it forward.

Oh yeah, the carpenter from Welches with email. He hit me up for $20 at the QFC at 55th & Burnside a few years ago. He's really good: I bit, then of course never heard from him. Margie Boule' did a piece on him about a year after that and I recognized his shtick immediately. Same story, same guy, no doubt about it.

If you get hit up like this (elaborate story, money request larger than "spare change"), just do the logical math:

- Your truck is stolen and the police won't help (doubtful, but go with it for a second): Do you hit up total strangers on the street for spare change, or do you call someone you know to help? If you don't have anyone to call who can help you...why?

- You're out of gas, and you need to get to Hospital X in City Y where your Relative Z is about to have an operation: Do you go to the nearest police station or church for aid, or do you stand on the street, buttonholing strangers?

- You have an empty gas can, but no gas. Do you stand on a street corner blocks away from a gas station and ask for folding green, or do you stay at the gas station and ask people to help you fill the gas can?

The sad part is that enough people in Portland prefer to 'err on the side of charity' rather than to use common sense. Which seems harmless, until you realize that having your city known as an easy mark opens it up for things like magazine/break-in scams, curb-painting scams, or the worst: fake roofers or driveway repairmen, who can take the elderly and the gullible for thousands of dollars. Being credulous for the two-bit scammers can give a city or a neighborhood a reputation of being easy, which just draws the more elaborate scammers.

Seriously: the street suckers might be out five bucks for bus fare or whatever, but if these scammers see Portland as a town of easy marks, they can do some serious damage. Not giving them money encourages them to move on to easier plucking pastures.

The kids begging for change may be nuisances; but the professional grifters can really hurt people, particularly gullible elderly folks. Don't put your own sense of misguided 'helpism' ahead of the welfare of the gullible and elderly in your own community.

A few years ago, a couple teenage boys came down my Laurelhurst street raising money to take their team to a tournament. Happened to drop the name of their "basketball coach" -- a real guy who works in local high schools. I let them know that their coach's brother lived across the street (true enough) -- and that we could walk right over to talk to him. For some reason, they declined. They haven't been back since. My neighbor was pretty peeved that the scam artists were using his brother's good name in their act.

The one that bugs me is the darn street kids...they are hitting me up almost every day to and from Max.
Kinda sick of it. My new answer if they ask if I have any change- "Yes, because I have a job." The older guys I will help out...

BTW, one of those street kids was wearing a t-shirt that said "Will Not Work for Anything". Kinda sums it up right there.

FYI - There IS a bus that runs from Sandy to Welches... it's pretty limited and only runs maybe twice a day, during the day - but there is one.

Also, good luck finding a taxi in Sandy!!! Now THAT'S a good one! We haven't had a local cab co. up here in a couple of years. I used to see Sassy's cabs (out of Estacada, I think?) around a while ago, but haven't lately - are they still even in business? And IF (and that's a really big "if") you can even get a Radio cab to come up here - especially to START the trip from here - it'd cost a hell of a lot more than $25. It's like 15-20 miles from Sandy to Welches, depending on where in Welches you're going. That's a 40 mile round trip. Know of any cab co. that'd do that for $25?

A lot of the younger, poorer, or otherwise "transportation-less" ski bums & ski area employees hitchhike from Sandy up the mountain. You just stand there on the side of the highway right after the last light in town. As long as you don't look like a psychopath, you're pretty much guaranteed to get a ride within a few minutes. When my daughter worked at SkiBowl, lots of her co-workers got to work and home again that way, every day.

Anyway Jack, you got some good Karma, even if you got took.

Not that long ago I was walking downtown when a guy stopped me and asked if a parked car was mine. He wouldn't tell me why he wanted to know, and barked at me that I better answer his question anyway. When I realized I was talking to a shiftless lunatic I said no, sorry I couldn't help, and continued on.

I found out later that this guy was something called a Meter Maid and it's actually their JOB to wander around stealing money and yelling at people! Can you imagine! It was a close call, but I'll be keeping a sharp eye out for these bums next time I'm downtown.

A couple weeks ago on a friday night, I was walking to a bar, and a homeless guy asked me for five bucks so he could get drunk.

I gave it to him.

Pay it Forward.

Ah, I was had by a guy down near Voodoo Doughnut. Handed me a note saying he was mute b/c his mom had strangled him when he was little, he would not rape me, steal from me, etc. and could I spare some change for a motel room. Well, I'm soft-hearted (WAS soft-hearted) so I gave him the bill I had, telling my husband who was chastizing me for being so gullible "Anyone who has a story like that is for real." About a week later he knocked on the window of our car outside my husband's job. My husband called him on it. And continued to see him in the area for weeks. That guy ruined it for the rest of the panhandlers in town. No more money coming out of my pockets. Now I feel better I'm not the only one scammed.

Don't feel bad. I fell for the one who lost his Blackberry and coke spoon.

Strolling on Haight recently, among the droves of panhandlers, a rather forlorn looking fellow was holding a placard reading "help, don't make me debase myself further" I walked by and chuckled a bit. On my walk back he was holding a different less humorous sign. Stopped and offered two bucks to switch back. Said the humor was well worth the contribution. A couple bucks and some dignity for a creative schtick - priceless.

A man asked me for some money near NW 23rd so that his wife and kids would be able stay in a hostel/motel that night. I asked him how old his kids was and one of them happened to be my students where I taught. I gave him five bucks, but I don't know where he spent the money. His son rarely showed up to class and eventually quit coming.

I was hit up by someone whose immediate response when I answered his lead-in question was "Thank God I found someone who can speak English!" It was innovative enough for me to give him a dollar.

I also have a soft spot for the downtown mendicant whose cardboard sign reads, "If you lived where I do, you'd be home now."

I was taken by the same guy...same story...about 3 years ago up on NE Broadway and 23rd area. I'm usually more savy with just 'giving' my hard earned $ away, but this guy is very convincing and sounded like he was a regular-joe in a jam and just needed another regular-joe to help him get home. There was an editorial/article in the O last year about this scam and they even had a follow up saying how many readers experienced the same scam.

I wasn't as mad that the guy got my $ but that I will be hesitant to help someone next time.

We need a photo of this guy. I'm going to offer a $50 reward for a decent photo.

Some scruffy old dude hit me up for $10 bucks. A few minutes later I saw him ride by on his Segway. Was it Homer Williams?

I did some digging and the article was written by Margie Boule mboule at aol.com
her piece was titled "Scam proves danger of judging book by cover"

She may have more info on the guy...

sorry, wrong email...it is:
marboule at aol.com

The Boule columns appeared on Feb. 9 and 16, 2006. Amazingly, it was the exact same guy, exact same spiel.

This guy should run for Mayor.

With his success ratio for small money street scams, he'd be a lock to qualify for public financing.

About 20 years ago, I was a small town minister’s kid who had just moved to Portland for school and was overwhelmed by the guilt of having to say no to panhandlers. I visited the Pastor of a local downtown church for advice on how to handle this in a Good Samaritan kind of way. He gave me some of the best advice I’ve ever received. He said that when someone comes to the church office looking for money or some other kind of assistance, the person at the church tells them that they can have the help they are looking for but they need to come back in one hour. Anyone who came back in an hour received help, but the majority of people looking for assistance never come back.

I've always wanted to tell the kid asking if I had any spare change that, "You should BE the change you want," but never thought it would fly with that audience. It doesn't stop me from thinking it though.
Also an annual donation to the Rescue Mission makes it much easier to say no.

Best One-
Excuse me. Do you know how to get to the airport. After getting directions.... I work for this clothing company. Last night I was given these three Armani jackets but I need to get back to Europe with my co-worker. I don't want to take these jackets back because I dont want to pay the "Taxes." Con artists shows you what looks like air line ticket. Jackets have strong smell of leather and are wrapped in plastic. Do you want to buy one of the jackets? He asks, "How much do you want to pay?" I offered nothing. I don't wear leather. Can't you help me out? Sorry - pay day isn't till next week. I'll take the jackets and mail you a check next week. Sounds good eh?

I heard a guy on a bus say this to another guy after he asked for $...

"Let me get this straight...you want me to go to work and bust my hump all day long, then go to the bank and cash my check...and then turn around and hand it to you??? I don't think so..."

A couple of years ago my bus broke down on 39th & Hawthorne by Freddie's. While I was waiting for the next bus to come, a guy came up to me asking for "spare change" and I gave him some. The next bus took forever to come and I was still sitting there 20 minutes later when Mr. Spare Change comes strolling around the corner, spots me and asks if I have any...yes, spare change. I said, "Yeah, the spare change I gave you 15 minutes ago." I have never seen anyone skedaddle so quick. I don't give change anymore but it breaks my heart when I see the old fellows. Mr. Spare Change ruined it for his buddies.

When finally got fed up with the professional beggars back home, about 13 years ago, I started to carry around Monopoly money.

"Here, have $200."

Another guy I knew would carry around a pocket full of pennies, and chuck 30 of 'em or so into the street and sidewalk. He would just literally throw the change at them as hard as he could, screaming "Here, hope this will change your worthless F-n life !!!"

The bagel place he worked at was on a street by a major university, and the scum would hit him up for money before work, on his breaks, and after work, day after day after day, year in, and year out.

I've seen some of the same faces, now haggard and older, lining the streets of downtown Portland.

Ever meet the charming young unfortunate, who tells you he has AIDS, and that he will spit on you if you don't give him your money ?

Several baristas have told me that he is banned from nearly every coffee shop downtown, as he loves nothing more than sneaking in and lacing the creamer with his tainted spew when no one is looking.

I've never seen that guy, but "tainted spew" would be a great name for a rock band.

... or an editorial.)

Whew. What fun!

There's something else happening here, too. Once we realize we were suckers, there's a psychological thingie about being embarrassed to admit our stupidity. Blog value is having a place where we can say these 'admissions.' In some cases, elderly victims of 5-figure scams, not telling anyone means not reporting it, getting help, and maybe apprehending the criminal or getting the money back.

But by far, the most egregious heart-wrenching examples, of making false witness of our stupidity, to others and to ourselves, when we have been baited, hook-switch fooled, and we bit and fell for it, is voting for Bush or believing nine eleven hoax.

Sam the Tram should hire some of these street scammers to become city grant writers-they are that good. Our transportation problems solved.

When I first moved to Portland in 1988, I lived downtown. I noticed that there was a man standing outside Powell's with a gas can, and a sign saying "Need money for gas- car and kids stranded"! When I started working at Powell's just a few month later, at the training session one of the first things I was told was "DON'T give the guy with the gas can any money- he's been out there for months"!

I certainly don't encounter too many people anymore who believe the 911 story, or who will admit to voting for Bush.

The Travelers, now that is an incredibly interesting criminal subculture. There are whole books and stuff on these nomadic grifters in tacky travel trailers, and if you should actually stumble upon them in person, they are even weirder than you might think.

You know they are in the neighborhood when you start hearing about the paving scams, the con artists, and the sudden increase in ID theft.

A mark of a truly ruthless people is how they raise their young, and the clannish, secretive Travelers send kids out at the age of 5 or 6 to shoplift for the first time, before they are allowed back inside.

I had a "sophisticated" panhandler near Pioneer Square ask me for $5 for some miso soup. He was holding a Nordstrom bag. True story.

I got had so good its truly embarrassing. I have to share it.

I used to see a young pregnant woman standing on the Everett exit ramp off 405 every morning. She looked so miserable and pathetic. I would not give her money but would often give her food. Soon enough, it was sort of a habit, I'd bring food with me and give it to her a lot of mornings. This went on for weeks.

Time went by and I didn't see her for a while. Then I saw her up on 23rd, NO LONGER PREGNANT. She asked me for money, and I said. "hey, did you have your baby?" as her stomach was now completely flat. She looked at me with a glazed expression and said, "oh yeah, I'm having a baby later." Ummmmmmmmm.....(light slowly dawning over my head).

Although, I must say, I don't feel that bad giving away food, even if it was sort of a scam. Still though, I got pretty played.

I remember this guy from about a year ago, I was walking past the US Bank across from PGE Park, he gave me his stolen truck story as I walked by and ignored him, which is usually what I do with panhandlers. Living downtown I often get panhandled several time per day.

One good con I've seen is a guy walks up to you and shows you a handful of money, like $14 and he'll say his car broke down a few miles away and he needs $7 more to get a fan belt.

The empty gas can routine used to be popular but I haven't seen that one in awhile. Someone approaches you with an empty gas can and asks for money because they ran out of gas.

Then there's all kinds of "Disabled Veterans" who somehow aren't receiving the benefits disabled vets are supposed to get.

The fake reverend near Pioneer Square is still active even though Willamette Week ran a story exposing him a few years ago.

"Spare change for food?" is popular. If you spring for a copy of Street Roots ($1) you'll see a list and schedule of all the free meals available downtown. A person could eat 5 or 6 meals per day for free if they wanted to. Lunch at Union Gospel Mission at 12, then second lunch at Blanchette House at 1:00. With proper timing a homeless person could easily get fat.

One thing about the repeat offenders--they may be truly clueless.

Few days ago, in the driving rain, I walked by a panhandler but then dropped something out of my pack while digging for something else.

I thanked the guy and gave him a buck.

Few minutes later I walked back by--I'd forgotten something in my car. He asked for spare change again.

I would tell by the look on his face that if I'd said "sure, I have change, the buck I gave you 10 minutes ago..." he'd be completely clueless.

Got hit up by the Welches Guy twice, last time was probably 2-3 years ago, i wanted to punch him the face, but i just laughed at him, and told him to get a new story, but apparently his story still works. I only give out Sisters of the Road food certificates to people asking for help, most legitimate down on their luck people recognize it, and are very thankful. It costs just about a buck or so each and provides them with a small healthy meal, and a place to sit down for a bit and feel normal. I know that there also is lots of information available there to help them out. Check out: www.sistersoftheroadcafe.org


My husband and I were hit up by that guy maybe 2-3 years ago in front of the Storables in the Pearl (while I was in law school, in fact, but I was a skeptic before that, really). Same exact deal. We questioned him: Why not call someone? Just moved here. Why not get money from bank? Bank closed. ATM? No debit card. Why are you working on Sunday? Why don't you call the general contractor? It was all just too pat--he had an answer for everything. I felt bad for telling him that I didn't believe him. For awhile anyway.

My friend and I were hit up by this guy outside of the Alibi on Interstate on Saturday. I appreciate you posting the picture..it was definitely him! We didn't give him any money because we're both jaded. As my friend said, it's more insulting to be asked, because anyone who experienced that sort of problem would call a friend/relative/neighbor, something, before asking strangers on the street!

I wonder how much tax-free money this guy has gotten over the years. About a year ago, at the Hollywood Fred Meyer, I was approached as I was loading groceries into my car by a woman who said she had been "bitten by a poisonous spider" and showed me this horrible oozing wound on her ankle to prove it....and she needed money for antibiotics. I gave her a few bucks, even though I wasn't sure...Then the next day I had to go back to Fred Meyer for something, and a GUY approaches me in the parking lot with the SAME DAMN STORY and the SAME DAMN WOUND! So either there are alot of poisonous spiders running around the Hollywood area or someone has a good make-up artist on staff. Man, these people are good.....and I've been pretty jaded myself since then. Next time you have a spider bite and need money, you better have the spider still attached to the wound or I'm a non-believer. :)

My boyfriend gave this guy a buck on the broadway bridge last night. He was working people with the truck story, and kept telling me "to look at his eyes" so I could see he was telling the truth. What an ass! The only reason we thought he was fake was the fact that he reeked of booze. Nothing like a pleasant stroll on a summer evening.

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