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Saturday, October 27, 2012

Portland neo-con

We haven't heard of any sightings of the Welches con man lately, but it appears he may have a cousin. A reader writes:

Out at Johnson Creek Fred Meyer today, a nice-seeming but slightly needy-looking guy approached me with a broken fan belt in his hand. Very good story about the broken fan belt: new one at auto store (he's checked he says) is only $14, and he has $10, so only needs $4 (or similar amount of money). Trouble is, I recognized him. Last time, he was working the Home Depot parking lot across the street with the same story. Has anybody else seen this guy and heard his story? Next time I'll go for a pic.

Comments (13)

I also had an experience with a guy carrying a broken fan belt. This was in early October in the Happy Valley area, maybe at that same Fred Meyer, maybe at the one on 82nd at Highway 212/224. Same story. I gave him some money. I guess I won't the next time unless I see a car with a missing fan belt.

Maybe David finally made it back to Welches.

Quite a scam. I gave money to a guy once who was raising money for something. I forget what it was, some charity. Later I realized my mistake. These guys can be slick.

A guy approached me in the Hollywood neighborhood a few years ago. I think I told him that I didn't believe him but hoped he had a nice day. He cursed me out and threatened to smash my truck windows so I parked it elsewhere.

I just do not like being lied to. After living in SF I became immune to being approached by hard luck stories for help.

After offering to buy a BART ticket or bus ticket or something to eat and getting refused (even having food thrown back at me) I stopped giving to beggers. I give to rescue missions and food pantries that feed families.

Several years ago, I ran into the "outta gas guy" spangin for a few bucks. The same guy that Jack has had in the left margin here... I think.

Funny thing... I say, "THIS IS YOUR LUCKY DAY. I have a full gas can in the trunk... jump in."

"NEVER MIND" he says, just like Gilda Radner. Turns and walks away.

I should tased him on the spot just to show my disapproval.

I had a similar request, same MO, busted belt, needing money.

It'd have worked if I hadn't seen him cross the parking lot of Glisan Fred Meyer, spot me, and then have him get into character. I guess he didn't realize I was watching him, and was expecting some sort of pitch.

I asked him if he took Visa, as I didn't have cash. He got mad and stormed off.

I'm done with beggars. I just came back from Asheville, NC. It's very much like here in many respects save the begging on every corner. I was never approached once, nor did I see the off ramps cluttered with placard carrying hard luck cases.

The beggars all turn down my offer of Sisters of the Road meal
Tickets. I always carry them and I have been carrying around the same 10 tickets for 2 years now!

Yeah, he was working the parking lot next to McDonalds at 82nd and Stark several months ago.

I gave him a dollar.

Not too swift that day!

Clever use of "neo-con", I see what you did there Jack. =-) but I rest assured that you wouldn't really draw a moral equivalency between these two concepts.

Ran into David once years ago, near Powell's. I never, never, not ever give cash money to anyone on the street. How does somebody become so hard-hearted?

I lived in the big city (SF) long enough to learn what that leads to. One time my wife (a profoundly giving person) made food for one particular "hard-core homeless" man.

She was suckered in by his craftily targeted story. His reaction (and that of fellow spangers on the block) left a very bad taste in her mouth. Now she knows better.

She also briefly worked in a drug rehab in the Tenderloin, which opened her eyes all the way. Now we both know that charity should go to those who really want help, not cash.

I have worked at 3rd & Burn as the amalance guy's call it for a couple of years now, Do not for any reason give anything of any value to any of the street folks. There are so many services Clothes/ shelter/ food / counsuling etc available they need nothing and you are enabling their BlueManure (I still love that word). Okay I am not a monster, Iam very charity driven and give a decent amount to worthy causes (sorry not a church member) but if you wish to help and yes you should help all that you can there are many worthy groups that help the folks.
One of my favs is the Boy's and Girls Clubs, they are well managed and spend their donations very wisey. And it is truley about the kids.
They also are tight as hell and are very careful with a buck, so much so that they just lost their director (Big Joe) to turn around Philedelphia's failed club system.

Out by the Barnes&Noble Bookstore in Tanasbourne 2 weeks ago.

Middle aged mom approaches me with a story:
- starting a new job at Comcast next week, and won't get paid until then
- have two bright girls in high school who are doing well
- can you spare a few dollars to purchase milk for them?

I didn't think the story rang true. She may have had better luck if she had gone a 1/4 mile away to the sidewalk in front of Safeway or Trader Joes. Then agsin, they sell milk there.

I last saw her crossing Evergreen, heading to Best Buy and the Sports Authority store.

Yep, there is a crew that works the Tanasbourne area. Someone is usually over by B&N, another by Trader Joes, and a third over by the Rite Aid.

If someone is in Tanasbourne and got a job at Comcast, they can afford the bus pass or gas to get them to Beaverton (off of Hall & Nimbus), they can afford some milk.

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