Can I get two tens for a five?

| Oct. 16, 2007

I love an obvious scam. I know it’s coming, but I’m willing to let it go as far as it can just for the experience of it, only to back off before any money changes hands. I guess I’m a bit of a con tease.

I was heading to The Cat & Fiddle on Sunset Blvd. when a scraggly man asked me if I had change for a $10. I didn’t have any singles, but I did have two fives. That’s cool, he said. Why he would need two fives was beyond me, but a stranger asking for money raised enough red flags that anything else suspicious is just icing on the cake.

“Man, it’s so hard to get change in this town!” he said, stretching to reveal he’s going commando under his uncomfortably low-riding camo shorts.

I pull two fives from my wallet, clumsily letting a third fall to the ground, just to see what’ll happen. Alas, he tries nothing. I hold my fives out and grab his ersatz ten.

“Oh… I accidentally washed it.” he grinned from behind cracked teeth.

His ten looked about as convincing as this:

Wake up, Sheeple!

There it was on matte ink-jet paper, JPEG artifacts and all. “No.” I said, “You printed this out.”

And then I handed it back to him.

Didn’t tear it in half, didn’t crumple it up, didn’t just take this shady ten spot from his counterfeiting ass, just handed it back to him. Sorry, and good luck with the next mark!

I’m such a rube.

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