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Written by Rob Schultz (human).

CraP LA: A ruse defused.

Whilst crossing a parking lot from a store to my car, I was stopped by a not-homeless looking individual. At first, since he was accosting a man with small children, I ignored him. Quickly it was made clear that I was the new subject of his inquiry. The fellow asked me to stop, and explained that he knew that because he was black I thought he was a bad person and that I didn't want to talk to him because I was scared he was about to rob me or "some shit like that." But that's not the case, no sir, what HE was doing is hustling for change because he's homeless and doesn't have a job and is hustling for change so that he can make some money, and since I'm doing a lot better than he was right now couldn't I just part with some change and see look at all these quarters a lot of people have been giving him their change today.

I did not, in fact, just part with some of my change. What could prompt such a heartless decision? Eagle-eyed readers will have noticed that the - I feel comfortable calling him a con man - starts his spiel with calling his marks racists immediately before asking for a cash donation. I bet that's a great tactic, because people probably feel guilty and throw him some coin to buy off their consciences. He knows it works and flaunts it with the part where he shows off how he's already got ten bucks.

Instead of paying up, I told him off with disingenuous outrage. I figure I worked out the correct answer, but the part where I'm a bad person is being more interested in 'solving' the situation than actually caring to defend my honor or what have you.

(Similarly, the much more aggressive beggars in Cleveland would ask for lunch money, but get upset and refuse offers of actual lunch instead of the cash.)