Friday, for the third (maybe fourth) time in the past six months or so, someone came up to me in a gas station and asked for some cash** so he could get back home to the Valley (pretty sure all the others like this guy mentioned the Valley). This fellow said he had used up all his money on anti-freeze for his car and pointed to a white car with the hood up.
His funds exhausted, he needed cash for gas. This guy at least acknowledged the mistake he had made. (“All my fault,” he said–or something similar.)
Now, what caused me to doubt the sincerity of this guy’s plea was not just that I had heard it before, but also the sight of his his well-prepared prop. I mean, if you had filled your car with anti-freeze, wouldn’t you close the hood? And most people dispose of their anti-freeze bottles instead of stacking them neatly in an easily visible spot near the bar holding the hood up. (For display purposes only?)
People tend not to stack such bottles very neatly when done with them. When, on my cross country drive, I filled my car with oil (just west of Oklahoma City), I tossed the bottles aside (before throwing them away).
So, I’m wondering if anybody else experienced such a “scam” and if so, was there more to it than extorting cash from a gullible fellow. I mean, the guy put together a pretty elaborate scheme just to get a few bucks.
*Maybe it’s not a scam, just an odd coincidence.
**Another time three woman approached my car while I was getting in it and asked for money (or maybe a ride) so they could get home to the Valley.