March 21, 2009

PSA - No Mr. Grifter, I Did Not Break Your Glasses

A few weeks ago, MB invited me to a happy hour with her coworkers down in the financial district. As I wandered around looking for the Pound and Pence, a dude came out of a doorway, looking the other way, and bumped into me. I kept walking but I was polite enough to look back and offer a half-hearted apology. That may have been my mistake. I noticed the guy was picking something off the ground but didn't think much of it and continued on my way.

As I got to the corner of Nassau and Liberty, I could start to feel someone behind me. As I rounded the corner, I pulled my head phones off and started to glance over my shoulder. Halfway to Broadway, I could tell this guy was coming after me, so with a mounted police directly beside me, I turned to face the guy.

He held up a pair of crunched glasses and started complaining that by bumping him, I'd caused him to drop them and they'd broken. In the head of the moment, I didn't think to say, "Why would your glasses be crushed if you just dropped them on the ground," but the New Yorker in me made it very clear that he bumped into me, not the other way around.

Suddenly, things got a hell of a lot more heated. He started pressuring me that the glasses were "$99 and I told have no fucking insurance." Stone faced, I apologized again but told him that it wasn't my fault. At this point, he stopped making sense all together, asking me, "Why you laughin', mother fucker. You think this is funny or something?" As I was not laughing, I realized that this creep might try more forceful approach to get his money out of me so I started weighing my option. Unfortunately, the mounted police officer was now nowhere to be found so all I could do was fight or flee. I prepared for the former while attempting the latter.

Somehow, I was able to talk/back my way out of the situation but I was more than a little jittery as I made my way back north on Broadway. Looking over my shoulder, I went into evasion mode, crossing the street just in front of a series of cars, doing everything in my power to make it hard for this guy to follow me. I called MB to find out where exactly the Pound and Pence is located. When she described the exact spot where this guy bumped into me, I made an executive decision to call it a night and headed home.

A few days later, as MB was regaling this tale to her sister, Becca stopped her halfway through the story and completed it, using a lot of the same language as the grifter in our tale. Turns out, this and several modified versions, are classic scams. Although I felt a little weird in the moment, it confirmed that I'd done just about everything right in this situation. How would you have done? Pretty good? What if they guy had done the insulin variation?

No comments: