Saturday, July 25, 2009

To the Elderly Lady Who "Tricked" Me

I was running errands today, when an elderly lady asked me for money. She concocted this convoluted story about how she had locked her keys and ID in the trunk of her car and her relative who could help her couldn't come to help her till like 9pm tonight. She said she needed a few dollars so she could get something to eat to tide her over till then, etc.

Naturally, I was suspicious of her story, so I offered to go with her to get her something to eat. She said she was tired from walking so didn't really want to go. This gave me about an 80% confidence level that she had made up this whole scenario.

She asked me for a few dollars, so I was going to give her a few dollars anyways. I pulled out a five dollar bill from my wallet and gave it to her. She said that if she had another dollar she could get a sandwich, so I gave her another dollar. She thanked me, and said that she was going to sit there for a few more minutes to catch her breath before going. She asked my name and thanked me, etc.

I bade her good luck and went to Trader Joe's to pick up a few things. I finished buying groceries pretty quickly, and I fully expected to see her sitting there still. I was hoping to catch her in the act of getting money from another kind soul to prove that she had been lying to me all along. I did.

As I walked toward where I had encountered her, I saw her talking to another dude. As I got closer, I saw him hand her some money and walk off. I didn't see how much, but that eliminated all doubt that she had lied to me. As I walked by her, she was talking on her cell phone (not sure if that was staged). She called out to me by the wrong name and I shook my head. She muttered something about needing her glasses.

To the elderly lady who "tricked me":
I hope you realize that there are people who will help you out even if they know you're lying to them. I gave you money even while I was pretty sure you were lying to me, because I'm sure you have some real reason to be on the street, asking for money. I'm also sure you needed the six dollars more than I did. Next time, try giving the truth a shot. You'll find that people are still willing to help you.

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