April 2011

Another blog. About Portland. And other stuff too.

about | archives | twitter | flickr | potma | iphone snapshots | facebook | yelp
rss feed | youtube | links | the burning log


Questions? Comments? Reservations?
anotherportlandblog[at]gmail[dot]com

Another Portland Blog

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

 

Another day in paradise

Yes, that's a Phil Collins reference. Sorry.

Jack Bog was conned while waiting for a bus downtown recently. The guy came at him with a sob story about a stolen truck and the professor handed over a few bucks. I'm sure we've all found ourselves in similar situations in similar places.

I don't work downtown so the number of scam artists I encounter in a given year is, fortunately, limited. The first time I remember this happening, I was walking up Burnside towards Everyday Music on a summer day, must have been eight years ago. A guy wandered up with a gas can and claimed he needed to get to a job interview in Salem. I offered him a dollar and his face suddenly turned to a scowl. "Ah, c'mon, man," he said disdainfully. "You don't look like a racist. Can't you give me another dollar?" Intimidated and caught off guard by this abrupt non sequitur, I broke out another buck.

I still remember the scornful scowl someone shot me from a nearby bus stop for giving the guy money. These days, my heart hardened, I keep walking, only offering a shake of the head when an aggressive panhandler crosses my path. The mere mention of the phrase, "Hey, man" causes me to break into a near run. I've been called names and even followed since I returned home to Portland after college. Still, my all time favorite encounter involving a street scam artist happened outside of a Vegas steakhouse.

I've told this story on the blog a few times over the years. Sometime after graduation, I made the mistake of heading south after quitting a summer job working as a hotel clerk in Yellowstone. With nowhere to be and no desire to immediately return to Portland a failure, I foolishly headed south. Unsurprisingly, my vehicle broke down in the middle of a desert on the Arizona/Nevada border around 11 at night. After dealing with an indifferent mechanic the next day and getting kicked out of the steakhouse for asking to use their pay phone, a hustler came up to me. Supposedly, he'd lost all his cash gambling and was trying to buy a ticket back home. The man was dressed far better than me. I shot back with my own, real sob story and he quickly apologized before heading off down the street.

Labels:


Comments: Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]



Links to this post:

Create a Link



<< Home


SEARCH THIS BLOG? SURE, NO PROBLEMO, AS BART SIMPSON USED TO SAY....





www.flickr.com




-archives-

  • October 2003
  • November 2003
  • December 2003
  • January 2004
  • February 2004
  • March 2004
  • April 2004
  • May 2004
  • June 2004
  • July 2004
  • August 2004
  • September 2004
  • October 2004
  • November 2004
  • December 2004
  • January 2005
  • February 2005
  • March 2005
  • April 2005
  • May 2005
  • June 2005
  • July 2005
  • August 2005
  • September 2005
  • October 2005
  • November 2005
  • December 2005
  • January 2006
  • February 2006
  • March 2006
  • April 2006
  • May 2006
  • June 2006
  • July 2006
  • August 2006
  • September 2006
  • October 2006
  • November 2006
  • December 2006
  • January 2007
  • February 2007
  • March 2007
  • April 2007
  • May 2007
  • June 2007
  • July 2007
  • August 2007
  • September 2007
  • October 2007
  • November 2007
  • December 2007
  • January 2008
  • February 2008
  • March 2008
  • April 2008
  • May 2008
  • June 2008
  • July 2008
  • August 2008
  • September 2008
  • October 2008
  • November 2008
  • December 2008
  • January 2009
  • February 2009
  • March 2009
  • April 2009
  • May 2009
  • June 2009
  • July 2009
  • August 2009
  • October 2009
  • November 2009
  • December 2009
  • January 2010
  • February 2010
  • March 2010
  • April 2010
  • August 2010
  • September 2010
  • October 2010
  • November 2010
  • January 2011
  • February 2011
  • March 2011
  • April 2011

  • Clicky Web Analytics


    This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?