Maryland Blogger Alliance

Alliance FAQs

Latest MBA Posts

June 28, 2007

World's most trivial con man

I was about to walk into the Metro this morning, when a 20-ish man standing near the pay phones approached me and asked, "Do you have four quarters for a dollar?" Sometimes in these situations, I just ignore the request and keep walking, but I had a lot of change in my pocket, and I figured I could help the guy out.

I pulled out my change and found four quarters. The man seemed happy and showed me a coin. Without waiting for my surprise to register, he said, "It's a dollar coin." My first thought was, "Oh, great! I hate dollar coins. It never pays to be nice." But then, I looked at the coin, which he was still holding, and it looked suspiciously like one of those quarters with states on the back.

The man pointed to the word "DOLLAR" on the back. Now, you probably won't be surprised to learn that just to the left of the word "DOLLAR" was the word "QUARTER." I said, "That's a quarter." He insisted, "It's a dollar." I walked off.

The amazing thing is that for about five seconds after that, I thought to myself, "This man is not very bright." And then, it dawned on me that he was trying to con me out of 75 cents. Which made him still not very bright -- and the author of one of the most trivial cons around. Thirty years ago, a guy would at least have tried to con you out of five bucks. This twerp couldn't even keep up with inflation.