Out-conning the con takes finesse

I am always alert walking to and from my car in parking lots, because if I am ever robbed the thief will be ticked off that I don’t have much worth stealing.

I never carry cash.

The thief will demand cash and I’ll have to say I don’t have any.

The thief will then glare at me and hiss, “Let’s have the ATM card.”

And then I’ll have to say, “I don’t do ATM.”

And the thief will say, “Who doesn’t do ATM?”

“Me, the same person who doesn’t do cash. I mean, it’s a credit card world. Who needs cash, right? Oh yeah, you do.”

Then the thief, steam blowing out of his ears, will say, “Gimme your credit cards.”

“OK, but most of them don’t work.”

“What do you mean they don’t work?”

“Well, I deactivated most of them when I lost my wallet last year and never bothered to reactivate them. I mean, you could go to the Loft and buy a bunch of clothes, but they’ll decline the card when you go to the register. I’m sure of it because it happened to me. Trust me, it’s embarrassing.”

Sputtering and unable to form sentences, the thief will be furious. I tend to panic when people are angry with me. I envision myself saying something dumb like, “Hang on. I think I have something in my bag after all. How do you feel about loyalty cards? I’ve got Stein Mart, Best Buy, Staples, CVS, Walgreens, Kroger – they have free Friday downloads at Kroger — download the internet coupon and you can pick yourself up a treat on Friday. And look at this! I’ve got Panera! I know for a fact there’s a free pastry on here. You don’t even have to make a purchase. Just have them swipe the card and you can pick something out—cookie, brownie, pecan roll, whatever looks good.”

Then, because the thief is about to flatten me for being the worst possible person to mug, hopefully I’ll have the presence of mind to remember my ace in the hole.

“OK, look. In this secret compartment in my wallet is a Costco credit card.

“It may not sound exciting, but get yourself two carts and fill ‘em up with the jumbo packs of toilet paper, giant bottles of shampoo, the three-packs of laundry detergent. Listen, it doesn’t matter what you do for a living, everybody needs toilet paper, shampoo and laundry soap.”

“COSTCO????” the crook will scream.

“Go close to noon when they have samples!”

As I see it playing out, it goes one of two directions from that point. The thief either takes my purse and whacks me with it for not having anything worth stealing, or collapses sobbing because he’s never had a mugging go so terribly wrong, in which case I make a break for it.

You know, maybe I should start carrying protection. Cash.

 

 

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