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Sep 12

Hustled

Posted on Friday, September 12, 2008 in Strange and Unusual, Taxi driving

I finished my shift at seven and pulled into a supermarket to buy some bits as you do.  As I rounded the last rack of parking spots I braked suddenly to avoid running a man over, and he waved and smiled pleasantly, crossing my path.  I parked up and headed toward the ATM.

I was standing in the queue for the cash machine when I heard his voice over my shoulder.

“Have you many hours left to work?”  I turned around.  It was the same man… he was dark skinned, holding a mobile phone in his hand and wearing a pretty naff jumper.  He spoke with a true Irish accent and with the smile of a thousand sailors.

“No I’m finished, thank God!”  I instantly knew that saying this was a bad idea… an ONOsecond later I realised I’d just told him there was a rake of cash in my car.

“Hey!  I know you from somewhere!” (Warning bell #1)

“Uhhh… I don’t recognise you, mate.”

“Yeah… you’re… ummm… it was last week, you said you were from… where was it again?”

“I live near Jack Whites Pub”  I said.  DAMMIT!  Stop answering questions!!!  I mentally slapped myself hard across the face.

“Ahh yeah, yeah, that’s right… I’m from Ashford meself, that’s how I know you.” 

“What?!”  I laughed in disbelief and turned away.  Second in line now.

He continued the conversation anyway, telling me how he’d got a new bank card in the post but he’d forgotten the PIN, and that he had no diesel, and he had to drive to Stillorgan to pick up his sister…  he babbled away while Alarm bells #2, #3 and #4 rang for Ireland in my brain.

It’s my turn at the ATM, and this dude is still there, floating nervously about with a mobile phone stuck to his ear, invading my bubble and triggering Alarm bell #5.  I inserted the card and typed four digits, then entered the cash request, only to have it tell me my PIN was incorrect.

“Oh dear!”  I said loudly.  “Wrong card!!  You’ve jinxed me!  Tell you what… here’s a fiver, hope it helps!”

He looked at the five euro note in my hand and put on his sad face.

“Maybe if you could lend me ten or twenty euros, I could put it in an envelope for you and drop it into Jack Whites!  Here’s my number, look, on me phone… take it down.”  Alarm bell #6 jingled away as I smiled like a siamese on the outside.

“Sorry, that’s a no… I’ve been stung with that one before!!”

“Look, here’s my number…”

“Take the fiver and keep hustling.  You’re doing a great job.”  I walked back to my car and inserted every last penny of its contents into my shoulder bag which I slung round my neck and tightened nice and snug.   The man had walked away and was talking to a tall lady in white slapper boots, so I snuck back to the cash-machine and withdrew my shopping money on the sly.

When I’d finished bribing my trolley to come along, I walked in through the front door of the shop and glanced behind me, to see the lady in the slapper boots right on my tail.  I made a point of noticing her, but she looked away and fell behind.  A bag of apples, 4 red onions and a watermelon later, I turned to see that she had returned and was lingering behind me… I knew I felt her eyes.

I abandoned the trolley and went back outside, to see if I could find yer man with the fiver.  No sign whatsoever, nothing to report to the security staff.  I continued my efforts to blow 200 quid on random effects and checked it all out with no bother at all from anyone, even though I was bricking huge chunks of paranoia all the while.  The white booted lady was waiting outside (for an hour?!?!) but did nothing as I passed her, so I sorted my bits and bolted.

Maybe he was telling the truth, maybe the white booted lady was a coincidence… but I know from my poker endeavours that good faith doesn’t mean much these days.  Anyway I don’t have a diary so this is the next best thing and it felt like it needed noting.  You just read my diary!  How very dare you.

Bring on the comments

  1. Will Knott says:

    Yes, I’m sorry I read you diary.

    Now can I get you to let me have a copy of page 38?

  2. OMG people are strange alright thats why i always pretend to talk on the mobile when situations come up like that one.

  3. (sneakingly peering into diary)

    Jaysus! Yep, he was up to no good a’right! The white booted chick sounds a bit creepy.

    What you’ve got ‘here is street smarts. I can smell a creep from a mile away! I can smell a few more things from a mile away, but I’ll save that for me journal! :)

    Stay vigilant, K8.

  4. Sometime polite needs to take a back seat to Mr. “Please fuck off or I will call the cops”. That or mace him and claim he gropped your butt.

  5. Natalie says:

    I agree with Thrift K8 – what a creepy story, it takes all sorts…to give you something to write in your diary about ;) Stay safe!

  6. TenaciousT says:

    Ha- maybe they didn’t want your money…came across href=”http://ffffound.com/image/c853917a85479e93e35b0e8882c1343d4daa9fb2″>this link on Damiens blog this morning that might explain it all;-)

  7. TenaciousT says:

    Ah feck it- link didnt work.
    Will be easier to cut and paste this:
    http://ffffound.com/image/c853917a85479e93e35b0e8882c1343d4daa9fb2

  8. K8 says:

    Will Knott; pg38? Let’s see… Oh yes, that was the day I discovered that I was a figment of my own imagination and dissapeared into thin air… ’twas great craic.

    Vicky; DAMMIT! I wish I’d thought of that.

    Jefferson; He could’ve been legit… but then again it was Bray, so maybe not.

    Thriftcriminal; Yeah but you never know where you’re going to end up when you introduce agression into the equation. He was bigger than me. A lot bigger.

    Natalie; That I will do! Thanks :)

    Tenacious T; AAAAAAAAAARRRRRGGH!!!!!! Hide the fava beans!

  9. Keiron says:

    And here’s me telling my other half that when we get over in February I’ll take her down to Bray for a morning! (Mental note, avoid cash machine and women in slapper boots).

  10. Maxi Cane says:

    How am I supposed to pimp people out to be ATM hustlers when bastards like you rumble their act?

    I’ll have to change their uniforms, the manky jumpers are a dead give away!

  11. Lottie says:

    Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean that people aren’t out to get you. I think you were right to be suspicious and careful Better safe than sorry.

    Can i throw anymore cliches in here?

  12. Baino says:

    Difficult isn’t it. I’ve never had that experience although I’ve had people invading my personal space at the ATM. I must have a ‘glare’ – one look and they back off or look sideways like a dog you’ve verbally punished. I wouldn’t have volunteered the fiver frankly. If he was legit, he could have phoned someone to rescue him. “Slapper Boots” haha that’s polite, over here we call them “Fuckme Boots”

  13. TheChrisD says:

    That must have been quite a distressing time. Although I do agree – a sharp “Seriously, what the fuck do you want?” would have helped :)

  14. Conortje says:

    Definitely better to be safe than sorry – even if you ended up 5euro worse off.

  15. K8 says:

    Keiron; Ahh Bray’s alright. Just keep your cash in your shoes :)

    Maxi Cane; Dude, golf courses are seriously not a good place to scout… try a convent.

    Lottie ;) Pobody’s Nerfect?

    Baino; I gave him a fiver because I’m a sucker for needies. I give money to everyone who asks, a fiver’s the limit though. I spose it stems from my volunteerish charity collection trauma. We say fuckme boots too :) I was just being demure for some unknown reason!

    TheChrisD; Yes I did that at the end when he was really getting on my tits. I said it nice and loud too, so that it would make a scene, and it worked and was very, very satisfying!!!

    Conortje; I have a stash of Karmic Fivers for those very occasions!!

  16. Jo says:

    Baino and K8! Fuck me boots are not the same as slapper boots! There’s a difference between sexy and kinky and lookin like a ho!

    A lot of shite in Bray going on here, I see none of it. But then, you’re out on the mean streets more than me, I’m mostly in my house…

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