Gated communities usually house wealthy people and secure gates. Not ours.
All our gate does is keep the mice in and the neighbor’s dogs out. (When we remember to close it.)
But I still like to tell strangers who don’t know Basin City that I live in a gated community.
Money and me. Oil and water. Never sticks together.
Here I am. 62 years of age and still working like a day laborer in a chain gang. And yet at times I can be found handing out cash while my wife watches in bewildered amazement, aggressively shaking her head side-to-side. She really needs to quit the head rotations since after the $500 blog drawing we’ll have no money left for a chiropractor.
Perhaps I’ll share a few of my cash-evaporating experiences for entertainment purposes and monetary teaching moments for the rest of you. And maybe this time I will finally remember to quit giving in to people on the prowl with their hand out.
I’ve probably created the wrong impression that I’m monied since I announced I’m giving away this cash. Tis not the case. This chunk of money is a budgeted advertising expense, not a charitable fling of cash in the wind.
It won’t happen again. I have already handed out way more than my share of lettuce to people’s salad requests.
I am not independently wealthy. In fact, I’m just scraping by. I would have been far more affluent in the cash reserves over these last 50 years except I’ve got this little character flaw of giving in to sad sacks.
This flaw often allows greenback leaches into my inner circle where they fix their sights on my cross-haired bank account. The flaw causes me to believe people’s hard-luck stories, no matter if the tales be true or fiction.
There is no way I am not listed in the SuckersRUs worldwide directory. In big bright bold letters.
I am barraged on a regular basis by scammers. “Who?” You may ask.
Well, there’s at least one guy from Nigeria, and…an alleged paralegal, an ex-con who got a bad rap, a few Les Schwab dudes from the president on down, Indonesians, Chinese mainlanders, and a Dr. Chistopher Miller from the Bahamas (who knows nothing about medicine but has his doctorate and then some in blowing smoke).
I know it sounds confusing but each incident actually occurred.
I’ve also had many more experiences with less prolific scammers who are no-pay rubber users, also known as dead-beat tire customers. After I finished the mounting and balancing they pealed out, never to be seen again.
Back in my tire marketing days, I was driven by the desire to sell and there were plenty of people agreeing to make payments that ended up never materializing.
I helped many originating from south of the border and a few more from north of that same border. The Northerners usually got me for larger sums than the Southerners just because they had some credit history and could ask for a higher credit limit in my native tongue.
So here’s my first story. A guy I’ll call Bad News drove into my driveway and life with his big SUV ten or twelve years ago. He introduced himself as a paralegal and told me that he’s got all this cash coming in from an impending court judgement in Nevada. He even showed me an impressive ream of court documents that filled a briefcase.
He told me a very sad story and said if I loaned him some dough, he would pay me back double in a couple months. I would be instrumental in saving him from financial ruin. I felt sorry for Bad News and told him he could just pay me back the principle as long as he paid me in the promised time. I had a good feeling of helping someone out as I doled out the dough I was able to scrounge up. (By the time that particular summer was done, the charitible good feelings I initially enjoyed had fled, just like the cash.)
Throughout that summer he kept visiting me with new additions to his old story which required me to shell out more cash. His wife was going to leave him if I didn’t help him pay his bills. He even cried real tears. Or so I thought.
It went on and on. My ill-fated generosity was really putting the pinch on my finances and marital happiness, namely Michele and her empty purse.
I finally had to break his heart and stop the bleeding. “You’ve taken it all” I told him. That didn’t stop him. He kept trying but I had at last drawn the line at buying his line.
I was out around 16 grand from this guy with the crocodile tears. He owned a large rig and would periodically call me and tell me he wanted to see me. Each time, he made another attempt to dip into my wallet.
One day, a few minutes after he had called me to announce another one of his unwelcome visits, there was a knock at my front door. It was a sheriff’s deputy that I knew who just stopped by to say hi. As we stood and talked outside on my driveway, I heard the rumbling of a rig coming down the road behind the trees.
It was about time for Bad News to show up so I figured even though I couldn’t see him there was a good chance it was the carpetbagger. I got a flash of inspiration and told Deputy Bryan to slam me up against the wall and start frisking me. He said “What?!”
I repeated my instructions and told him to hurry as Bad News was almost in sight. Bryan, with a very puzzled look on his face shoved me up against the wall and started patting me down just as Bad News came into view. He was slowing down to turn in at my place but as soon as he saw the cop car and the uniformed deputy making a realistic-looking arrest, he hit the gas and motored on down the road.
I haven’t seen him since.
We had a good laugh as the rig faded in the distance.
Bryan retired soon after. I think he was worried about being charged with police brutality and a false arrest one summer day in Basin City.
He needn’t have worried. I was grateful for the cop beatdown on that particular occasion.
So I’ve penciled in a few more details about the upcoming $500 giveaway…
One Winner. Eligibility is essential.
To qualify for this cash bonanza, you must do two really easy things and one really hard thing:
- Sign up to follow this blog in the upper right hand corner.
- Share on Facebook Ben’s June 7 Facebook post announcing the madman’s giveaway.
3. Be a friend of mine on Facebook or you won’t be included in the random number generated drawing. You and I must have at least one Facebook friend in common for you to be accepted as my friend.
If you aren’t my Facebook friend and we don’t share a common friend, comment on this blog post as to which Recovering Idiot Amazon review you liked the most and at least one word as to why. “Because” will suffice. If you want to go into more detail, feel free.
This Comment rule is intended to separate bogus Friend requests that I receive from people who genuinely want to be my friend and be in my cash giveaway contest. I’ll then accept your Facebook friend request. Friend requests not meeting this criteria will receive no response.
The winning friend will be selected in the numerical order of my Facebook friends as listed on my Facebook page.
Here is the random number generator we will be using to find the winner: Random Number Generator
I know this random number generator tool is not quite as professional-looking as the Powerball tools they use to give away hundreds of millions of dollars. However, my budget is somewhat less than the Lotto promoters and my “winner” probably won’t have his or her life ruined like the Lotto winners often do.
However, if you do think the extra 500 bucks is going to ruin your life, please shred the check as soon as you get it. Unfortunately, if you have to do this you’re never going to know if my check was going to bounce or not.
If the winner is picked from among my Facebook friends but hasn’t completed both of the first two requirements, I’ll announce their name and give condolences. If we don’t have an eligible winner, the same process will be repeated the next Saturday and every Saturday thereafter until a qualified winner is drawn.
Most sweepstakes exclude relatives or employees of the awarding company. This one doesn’t since I have many relatives who are part of the mix of my Facebook friends.
If my wife wins, I should probably leave the country.
But wait! I don’t have to worry. She’s not one of my followers.
…”Next, these federally-employed “extortion ladies” told my brother-in-law that he must sign a form admitting he had hired children. They had seen these kids in the orchard and therefore they were his employees. If he did not sign, his apples would never be run on the packing line and would be slimy junk in a few days.
They told him ‘If he wanted his 400,000 lbs of fruit to be released, he must sign a false admission that he had hired kids and he must then give the Department Of Labor a $16,000 cashier’s check to pay the fine it handed him.’ Only then would they release his fruit.
They told him that they were going to make an example out of him. It did not matter that he had never hired kids. They didn’t care. All they wanted to do was hold him hostage for their resumes and egos until he met their blackmail demands”…