17 May 2006

Was This Guy Serious?

I just got asked by a homeless man in Pioneer Square if he could have my debit card. Does anyone else find this somewhat amusing? I have become accustomed to aggressive panhandling, and have even, on occasion, given some spare change, but this guy was over the top. At first I assumed that he was one of Portland's more "eccentric" panhandlers who I normally step by with a, "No. Sorry," sort of response, but the more I think about it, I am pretty sure he just thought I was an idiot. Here's what went down.

The man stepped in front of me by the Max stop and said, "Can I use your debit card?" I continued walking and gave my above-mentioned standard response to an odd request, but this guy would have none of it. He continued walking behind me until I had to stop at the corner of the street to wait for the light. Stopped there he said, "Look. I know you have one, and you could just let me borrow it to go to the ATM to get some cash. You could even tell me your PIN number so you don't have to wait."

At that point, I started to wonder if I was being mugged on a street corner in broad daylight with about three thousand other people standing around, but due to a dose of naiveté (or stupidity) I said, "Do I look as stupid as you are giving me credit for being? And, by the way, PIN stands for personal identification number, so if you are going to try to find someone who IS this stupid, there is no need to be quite so redundant."

Attempted Muggers: 0; Me: 1.


Blogger Johanna said...


8:18 PM  

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