Having fallen for at least my share of cons in my time, I like to think I've wised up. "I've got a very strong policy against giving people money," I pontificated. But I hadn't seen him before, and what I saw said his story could be true.
"I'm going to go ahead and give you $20," I decided. "But I want to take your picture."
I dug out a $20 bill and handed it to him.
Then I pulled out my phone to take his picture.
"That's illegal!" he said.
"What's illegal?" I asked.
"Taking someone's picture. You can't do that."
"But you agreed," my wife objected.
"What'll it be?" I demanded. "Do I take your picture, or do you give me back my $20?"
He stuck his chin in the air with an aggrieved look. I took his picture.
He turned and headed into the gas station and we continued down the street.
The next day I ran into my neighbor Stu. He knows a lot of people I don't.
I pulled out my phone and brought up the picture.
"Do you know this guy?" I asked.