Thursday, June 30, 2005


This didn't happen to me. It didn't even happen to the person who told it to me. It happened to a friend of the person who told it to me. We'll call her "Kim," because that's easier to type than "my coworker's friend."

Kim had deramped from our local Interstate highway and pulled into the parking lot of a Starbucks. She was on her cell phone, and remained in her car to finish the conversation. Her window was down, and while she sat there a woman approached and asked her for eighty cents:

"Can I have or borrow eighty cents? That's all I need. Just eighty cents."

Kim keeps a cup full of change for tolls, so she fished out eighty cents and gave it to the woman, who thanked her and left.

Kim, still on the phone and still in her car, then spent the next three or four minutes watching this woman approach everyone who was entering the Starbucks and ask them for eighty cents: "That's all I need. Just eighty cents." Her success rate was 100% -- everyone gave the woman at least eighty cents. Some got out a dollar bill and gave her that. Each of these people then entered the store and didn't see the woman approach the next -- only Kim, talking on the phone, saw the whole thing.

Then the woman went into the Starbucks and emerged with a super-vente-grande sized mocha-latte-cuppa-capachino -- or whatever it is Starbucks serves. I don't drink coffee or patronize Starbucks, so I don't know. But anyway, that's what she had. Kim watched as the woman crossed to the convenience store/gas station adjacent to the Starbucks. Her boyfriend/husband/brother/male companion was just finished gassing up an expensive, late-model car. The two of them jumped in and took off.

Most people that I've been around when they hear this story say something about the woman's nerve. My first thought was, what a concept!


How long will it be before someone takes it to the next level: Micro-fraud? Micro-cons? Micro-burglary? Will we someday push the frontier to Micro-assault-and-battery? Who knows where the end may be?



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