January 10, 2005

charity or scam?

A VERY strange thing happened to me in the grocery store (the Rainbow at Lake and 27th Ave, for my Twin Cities readers) about an hour ago: a man my age asked me for money at the back of the store, but then told his girlfriend/wife to pay for my stuff when I got in line behind them later! OK, let me back up so that makes more sense. When the guy asked me I said, "I only have $5, sorry man," to which he shrugged and walked away. 10 minutes later at the front of the store I was about to get in a long lane when he flagged me over to a short lane where he was bagging his stuff (with the assistance of two young children), and told his partner to put my purchases on her credit card. I told her that I had it covered with my own card, and they walked away. My first thought was that they were using someone else's card so didn't care how much they rang up, but then I wondered, "maybe this guy took pity on me since I supposedly only had $5, but my bill would clearly ring up to be more than that?" I've seen people chip in when others are short at the register -- in December 2003 I gave an elderly woman $2 but she made me march out to the car and get change to repay me! -- so I'm not totally crazy, am I?

Posted by wrjacobs at January 10, 2005 5:20 PM