The Golfer and The Scammer

by Bella Rum

The Golfersweating

H is playing golf today. The high temp is 98º. The humidity is around 60% now, but it will drop a whopping couple of points as the day goes on. We’re expecting a cold front to push us down to a chilly 96º tomorrow, but don’t breathe that sigh of relief yet. The humidity will rise to 81%. In other words, tomorrow will make today look like a a glistening icicle dangling from a sloping roof. Anyone who dares to step outside will instantly transform into a puddle of DNA to be eagerly slurped up by the family dog..

I’ll spend tomorrow in my house. I will make a huge pitcher of iced tea with lemon, do some laundry, watch an old movie, or read, and thank everything holy that I live in a country where AC is the norm.

I know a couple of golfers read this blog, but tell me you’re not of his stripe. I bet you are. There must be a gene for you guys. I would rather be beaten with a sand-wedge (I had to look that up) than have to walk/cart around a golf course on a day like this. H lives for this stuff. I love it that he loves it. I’m serious. We’ve become very easy with each other and enjoy each other’s company, but we have our own things, too. I just want him to live a while longer.

The last thing I said to him as he went through the door, “Drink lots of water. I don’t want to spend the afternoon in ER.” He promised and danced through the door, sunscreen in his pocket, looking all cute and fresh in his sky blue wicking shirt and navy shorts, like a little boy on his way to camp and itching to get away from Mommy. This very minute, he’s probably in an air-conditioned motel room somewhere with a hot, young 63-year-old. I have to stop telling him he looks like Sean Connery in his Hunt for Red October days.

When he gets home, he’ll stand in a tepid shower for ten minutes, and then sleep for two hours. Call me crazy, but I wouldn’t do anything that would require a tepid shower and a two-hour nap to recover… unless it involved a couple of hours with George Clooney. 🙂

The Scammerscam_artist

We went to Martin’s yesterday. It’s a grocery store. I’m not sure if you have Martin’s in your neck of the woods, but I think they’re in MD, NJ, NY as well as VA. They may be in OH, too. When H and I got out of the car, a thirty-ish guy appeared to be coming out of the store. He wore a t-shirt and shorts. His appearance was not extraordinary in any way. He was on his cell phone. He spoke loud enough for us to hear as he passed us going in the opposite direction. Then he turned and paced abreast of us, going back toward the store as he spoke loud enough for us to hear his conversation.

“Hey, buddy. I’m in a real jam. I’m in Richmond. I have the kids and my wife with me. She’s seven months pregnant. I stopped to get some gas and give her a break. I’m worried about the heat. We were in Virginia Beach for a couple of days, and I left my credit card there. I need gas. I don’t know anyone in Richmond. I’m really in a jam, buddy. I don’t know what I’m going to do. Could you call me as soon as you get this message? Thank you, buddy. Thanks.”

We kept walking and he kept walking beside up. When we entered the store, he turned and paced back into the parking lot. Martin’s has a section with tables for diners. There’s a salad bar and deli. They offer sushi, Panini sandwiches, chicken, shrimp salad, vegetables, drinks, etc. We had a million errands to run and weren’t even half-finished. H suggested we eat lunch there. What a good idea. We got the chipotle chicken Panini sandwich. It was delicious.

Then we picked up a flank steak, sometimes called London broil, but London broil is really a method for cooking lean, tough meat. We haven’t gotten one in ages. We used to grill them all the time when we were younger and they were cheaper. It can be a tough piece of meat, but if you marinate it and – here’s the crucial thing – serve it medium rare to rare, it is very flavorful. Slice it thin. If you overcook it, it’s ruined. Give it to the dog.

I digress.

After we finished lunch and picked out a flank steak, I was a little pooped. H was in line to pay for the steak, and I told him that I was going to the car and turn the AC on to start cooling it down. It was horrible outside. Left-my-credit-card-in-Virginia-Beach-guy was still there. Over an hour had passed, and he was still pacing back and forth in that heat. Why didn’t he go inside, grab a cold drink and sit at one of the tables to make his call in comfort and a bit of privacy?

As soon as I stepped outside, he started his spiel from the top and took up my pace, making sure I could hear every word. My instincts kicked in when we saw him on the way into the store, but now I had no doubt. He was a scammer, hoping I would offer him some gas money so he could get his pregnant wife and kids home or back to Virginia Beach to get his credit card. I was a little cautious about unlocking my car because he stayed close by, so I waited (in the heat) for H. He was only a minute behind me so it wasn’t all that bad.

The whole thing was weird. I wanted to call the store and tell them that some guy was trying to scam their customers in the parking lot, but H said we had no proof, and he reminded me of the last time I did such a thing. A man was going around the Food Lion parking lot, stopping ladies as they got out of their cars and asking them for gas money, claiming his car was a few blocks away. When I told them, they asked, “What do you want us to do?” When I left the store, he was gone.

So that’s my scammer story. I’ll let you guys know if I see him again, but I wouldn’t think he would work the same territory for awhile.