A Hint of Worse Things to Come?
After I watched the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, I walked back home.
On Fifth Avenue, just south of Rockefeller Center, I spotted something I’ve heard about from New York’s recent past: a three card Monte game.
If you aren’t aware of it, three-card monte involves you and the dealer…and the dealer’s friends who pose as other customers. In my case, they were all playing as if they didn’t know each other and the friends were making the absolute worst choices of the red card. What terrible luck! The players didn’t even notice that the red card had a big crease in it! Easy money? There was no way I could lose! Without me saying a word, the dealer looked at me and asked me if I knew which one was the red card. I pointed. I WON!
The dealer then tried to press a $100 bill on me…as the real winner of course. A woman with the original loser told me I “have to take the money.” I declined and walked off.
I don’t know how they were going to get it back (with the rest of my money) but perhaps I was going to be set up for pick-pocketing or maybe if I were to try to leave there would be some sort of loud objection or something; but I knew that there was no way they were going to let me off with any of their (or my) money in my possession.
I did get away. And I spotted another game a block further on.
I thought the cops had gotten rid of these crooks. Maybe it’s indicative of an economic downturn or maybe I’ve just been oblivious to other games (and, no, that ain’t the truth). But it does worry me.