Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The Art of Cheating

This is a true story on how to earn 80 bucks with absolutely no sweat.

Date : April 23, 2008
Day : Wednesday
Time : Around 10pm
Crime scene : Hougang Plaza Kopitiam
The Believer : J, a man who not only looks charitable but is truly a good Samaritan
The Cheater : A fat woman
Story by : Me, the not as ‘fortunate’ fat woman

The fat woman carrying a rather dated mobile phone walked up to the not so innocent looking man i.e. J, who was going to buy his dinner after a hard day’s work.

(The following conversation may not be the exact words and diction)
“Fat woman: "My mum has been admitted to SGH and I need money to take a cab there and pay for her admin fee which is $65 but I do not have an ATM card. Can I borrow $80? I will call you tomorrow to return the money.”

J: “………”

I have no idea whether any question was asked or any words of consolation were said… but J’s actions that followed made me want to switch career and be a ‘con’sultant.

Back home.

J: “I may have done something good or I may have been cheated…”

Me: “How much?”

J showed me 3 fingers.

Me (thinking it cannot be $3): ”$30?”

J shook his head.

Me (thinking this cannot be true): “$80???”

J: “………”

After hearing what that fat woman had told J, I asked if he has taken down her number. Somehow, I had expected the answer to be no.

I was dead sure that that fat woman must be laughing her fats off and smoking, gambling or happily feasting at some corner with the easy money. She didn’t even have to plot and think so hard for the storyline.

I asked J what would he do if that fat woman calls him tomorrow and ask for $1K cos her mum needs surgery or even better, dead.

J (thinking he has the brilliant answer): “I’ll pass the phone to you.”

Me: “Than I’ll offer to buy her a coffin.”

J: “!!!”

Fact is, that woman cursed her own mother in the first place and if her poor mother is really dead and she really has no money, I’m all ready to help.

J must have though that I’m a heartless woman who hardly give to charity and often criticize those who came fore to ask for donation on the streets. With so many fraud cases being reported, why are we still so giving?

How poor is poor? Who are truly the needy? I think I’m poor cos I can’t afford a car, condo, another branded bag, etc. When will I be rich enough? Are we measuring our wealth base on our assets?

In reality, it takes great courage for a person who is truly in need to ask for money from their own relatives and friends, let alone from a complete stranger on the street. That fat woman has a damn mobile phone, dun she has anyone to call? And I’m sure some kind hearted taxi driver will be more than willing to give her a free ride. And you mean our hospitals will not attend to the patient if they can’t pay the $65 admin fee?

My point is, be charitable, care for the needy, earn those karma points but please do not give blindly. Be more selective and give to those only if you think deserve it. Stop encouraging and giving hope to those freeloaders who are too proud to work for a living, blame the whole world but them and think other people are responsible for keeping them alive.

If you can’t help feeling that they are genuinely in need of money, go the extra mile and offer to bring them to where they are going, call the police for them and put a cap to how charitable (monetary wise) you wan to be or how much are you willing to lose.

You can only blame yourself for being cheated… again.

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