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Got a dollar for some petrol?

By 13 February 2008 65

So one afternoon a couple of weeks ago I was waiting in Civic to be picked up after work when this guy came up to me looking distressed. He said he was from Sydney and his boss’ car had run out of petrol, so he’d been sent to ask for help. I said I was sorry but I didn’t have my phone on me to call anyone for him, and he looked at me oddly for a moment. Then he asked me for a couple of dollars for petrol, and I realised he wasn’t as regular a guy as he seemed and flatly told him no. He then moved on to the next closest person and asked them.

And then Tuesday evening I was on my way through Garema Place with a few friends and, surprise surprise,  there was the same guy repeating the same story word for word to two people at an ATM. So much for him being from Sydney! He didn’t look financially disadvantaged in the slightest. He was wearing clean, fashionable clothes – long camo shorts and a light-coloured T-shirt, admittedly the same clothes he wore when he tried his story on me – and was about 25 years old with short dark hair and a normal slim build. If this guy comes up to you, don’t listen to him because he’s a liar preying on people’s goodwill.

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65 Responses to Got a dollar for some petrol?
#1
hingo8:20 am, 13 Feb 08

It takes a long time to fill a tank a dollar at a time.

#2
FC8:26 am, 13 Feb 08

Gotta give him credit for being creative with his story!

#3
Ralph8:40 am, 13 Feb 08

You get this all the time in America. People always approach you in the street for money.

#4
wishuwell8:56 am, 13 Feb 08

Maybe the same guy I meet one night. Asked me for money while I was one the phone, told him so and he said “don’t matter I’ll wait”.

#5
grundy8:59 am, 13 Feb 08

I was asked by a dodgy guy who had his ‘wife’ with him for petrol money a few weeks ago…

Who has money to drive to Civic and run a car, but then magically have no money at all, even credit, to get home….

#6
Danman9:09 am, 13 Feb 08

A begger in Hawaii heard my wife and I talking and knew we were out of towners – so he said he would do us a eminem style rap and if we liked it we could pay him and if we did not we did not have to pay him. He spun the usual moved from the mainland to start a new life and get away from negative influences. His rap was half decent – flowed and told a good story of (i am assuming) his life. Was ok so we gave him US$2.

Maybe if someone comes to me to beg here Ill ask them to do a rap for me and see what happens :)

#7
VYBerlinaV89:12 am, 13 Feb 08

I remember getting hassled by a chick in Garema Place once for money for something or other, and I told her I had no money on me (I was on my way to the ATM). On the way back from the ATM 2 minutes later the same chick stops me again, but this time tells a DIFFERENT story about why she needs money. I simply responded with “it’s better than the story you gave me 3 minutes ago when I said no, but maybe if you included some vampires you’ll get some takers”. She looked at me like she was about to mouth off, but then turned on her heel and walked off.

#8
RandomGit9:15 am, 13 Feb 08

Maybe next time he comes up to you, tell him he has a reputation, his story is bogus and maybe he should find some support to make his own money.

Or make him do a rap.

#9
howdy9:21 am, 13 Feb 08

Once had a kid ask me for bus money so I offered him my bus ticket which still had a decent amount of transfer time left on it.

Funnily enough he didn’t really want the bus ticket and instead hung out with me while I waited for my lift and told me about how he’d just stolen a motor bike and outrun the cops.

I feel sorry for people who genuinely need the money but will be turned down because of all the scam ‘artists’.

#10
VYBerlinaV89:22 am, 13 Feb 08

Use this as an opportunity to steal his dignity – tell him to pull down his pants, hop on one leg and howl like a dog, and then you’ll give him a dollar. Take a vid and post the link here.

#11
Jazz9:54 am, 13 Feb 08

It’s been a while but i clearly recall the last time i was stopped for money. A guy just sitting on the near Petrie Plaza was asking everyone who passed if they had any money to spare. When he got to me I replied “If i had any money to spare, i wouldnt have to work for a living”.

IMO anyone who has time to sit around asking others for cash has time to learn a skill or do something to contribute to society in a more meaningful way.

#12
S4anta10:04 am, 13 Feb 08

May I suggest the time this man does ask you for a buck, you ask him if he accepts mastercard?

#13
S4anta10:06 am, 13 Feb 08

please insert the word ‘next between the words the & time.
freaking moo brew

#14
Queenie10:06 am, 13 Feb 08

Wow, I was expecting all the pubes to call me stingy :D I was genuinely willing to help by calling someone for him, but to get lied to like that and then see it happening again just really annoyed me.

The first time I came to Canberra when I was a young’un I was waiting at the Civic bus interchange and a young indigenous girl came up to me and said she needed some money for the bus. I gave her $2, thinking it would be enough. She said, “No, that’s not enough, I need $4.” So I gave her another $2. Then she asked for more, and I said no. She then argued with poor young me until my bus came!

#15
Thumper10:10 am, 13 Feb 08

You can tell when these people are lying.

Their lips move…

#16
S4anta10:11 am, 13 Feb 08

maybe they need to wear mumble pants thumper?

#17
Gungahlin Al10:11 am, 13 Feb 08

So what you are telling us is that you are still (almost) falling for these cons?
But go ahead – support their need for ciggies, goon and smack.
More often than not, there’s a ‘wrangler’ nearby managing the coordinated the begging.

#18
RAGD10:15 am, 13 Feb 08

A few weeks back I had a guy come to my door offering to spray paint my house number on the street. He started going on about him being a single dad, how he used to be a roof tiler but hurt his back and he needed to send his kids to school and so on… I trully didnt have any cash on me at home at the time so I couldnt get it done. However this guy was quite persistant and kept saying, “we can always do it and we can come back to get the money off you later.” I asked him , who he was referring to as ‘we’ as he was by him self? Then he said, “oh the guy who actually does the spray painting..”

I then proceeded to tell him no thanks and was quite upset with him for telling me his whole sob story, when he wasnt even the one doing the bloody work.

Afterwards I thought that he would get much more success if he was just honest and said, we spray it for 10 bucks, you want in? rather than telling me this whole story…

#19
Queenie10:18 am, 13 Feb 08

Now that was the sort of comment I was expecting, Al! There’s a large difference between “almost” and actually falling for them. But I think if someone’s genuinely in need of help that I can give, I’ll give it. You must be the sort of person who won’t stop on the side of the road and get your tyre iron out for someone with a flat, eh?

#20
Thumper10:19 am, 13 Feb 08

The word ‘No’ usually suffices.

Followed by “Fcuk off” if the former doesn’t work.

#21
Davo11110:20 am, 13 Feb 08

Just shows how people can’t be trusted.

#22
neanderthalsis10:29 am, 13 Feb 08

Brazil used to have a very effective way of ridding the city of beggers and vagrants…

#23
Mike Crowther10:56 am, 13 Feb 08

In all seriousness, there needs to be a law prohibiting ‘active’ begging. If someone wants to spend their days sitting outside a shop with a sign reading “Homeless, please help” etc, that’s all well and good, but approaching strangers is a different matter. I take issue with a fit 20something blocking the path of seniors, the under-developed or school kids and saying bluntly that they need $X. It almost amounts to demanding money with menaces.
A simple penalty say, 24 hours in the sin-bin should deter these parasites.

#24
FC11:02 am, 13 Feb 08

I’m one of those people who generally give money or when I was a smoker, cigarettes to ppl who ask. But I have never found that I really notice the difference in the end. But I don’t work in the city so I guess I don’t get asked that much.
Still tho – you never know when you might need the generosity of a stranger.
I by no means think that every story is true but I guess I can’t help but think I’d rather be asked for money and hand over a few bucks than be pushed over and have my wallet stolen.

#25
Thumper11:03 am, 13 Feb 08

In Burma they shoot beggars.

Just to put everything in perspective mind you…

#26
hk0reduck11:08 am, 13 Feb 08

I kind of like the street number painting guys, at least they’re doing a service.

I also got a rapping beggar on Hollywood Blvd we bought his CD for $5. It didn’t make it home that night but i’m pretty sure when I looked at the back the CD looked blank.

#27
NoAddedMSG11:21 am, 13 Feb 08

When I first moved to Canberra, someone asked me for $1 for the bus, so I gave them $2, and they gave me 50 cents back….. it turns out they were telling the truth. It gave me a slightly unrealistic perspective on people asking for bus money, as I later discovered.

#28
gooterz11:28 am, 13 Feb 08

Theres one in particular i hate the most. The guy what wears the business pants / white shirt.. white hair.. He always asks for money.. for lunch food whatever. A mate of mine gave him money once and then he took it and then went in to play kino.
Hes a regular in civic. i see him more than some of the ppl i work with.

I was kinda shocked to see him in our shop one day bitching we didnt have the same black pants as he was wearing, he wanted them exactly the same, and couldn’t understand we only had the ones on show. Ended up making one of our staff really upset.

days after he was back to begging

#29
bighead11:31 am, 13 Feb 08

The worst experience for me was back in High School. Was on a school trip and was in Alice Springs for a day. This woman followed me and a friend around for a good 20 minutes, just hanging behind us. She then approached us and told us this story about needing money for her baby as she couldn’t raise it. We gave her $5 in the end, she kept begging for more. She walked off and talked to this guy I am guessing she knew and he stared at us. We just ran back to the bus, I have never felt quite that way ever again.

Also, I have had at least a couple of people in civic ask me for money for the bus… Did I miss the memo when it said that bus tickets weren’t allowed anymore. They certainly don’t seem that interested.

#30
Danman11:58 am, 13 Feb 08

You think this is bad try being a westerner in mumbai. The pregnant beggers come up to you with a baby on their hip and do a simple hand to mouth action asking for money for food – as I can not speak hindi. They follow you like there is an invisible umbilicus – plenty of times our friend had to abuse them in hindi to tell them to piss off.

There was one time though when I was at an Indian market in Goa that I purchased a new “delivery bag” the type that you sling over a shoulder like a lap top bag. I was carrying it around empty and I got approached by a poor lady begger so I moved everything from my old bag to my new bag and gave her my old bag.

She looked at me weird and took the bag after a bit of prompting (language barrier) but I saw her begging later that day with the bag on her shoulder so I was happy that it was getting more use.

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