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Got a dollar for some petrol?

By Queenie 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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Got a dollar for some petrol?
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el ......VNBerlinaV8 3:17 pm 16 Feb 08

Be careful walking through there at poorly lit times of the day, Bundah_Bloke.

Bundah_Bloke 2:53 pm 16 Feb 08

Last year on the walking path next to the Electric Shadows bookshop there was a young girl approaching men asking if they’d pay for sex. When she asked me I was so shocked I almost tripped up.

There’s another guy with long white wiry hair that pushes a shopping trolley along who occasionally begs too. Always wondered what he has in that trolley.

Also related to this topic I’ve noticed more and more people sleeping overnight in Glebe park as I walk across it every day early in the morning on my way to work.

Deadmandrinking 5:26 pm 14 Feb 08

I don’t care if she was. I’m not touching that pussy. Something would bite.

Thumper 8:41 am 14 Feb 08

DMD,

sounds like she was coming on to you man 😉

Sikkukkut 2:29 am 14 Feb 08

I’ve been known to hand over some coinage when I’m in a sympathetic mood and if the person seems to my completely subjective judgement to be hard up. I usually used to give a couple of coins to that girl who’d approach people in Garema and ask if she could sing a song for some change (although I would tell her not to worry about the song, and now find myself wondering what she actually sang).

Even the pro beggars I can take in stride most of the time, just shake my head and “can’t help you” and off I go. But that old east European guy – “scuzemesah? You help me with two dollars?” – really gets on my nerves for some reason. Might be the really blatant way that he ambles about looking like he’s taking the air, then speeds up almost to jogging pace so that his path can just happen to cross yours.

At one point I was getting collared by him practically every day, twice a day in some cases. I took to staring at him as soon as he tried to make eye contact and saying “I’m not giving you money” before he could say anything, and that seemed to annoy him enough that he started avoiding me.

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