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Scam, Bam, Thank You, Ma'am

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Since writing my column about “Ana,” the faux-pregnant grifter poisoning this city’s fine streets, I have been inundated with many letters and countless comments from people who also fell victim to this scam-artist’s ruse – and not just in the Baker neighborhood – all expressing the same disbelief and frustration at having been duped. But there were also a few people who told me I was an idiot for not simply offering to call an ambulance for the woman on my porch who claimed to be in labor, and leaving it at that. To those people, I responded with this: “Go fuck yourself.”

Still, I did feel stupid for getting taken at all.

So imagine my delight at getting another opportunity to prove my street smarts when “Ana” showed up on my porch last Saturday – three days after she originally conned me – to thank me for my efforts. I could not believe the gall of this woman. She told me that the boy had been born and was six pounds, six ounces, and that she just wanted to let me know everything had worked out all right. Bully for you, bitch-face, I thought, as I nodded my head obligingly. Then she pointed to a car piloted by an old woman and told me that the driver was her mother – she of 65th and Pecos fame – and that some nieces and nephews were in the car as well and they were all simply out for a drive.

But then she dropped the heartbreaking news: her fictional baby boy had a respiratory disease -- she even named it, but I cannot recall what she said – and could I, who’d been so helpful to her before, spare twenty dollars more to help out? I snapped.

“How dumb do you think I am?” I asked.

“Excuse me,” she said, still clinging to her story.

“How fucking dumb do you think I am?”

I was pissed.

I explained to “Ana” that someone had showed up on my sister’s porch a year before telling the exact same story.

“Right down to wanting a ride to 65th and Pecos,” I said.

Ana’s eyes became huge.

“I don’t know what that’s about,” she stammered.

“If you’re not lying and you really were pregnant, then I’m glad I helped you and I wish you the best,” I said. “But you know what I think? I don’t think you were pregnant. I think you’re just fat.

“Either way, if I ever see you anywhere near here again, I’m calling the police. Matter of fact, I’m going inside to call them right now.”

I turned my back and headed into my house and “Ana” bolted, sprinting to the waiting car -- which took off in a squeal of tires. I kicked myself for not getting the license place of the vehicle, but what do you want from me? I’m not a cop and this is not The Wire. I’m simply a writer who got taken by a fat trollop willing to prey on societal niceties.

But at least at didn’t happen twice. – Adam Cayton-Holland


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