Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Hold the phone

I don't know anyone involved in this story, as far as I know, but a look at the local crime blotter for my town includes a story about a man who called the police because he was ripped off to the tune of $250.

I can't sing that tune. I can hardly hum it.  

But this fellow thought he'd finish his Christmas shopping a little early, I guess, so he saw an ad on Craigslist and followed up on it.  Someone was offering to sell an iPhone for $250, so he thought what he'd do, he'd make an appt. to meet that guy at the parking lot of the fire house, which happens to adjoin the police station, to make the deal.

Anyone thinking that proximity to a police station is a deterrent to crime need only ask the proprietor of the 7-11 ("Sem-Elem" in Baltimorese) across the street in the other direction.  As police cars whizzed by last week, the place was held up by a man brandishing a handgun.

Poor "brandish."  It's a word that means to shake or wave in a menacing fashion or to display ostentatiously.  So, you could just as easily say, "Snooki brandished her cheesy clothing, makeup and personality" but no one uses "brandish" in that sense.  It always winds up in the small print in the police blotter, part of a crime story.

Anyway, this bright citizen meets the guy at the fire house parking lot, forks over 250 semolians, and calls Verizon to activate "his" new iPhone, only to be told that he is holding a stolen phone. 

He should have used his iBrain.  

It's like when people drop everything and run to the car dealership that ran a TV commercial swearing that they sell cars "below factory invoice!"  That's right; they will sell you a Biscayne for less than they paid to buy it themselves!  Don't be fooled!  Sign right here!

A few years back. we were getting calls from honest citizens who met with upstanding entrepreneurs who were selling Sony TVs right out of their van behind the A&P.  For your $300, you got a Sony TV...carton.  Sealed up nice and tight with a cinder block inside.  

Folks, take it from someone who reads the papers:  do your shopping at a real store with real merchandise.  People who agree to meet you at the firehouse parking lot are not generally members of the Chamber of Commerce.  And they don't accept coupons! 

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