Feb 232011

My mom used to say that it takes all kinds to make the world go around, and in my time, I’ve sure met a lot of them! People who know me always say that I seem to attract people who are, shall we say, on the edge? My belief is that there is a group called the National Coalition of the Weird and Strange (NCWS), and one of the requirements for membership is that applicants have to come and touch base with me. What I’m not sure of is, where does that actually put me in the overall scheme of things?

Yesterday, Terry and I were in Scottsdale, dropping off a load of newspapers at our mail service, and on the way home we saw a fellow who definitely qualified for NCWS membership. We were at a traffic signal, waiting for the light to turn, when next to us we noticed a big, hairy, ugly biker. Now, don’t get me wrong, I like most bikers. I’ve owned my share of motorcycles over the years. But this wasn’t a guy I wanted to meet in a dark alley. Or even on a bright, sunny street.

He had long greasy hair, the requisite beard, and was dressed in full leathers; jacket, gloves, and riding chaps. He had five or six pieces of metal piercing his lips and face. On the back of his jacket was a set of colors for some biker club, but we didn’t want to stare and attract his ire. But darn, it was really hard not to stare!

Not because he looked so intimidating, but because this fellow, who looked like he just rolled out of the local Hells Angels clubhouse, was riding a tiny little shiny white  motor scooter. You read that right, a scooter. Not a Harley or an Indian, not a chopper. A pipsqueak scooter that looked like my seven year old granddaughter could handle, and that sounded about as loud as an electric razor. The light finally changed, he putt-putted through the intersection, and Terry and I roared with laugher. Yeah, it takes all kinds!

Unfortunately, some of those kinds are not the nicest people in the world. I got an e-mail from a gentleman yesterday, who owns a restaurant with a large parking lot in the rear, where he has always allowed RVers to park overnight. But, he was writing to ask that we no longer tell folks about his place, because he has had too many freeloaders who roll in and set up housekeeping.

He said the final straw was the five rigs that stayed at his place for the last month, and not once did they ever come in to buy a meal. But they did, without permission, run their water hoses to the back of his building to fill their tanks when needed, and he caught them emptying their gray water on the ground, twice. He said he told them that they had to leave, and in return he was cussed out, called a jerk, and warned that they would tell the RVing world that his business was unfriendly to RVers. Folks, we are our own worst enemy.   

A couple of years ago, when Terry and I were shopping for a motorhome to replace our MCI bus conversion, we drove to Las Vegas to look at a Winnebago Ultimate Freedom that was advertised as “one owner, like new.” When we got to town, the seller did not show up for our appointment, and when I called him, he said he had an emergency come up, and needed to delay our meeting an hour or two. We spent the afternoon playing phone tag with him. Finally, just as we were ready to give up, he called and gave us a different address to meet him at. We arrived, and 30 minutes later a guy who spoke little English pulled up in a very beat up Winnebago that bore no resemblance to what was advertised. He told us that “the boss” was busy, but we could leave a $1,000 cash deposit with him, and they would detail the RV and deliver it to us in Arizona the next day.

We left. Then the seller called us back wanting to know why we had jerked him around all day and then refused to pay a “good faith” deposit on the RV. I told him it was because, while I was born early in the morning, it wasn’t that morning!  

I heard from somebody the other day who got burned by paying a deposit for an RV, sight unseen, that they they had found online, in another state. The seller had told them that if they wired him a deposit, he would deliver the RV to them to inspect and to have their mechanic check out, and if they decided it wasn’t the right RV for them, he would refund their money and take it back. They were mystified because the seller never showed, his phone number is disconnected, and they were beginning to worry that they may have been ripped off. Gee, what do you think? 

I’d have some sympathy for these people, except for the fact that they contacted me several weeks ago to ask my opinion of that brand of RV, and when they told me about the deal, I warned them that the guy sounded like a scam artist to me. I mean, who is going to deliver an RV to buyers three states away to “look at” and eat the cost of transporting it both ways if they don’t like it? But they insisted that he told them he was a good Christian man, and they had no reason not to believe him.

According to a thread on the Escapees forum, this is a pretty common scam; somebody advertises an RV on Craig’s List, at a super low price, then when contacted, says he is out of state, but will deliver the RV for examination if they will pay a good faith deposit. And people fall for it!

Like my Mama use to say, it takes all kinds.

Thought For The Day – Women will never be equal to men until they can walk down the street with a bald head and a beer gut, and still think they are sexy.

Register Now For Our Arizona Gypsy Gathering Rally

Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  9 Responses to “Bikers, Freeloaders, & Scam Artists”

  1. Jan says I went OVER the edge a long time ago.

    Does that count?

  2. It makes my head spin. Why do people contact you (obviously they must have some respect for your opinion and expertise) and then they don’t listen to what you have to say?? Gives me a headache. You forewarn them “hey there is a cliff” and they jump anyway??

  3. If it’s too good to be true, guess what, run don’t walk away.

    You see it all the time. Remember the ads in the back of the magazines with send $1 and a PO Box number? No information on what you got for your dollar just send the money. Lots of people did and never got a thing back in the mail. Then they were surprised!!! Or the folks that get a call that they just won a new car even when they never entered any contest, just send X amount for taxes.They send the money and then no car. They are surprised and angry that they were taken.

    Barum, Bessimar or Hannum (there’s some debate as to who said it) said, “There’s a sucker born every minute.”

  4. Nick, after reading about the slobs at the restaurant, I think it would be a good idea for you to E-mail me the name of the restaurant so we could eat there and tell them we are FTers and are trying to clean up the image of the slobs.

  5. Not to stereotype, but did those 5 rigs have license plates from an eastern Canadian province and were they speaking French?

  6. Cool Judy, you are not stereotyping. We’ve seen the same thing with people from an Eastern Canadian province that speak French.

  7. Hey, my family comes from an eastern Canadian province where they speak French and we’d never do anything like that!

    Or: Hey, ma famille vient d’une province canadienne où l’on parle français et que nous n’avions jamais rien faire comme ça!

    The image of that biker on his scooter is burned into my mind. I wonder if his regular ride was in the shop and that was the service loaner!

  8. In Kansas, when your license is taken away for a DUI, you can still ride a scooter. Think maybe that’s the reason?

  9. Or maybe the guy on the scooter was bringing home a shiny new scooter for his 7 year old grand-daughter who thinks the sun rises and sets on her grandpa.. I wonder why it is people ALWAYS assume the worst about a thing they don’t understand?

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