Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Canned Combat, Feb 10, 2010: The Hustle

Onyx was unchallenged yesterday and wrote about being the dupe: duped by hustle. In the spirit of survival of the fittest, today's topic is 'The Hustle.' Have you Hustled anyone? I'll tell you a story to get you in the mood:

Years ago, I used to play about a dozen games of chess a day. I was probably the worst of the best players in SF, because the only places I would lose a pick-up game were 5th and Powell (home to the street-hustler) and the Mechanic's Library (home to the grandmaster). In the days before I had a profession, I worked temp-jobs. Well, one day, I needed a tie for the job and I didn't have one and didn't have the cash to get one. I had 5 bux and that usually bought a cheap tie at the dry-cleaning shops along market, but I guess I hadn't been there for a while, because it was $8. So I walked to 5th and Powell, watched the players, saw a drunk Russian and decided he was my mark. I waited for him to finish his half-pint of morning vodka (7:25am or so) and challenged him. He laughed at this nothingmaster with a cheap white shirt and plastic shoes. Aha! But this nothingmaster took his bux playing 'The Elephant' (pawn wall variant--very tricky because of the tempos involved) on his Sicilian and before his buddies could complain (5th and Powell's denizens are more like Hep C B-side gangsters than hold a gat sideways and pop a bitch gangsters, knowwatimsayin?) I ran across the street, got my tie, and headed over to the Moscone Center for some delicious, $25/hr (in 1999 $) temp money.

It's my favorite ploy: be so ridiculous that my foe doesn't take me seriously until it's too late.

What's your favorite hustle?

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