Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Lou, and the Restaurant Scam Story

                                                         Lou, and the Restaurant Scam Story
                                                                                  1963
                                                                     Written 09/210/2016
                                                                          Howard Yasgar

      Back in 1963, I had dealt in Stamford Connecticut with a fellow named Lou. Lou was a really interesting character, his main business, at the time was selling used cars, but he never passed up a deal if he could make a few bucks on it.
      I was absolutely amazed at how Lou operated. When I first met him, he had a pay telephone on the wall in his office in Stamford, and when I went to use the telephone, I noticed a string hanging out of it. Lou said, “Make your call and put in the correct amount of change. When you hear the ding a ling of the coins being accepted, pull the string and all your money will come back. I tried it and it worked. Lou said a friend of his had the telephone key, and had showed him where to attach the string.
      The more I got to know Lou, the more I observed all the crazy things he was involved in. I always wondered how he ever learned to do all these slightly illegal things that he did. I knew he couldn’t have been born with that kind of innate knowledge, but I was embarrassed to come right out and ask him who had taught him all this stuff.
       One day we were driving from Tampa to Miami Florida, and Lou started reminiscing about his youth. He said that when he was 17 years old, he had a friend who was a photographer living in Miami. Lou said he would drive from Connecticut to Miami twice a year to visit his friend, but after a couple of years, he had to stop doing it. I asked Lou why, and he said that every time he visited his friend in Miami, his friend would take him to a different and very expensive restaurant. After they had eaten their fill, his friend would double over on the floor with pain, he loudly exclaimed that there was glass or something in the food. In just a moment the manager or the owners of the restaurant would help him into the inner office and lay him on a sofa. They were all very concerned about not calling an ambulance, after all what would all the customers think with this guy screaming about having glass in the food.
     After about 30 minutes, Lou’s friend would recover, to the relief of the restaurant staff, and Lou would help him walk out to their car, during all the commotion the bill for the meal was forgotten.
     That’s how I learned about one of Lou’s teachers.

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