The Greatest Hustles

May 7, 2010 3:09

The greatest hustles go something like this: I don’t lie. I don’t cheat. I don’t know those people.

Or some such.

I don’t know what this was about. A young squatter/ragamuffin/other term stopped me as I was walking. He asked to use my phone to report a crime.

It’s after six. I’m walking back from the Arb to downtown. At the corner of Thayer and North University a young street kid approaches me. He asks to use my phone to report a crime.

I size him up. “I tried to use the emergency call box,” he points toward campus, “but it didn’t work.” I wonder if I could out run him in my sandals with my laptop messenger-bag . He says his girlfriend was almost raped.

I hand him my phone. He takes it, turns, and briskly walks away. I stay close.

I dread having the cops call me back. I dread having to explain I have no idea what’s going on. I wonder if 911 is advanced enough yet to go to the nearest routing center instead of Dallas where I’m from.

A young girl at a nearby table thanks me, “that’s very nice of you,” she smiles.

He dials three digits. “I want to report a crime. My 16 year old girlfriend was almost raped. Yes. At the apartments near Thayer. Yes. She was almost raped. Thayer. Thanks.”

He gives back my phone. Thanks me and turns back. I continue to the coffee shop.

I can’t concentrate on my work. I am amazed that the call went so smoothly. I wonder how the campus emergency phone is not working. Did the call actually connect to Ann Arbor’s 911 call center? I check my outgoing call log.

He didn’t make a call.

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