Cheerful and Colorful Paintings

Cheerful and Colorful Paintings in Oil, Acrylic, Mixed Media and Collage

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Landscape 1 ~ Robert Burridge Workshop ~ The Pine Cone Scammer" by Texas Daily Painter Nancy Standlee

"Landscape #1"
Acrylic contemporary landscape
5" x 7" on paper (1 of 8)

I worked on these warm ups in acrylic on paper in the Robert Burridge workshop in February. I did a series of 8 so get ready for some very similar paintings. Bob encourages his classes to do warm ups before a painting session and to work in a series.

The Pine Cone/Gumball Scammer

This morning, Thursday, February 25, 2010, I opened up the front door to pick up the Fort Worth Star Telegram and half expected to find some money on this little table to the right. Sometime ago I retrieved the table from a neighbors garbage pickup and it's a repository of stuff when getting in or out the door. On it I found this 7" pine cone and one little gumball instead of the twenty and five one dollar bills I was hoping for. Why? Why would I expect money to be thrown at my front door? Well, I threw some out in that direction last night to an excellent little actor scam artist and I'm dubbing this little hustler the "Pine Cone Scammer".
The doorbell rang and first I thought it was on the TV and it wouldn't be the first time I've answered my door from a TV show chime. Patricia Heaton was screaming from "The Middle" and I was screaming at the locked door, "Who is it? Who is it?" I finally heard enough that it was my neighbor two doors down. "I've locked myself out of the house and my keys are locked in my car and AAA are on their way." When I slowly opened the door I saw an out of breath, animated teen or young man (I didn't recognize him) and he was saying..I'm so and so's son and I just live down the street, blah, blah, and I need $23. and a few cents.. I don't remember the amount of the cents or the name of the people he was a son to. He was so sorry to bother me came out of his little chiseler mouth several times and he acted like he was so in trouble and I bit and I gave him a twenty and 5 one dollar bills and he promised to return with my money within minutes once he got unlocked. Are you all getting suspicious yet? Not until I finished watching my TiVo of Lost and no more doorbells did I begin to question why the doorbell didn't ring and my loan was still not paid.
I still had hopes for the little gouger and his fraudulent ways this morning when I picked up my newspaper. I thought maybe it was late last night and he didn't want to disturb me and left the money on the table and that's when I saw the pine cone and the gumball on the table. I didn't put it there and I don't have a pine tree or a gumball tree. There are some down the street and I wonder if on his walk up the street he picked them up and once he got some cash just placed them on my table. Today after several calls to neighbors and advice from them I felt this one was worth sharing, "Just call out I don't keep cash in the house." On thinking this over, I should have asked What is our house number? Then when he answered just make up a name like Oh, Susan and I are great friends... then if he went along then you'd know he was a fake.. All good scenarios but my little reptile brain wasn't thinking about anything but someone's "boy" was locked out of the house in the cold.
I called the police department today to make a report about my bad judgment on the human condition and the lady I talked to said, "Oh, are they doing that again.?" Seems it went on last year for awhile and then stopped. She was asking for a description and I had to admit I had cataract surgery last week on my right eye and I had been out most of the day trying to get some reading glasses for the new good eye and the old, soon to be operated on, old eye and I wasn't seeing too clearly. I could tell he had close cropped dark hair, Caucasian, and thin young male. Getting some new glasses after surgery doesn't guarantee detection of failure in the human animal. Will I give a dirty, hungry looking person a few bucks at the gas station or in front of IHop, or at the intersection..? Probably I'll still do that but if you're somebody's "boy" and ring my doorbell expect me to take your photo and be thumb-printed before I hand over any of my teacher retirement from now on. I'm not trading anymore dollar bills for pine cones.

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Ginny Stiles said...

Wow...what an amazing chiseler story!!! I am forewarned!!! Reminds me however of a panhadler in the Walmart parking lot one afternoon approaching me for money and scaring me to death (thinking I was about to be mugged). He approached, said he was out of work, could I spare some $. I turned him down knowing that you shouldn't give out money to folks who will buy alcohol or drugs. OR grab your purse or worse. When she shrugged and walked away, however, guilt fell upon me in huge amounts and still plagues me to this day. My minister suggests that one carry McDonald gift certificates in your purse for such emergencies as this. Not a bad idea.

Eva said...

This scam is a new one to me. Thanks for the warning I'm glad you are okay. You are fortunate that the little hustler only asked for money. Here in Atlanta they barge in and take everything valuable!

When I first read the title of your post I thought is was the name of the interesting tower shape in your landscape. Love the colors !!

Nancy Standlee said...

Eva, the scam was new to me so thought if I might enlighten the blogosphere it might save someone else. All of the little landscapes I will post all have the same or similar colors.

Nancy Standlee said...

Ginny, I agree. Our mothers and our Sunday School lessons of the "Good Samaritan" were learned well. The gift certificates might work if I could ever find them again when needed. Thanks for your suggestions.

Christine's Arts said...

I was stopped on the street with a similar scam and they asked for my address and PROMISED profusely to send a check. Never got one but, months later a cute young couple came to the door and they looked vaguely familiar, they were casing my house! I talked with them but didn't have any cash laying around to help them out. So they left empty handed. I recognized them after they left. I tell everyone to go to the local church now.

Nancy Standlee said...

I'm sorry it happened to you but glad you shared the needed info.

Melody Cleary said...

Nancy - what a bummer! Some people have all the nerve. Thanks for the warning.

Melody Cleary said...

What a bummer, Nancy - thanks for the warning!

Cecelia said...

Nancy, you were really lucky. He could have been a nut, and hurt you! I haven't heard of that scam before. I think that I have been scammed so many times by handymen, plumbers, etc. lately! They just take your money and don't come back, finish the job, or make a mess so that you have to hire someone else to fix the previous lack of effort! Be careful!

Nancy Standlee said...

C, that's why I posted it because I hadn't heard of it before. It was probably a good cheap lesson for me. I will be more careful in the future but thought I was pretty careful now.