“Can I ask you a favor?”
My immediate response as it is whenever a stranger I pass by on the street asks me that question is, “Sorry man, I don’t have any money.”
“No, I don’t need money. I left my cell phone at home and I need to call someone.”
“Yeah sure.” If he was looking to steal a phone my three year old outdated model would not get him very far. I pulled out my phone and asked him what the number was.
I punched in the numbers and handed him the phone. I felt a little bad for my reflexive reaction. The guy had on fairly clean clothes of a t-shirt and jeans. He seemed to be in decent shape. He looked a little bit like a young Gaddafi, but other than that there was no reason for me to assume he was a beggar, so I explained, “Usually when someone on the street asks me for a favor, they’re asking for money.”
“That sometimes happens.” he said without any expansion. He then spoke to the person on the other line in Spanish. He called the guy “Loco” several times and asked why he wasn’t waiting for him at the Victoria’s Secret store. There was some more jibber jabber I couldn’t translate and then the guy hing up. Before handing me the phone though he wiped off the screen with the front of his t-shirt.
He then walked away in the opposite direction of the Victoria’s Secret store. I still have the phone number (I typed it above) and am tempted to call Loco. But that could lead to trouble. Perhaps I have stumbled upon an international undergarment shoplifting ring or even more dangerous would be if I learned Muammar Gaddafi faked his own death.