I’d like to say “I’m a lover not a fighter” but the truth is I’m not good at either.
Unrelated (though interesting) Craigslist posting
My 32-year-old, six-foot frame carries 150 pounds of thin muscle and calcium deficient bones. I’d like to say “I’m a lover not a fighter” but the truth is I’m not good at either. However, if I’m wronged, the killer instinct that once caused me to beat a bully with a plastic Star Wars sword and put a curse on the soul of his unborn son will emerge. Just ask the guy who scammed me on Craigslist.
I posted an ad on Craigslist looking for someone to work on my website. The guy I chose, “Tony,” seemed legit and trustworthy because he had an updated blog and was balding. After a few back-and-forth emails, we met in his makeshift office (the business center of a local hotel) and agreed to a deal. I would pay him $100 for his work. Naively, like a man who believes the waitress at Hooters is really interested in him when she writes her name and those stupid fuckin’ hearts on a napkin, I gave him $100 cash up front.
The email address and real name of “Tony” have been blacked out for obvious reasons.
Days passed and the work was not done. A week passed, still nothing. I emailed the scammer and received no response. After nearly two weeks I showed up to his hotel “office” unannounced. Tony said, “I’ve been trying to reach you. You haven’t emailed me back. I had a little delay, but I should be done with the work today.” I agreed to give him one more day. I know, I know: Dumb as hell. That shit was retarded — sorry, I know I need to stamp out the R-word. That was some mentally special shit for me to do.
Punk ass Tony disappeared.
Having become adept at espionage from my days cyber-stalking Lisa Turtle from Saved by the Bell, I knew I could catch up with Tony. So I created a fake Hotmail address and emailed him. I wrote:
Hello, I found you online and need help updating my website. The turnaround time is only a few days, so I’ll need the work done soon. I can pay a couple hundred dollars if that works for you. Can you help?
Tony responded and discussed the details of the project. It was a kind of fun pretending to be a woman, especially since I didn’t really have to worry about issues like date rape or menstrual periods. Plus, I could put smiley faces in my emails without having to write “no homo” immediately after. How fun:) No homo.
Eventually Tony and I agreed to meet. I was tempted to invite him over, hold him hostage and have my gay friend Lucious tickle him to until he pisses himself and agrees to give me the hundred bucks. But I figured that could result in felony kidnapping and robbery charges, or maybe even charges of sodomy if Lucious got carried away. And considering I’m not a black superhero like O.J. or Kobe, The Law would have its way with me, just like Lucious would do if I’m passed out drunk around him. So I decided to meet Tony at Starbucks in a local strip mall.
Judgment Day was here. I got to the Starbucks and saw Tony at a table with his computer. I said, “How’s it been, Tony? ‘Member me? You stole my money.” He stutters, “N-n-no. Didn’t I give you back your money? I emailed you and said I didn’t have time to finish the project.” I answered, “Don’t fuck with me. Give me my money.”
People at adjacent tables started to stare. Tony said, “I have a client coming, but let’s talk about this outside.” Uh-oh. I’ll admit it. I got a little scared — just for a second though. I hadn’t fought in ten years and was unsure if my Denzel Washington throat chop was still effective.
We got outside and Tony said, “Look, I can give you the money. Just leave me your address and I can mail it today. But right now I need to see my client.”
I answered, “Fuck that. Give me my money now. Let’s go to the ATM.” I went on, “Lauren’s not coming.”
Tony look confused, his brain was a bit slow to process. He replied, “Do you take credit cards?” I said “Man, you can go across to Barnes & Noble and buy me a $100 gift card with your credit card.”
See, I’m real in these streets. But I also like to read mystery novels and memoirs.
He refused. My hands were shaking and damp. I was ready to swing on Tony and go crazy, hands flailing everywhere. Like a girl. Like Lauren would probably do.
But mall security approached and told us to leave the property. I explained the situation to one of the security guards, a brotha, and he felt my pain. He told me, “Set him up again, but do it somewhere in private and beat his ass.”
Tony tried to leave, but I followed him and kept repeating, “You need to give my money now.” We eventually got to a bus stop. I looked around and saw only a few people, none were paying attention. My time was now.
I grabbed Tony and wrestled him into the bushes. I held him there in hopes a tiny thorn or branch would impale his rough, white skin. His core was weak, leaving him unable to push me off. I wanted to punch him in his long nose, but the thought of potentially going to jail and meeting more guys like Lucious stopped me.
So I yanked the computer bag from Tony and took off running down the street. Thanks to the slave blood that has given me an abundance of fast twitch muscle fibers, most white men can’t catch me from behind. Tony was no exception. In fact, he couldn’t even give chase. He stood there hunched over yelling, “He’s robbing me! He’s robbing me!”
Passing drivers looked on in shock. All they could see was a black streak and curly ‘fro bouncing in the wind. Then it hit me: “Shit, I could catch a case for this.” So I looked back. I saw Tony from a distance screaming for help. I yelled, “Tony. I’m going fuck you up when I see you again!” and slammed his computer bag into the concrete.
A wallet fell out the bag. Taking it would be robbery, but I was curious to see who he really was. I opened it and looked at his ID. Tony’s real name was Irwin. He was born in 1943.