March 28, 2014

Three Card Monte

This post is about a wise man of our time, John Hodgman.  His book, The Area of My Expertise, is arguably one of the seminal works of the last twenty years.  It's just amazing.

And one of the things he exposes is the Art of the Con.  How people really get financially taken in schemes.  He describes the classic con.  The one used to great effect by a considerable number of con-men over the past hundred years and even today.  You might know if it:  The Three Card Monte.

Here's what I'm going to do.  I'm going to read alongside you, as you read what he wrote, and just kind of comment on it / marvel at it.

Because the text is black and white, I will switch to orange, to make it easy to see when it's him and when it's me.

WHOA!  This is good.  This is totally just like I thought it would happen.  

Okay, I'm skipping ahead a bit, as the con-woman builds rapport with the mark.  It's kind of drawn out.
Hm.  I did not think is how that con normally went down.

I definitely did not think this is how that con went down.

I skipped ahead a bit more.  Aw, screw it, I'm skipping to the end.

Ah!  Yes!  Now that I really think about it, I guess that probably is how it normally went down.  It's cool to have it explained to you.

It's like, now you know, ya know?

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