People who are Pastors will know what I mean when I say, churches are often seen as easy marks for con artists. Today’s episode, a true story, takes place as follows:
“knock, knock, knock’.
Me: to the door- opening it, and seeing middle aged woman. ‘Hello’
Woman: ‘are you the Pastor?’
Woman: ‘Will you call my home church and ask my Pastor to get my medicine for me and meet me when I get to the jail there?’
Woman: ‘I’m wanted in Ohio and I need to turn myself in so I want to do it here’.
Me: ‘OK what’s your name, and I’ll call the Sheriff and have him pick you up’.
Woman: ‘I don’t want to give you my name’.
Me: ‘OK. Well what exactly have you done, and how did you get here, and are you staying with someone in town?’
Woman: ‘I don’t want to say. I’m only needing to get some money so I can get back to Ohio so I can turn myself in’.
Me: [to myself- she just said she wanted to turn herself in here… con alert, con alert]. ‘OK well have a seat there on the church steps and I’ll call the police and they will pick you up and you can turn yourself in to them’.
Woman: ‘I’ll give you my Pastor’s number, call him and tell him to bring my medicine to the jail’.
Me: ‘What’s his number?’
Woman: ‘I don’t know’.
Me: ‘Alrighty then, let me call the police and you wait there’.
Woman: ‘Let me go and pray about it for a while and if God tells me to turn myself in, I’ll come back’.
Me: ‘Okie dokie’.
[Interlude- I eat my afternoon bowl of Lucky Charms, imagining I’ve seen the last of the Ohio-an].
‘knock, knock, knock’.
Me: [to myself- she’s back!] Opening the door, ‘hey’.
Woman: ‘God told me to turn myself in’.
Me: ‘I’ll call the police now’.
[Interlude- 5 minutes later the police arrive]
Me: to officer ‘She says she’s wanted in Ohio and wants to turn herself in…’
[I walk off. 10 minutes later, after the officer has looked into it, I walk back to his car- woman has walked off]
Me: ‘She wasn’t wanted, was she?’
Officer: ‘No. She only wanted some money to get back to Ohio’.
Me: ‘Thanks for coming down’.
Officer: ‘Any time’.
[Me, to myself- she is the worst con-artist in the world! I wonder what the story will be next time, to the next poor hapless pastor who’s minding his own business, watching – curiously – Road to Perdition… when she pays a visit].