On my way to work this morning I decided I had to stop by the ATM. It was just after 5am so the streets were still dark and empty. I pulled into the ATM on Las Vegas Blvd and put my card in the machine. After entering my pin, I pushed the “Withdraw” button and a little red sign popped up saying “This Machine can not currently facilitate that request.” I thought to myself, “Self, what the heck good is an ATM machine that can do other functions but can’t give you cash?” I had no answer for myself so I chalked it up to probably being there at the time that the cash just runs out and the morning guys aren’t there to fill her up again.
I ejected my card, but as I pulled away an old homeless man waved me down. He was standing about 40 ft from the ATM. Feeling in an fun mood, I rolled down my window and asked what he needed.
“Have I got an offer for you!” he announced in his best car salesman voice, ” I know that the ATM is out of money but I am at your service. You give me $1.35 and your phone number and I will sit here and watch the machine. When they fill up that ATM I’ll use the 35 cents to call you. The dollar is mine for my service. What do you say guy?
Yes, there are plenty of ATM’s around here. This city makes it VERY easy to find more cash to spend. And, yes, I understand that the chances are high that he will take the money and run. But, I decided that getting a phone call from the bum is worth a dollar in itself. So, I did it for science. I did it for the children.
“That sounds like a good deal” I said with sarcasm. “Tell me old timer, how much have you made this morning?”
He went on to tell me that he does this every morning and averages about 1 dollar a day. I’m sure no one really wants the service, but they were probably intrigued like I was. Well, I helped him meet his daily quota. Can’t blame a guy for making a buck. What’s the worst he can do? Trade in the dollar for coins and prank call me a few times with my phone number? I’m looking forward to his call.
UPDATE: After numerous emails asking if I got the call I thought I would just update the blog entry. As expected, the fella never gave me a call. I really didn’t think that he would but thought it would be fun regardless. Oh well. Let’s all give him the benefit of the doubt and conclude that he couldn’t find a pay phone.