I was going to a benefit one night when a gentleman approached me with a red gas can saying, “Sir, can you help me out? I’m from the suburbs and my car is out of gas.” I’m sort of a shirt-off-my-back kind of guy, but I didn’t have any cash on me so I said, “Why don’t you take my gas credit card and go fill up your tank and mail the card back to me?” He took the card, said “Thank you, you’re really helping out somebody else from the suburbs,” and off he goes. I completely forgot about this until a month later when I got the bill and there were all these charges on the card. I realized I’d been taken, so I had the card canceled. Then, two weeks later I was walking to the Red Line to go home when I saw this same guy walking toward me carrying the same red gas can. I walked up to him and I said, “Hey, you’ve got my credit card.” He looked at me and said with a chuckle, “Oh, you’re that guy. I swear I mailed that back to you.” I said, “I never got it, and I think you must have a pretty good scam going here.” I knew he wasn’t telling the truth, and I walked away. Now I make sure that I have some cash in my wallet if someone needs help. What can I say? I’m a Good Samaritan–and maybe a touch gullible.

–Stephen B. Starr, graphic designer