Friday, January 23, 2009

Another kid-related caper

Authorities are searching for a flimflam man in South Carolina who wheedles money out of restaurants by claiming they ignored warnings about a son's food allergy, according to media reports from the Greenville area of the state. He apparently puts up enough of a stink to wrest a "refund" from a place even if he can't produce a receipt. A McDonald's, for instance, reportedly gave the con artist $22 to halt a tantrum about onions being left on the boy's burger despite a heads-up the kid can't eat them.

Curiously, that refund covered two Big Macs, two Quarter Pounders, four orders of fries and four soft drinks, so the boy must be a big eater. Even more astounding was the $58 the man claimed he was due from a hospital because its cafeteria served the kid something with onions. The grifter said the lad took ill, and the money was needed to cover an allergy shot.

Hospitals tend to notice someone who looks as if they're going into anaphylactic shock. And cafeteria employees reportedly said that they hadn't had a tab over $20 on the day of the purported incident. So clearly audacity has more to do with the scam's success than reason or plausibility.

The reports do not mention a boy actually accompanying the man. But, just to increase the chances of nabbing the con man, authorities should be on the lookout for someone accompanied by a very fat kid.

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