The past few weeks have seen an explosion of the number of Tissue People on the T: People with allegedly horrible lives who seek donations in exchange for a small pack of tissues.
Sob Story Guy
BU Police reported yesterday:
A BU student was likely the victim of a scam yesterday when the student parted with $100 to help the nicely dressed gentleman who needed the money for a cab to get to an important meeting because his car had a flat tire.
Well, what do you know: A man pestering people at South Station for money for an urgent train ride really did have a pressing reason to get back to Framingham. Unfortunately for Jeffrey Bliss, 32, however, that reason was a warrant out of Framingham District Court for shoplifting.
Transit Police report officers watching Bliss figured the elderly couple he'd been trying to wheedle money out of around 4:30 p.m. yesterday by claiming he had to get back to his family had had enough, so they moved in for a little chat of their own.
One of the constants of Universal Hub Twitter feed is that people regularly send me updates on the whereabouts of Sob Story Guy and Sob Story Girl (actually, should be plural, since there's more than than one of each).
People really, really hate being confined to a metal tube underground (or just sitting in a restaurant or theater) while an angry or seemingly distraught person demands money to see her kid in Portsmouth or his parole officer in Worcester - especially if story tellers are heading the wrong direction from the train station you'd take to get to those places or if they're repeating the same tear-laden spiels veteran Bostonians have heard for years.
But are these story tellers people with mental disabilities who shouldn't be pointed out and mocked in a public medium? Here's an exchange on Twitter yesterday:
Literally on track. At 8:20 a.m., A.P. Blake tweeted from North Station:
Sob Story Guy is spilling his schtick from IN THE MIDDLE OF THE GREEN LINE TRACKS.
Cactus on the Stair reports on how one Sob Story Guy's night ended with him on the train harassed by a panhandler.
Christoper tweets from Boylston this morning that a Sob Story Guy held a trolley door open and refused to let it close until somebody gave him some money.
Melinda Green spotted a Sob Story Guy and two Sob Story Girls having a little chat this morning at the Mass. Ave. stop on the Orange Line. She reports:
How was Sob Story Guy supposed to know people might not take kindly to him sneaking into a movie theater tonight to beg for money? Kyle Kerr was settling in for "To Rome with Love" at the AMC Boston Common when everybody's least favorite panhandler started trying to work the aisles:
Basically a man (40ish, gray hair) and a woman (who looked a little like Julianne Moore) approached me and told me their bag was stolen, they needed money to take a cab home, and they would pay me back for it later. They showed me a fake police report, gave me their cell number (which has a voicemail box that isn't set up), and texted me their address in Marlborough (a house which is up for sale).
I thought to myself, this is a little weird, but hey, maybe these people really DO need help.
Around 8:15 p.m. yesterday, Rachel Zarrell spotted Sob Story Guy getting on the Orange Line at Chinatown:
Needed money to get to Worcester to "treat his staph infection." Was pretty gross.
But by 11, he'd either gotten it looked at or had just become resigned to it. Colin Steele reported from the Red Line near Harvard:
No story this time, just "anybody? Anybody?"
Neil the roaming UHub photographer was sitting down to dinner at the California Pizza Kitchen in the Pru last night when one of our Sob Story Guys launched into his spiel. "Set up shop in middle of crowd and launched into sob story," he reports, adding, "I tipped off the bartender and he went quietly when the manager bum rushed him."
A Dorchester man who admitted conning people out of money last fall through a convincing sob story was sentenced to three years in state prison yesterday, the Suffolk County District Attorney's office reports.
As part of a plea agreement in which he was branded "a common and notorious thief" on 25 counts of larceny and "uttering" (writing bogus checks), Williams also agreed to leave Massachusetts within 60 days of his release from prison - and to stay out until at least Dec. 7, 2021 - the District Attorney's office reports, adding Williams already has a 30-page criminal record featuring 35 convictions for larceny-related offenses.
You know, the guy who always claims he needs $7.75 to get to an appointment with his probation officer in Worcester. SelfRighteousCyclist reports:
Sob Story Guy has been called out too many times on the Red Line. Now hustling outside the RMV on Washington
Can you imagine the conversation between him and Spare Change Guy?
Boston Police report a woman arrested for offering to perform a sexual act on an undercover cop for $25 yesterday morning said she was only trying to raise enough money to get to Quincy District Court to deal with a court case there.
"The suspect will now have two court cases to attend to," BPD News reports, adding the undercover cop was on the prowl in Grove Hall because of increasing complaints from residents about prostitutes offering up their wares.
You know the guy: Sometimes he needs money to get to the parole office in Worcester before it closes. Or Springfield. Or someplace vital that requires more money for the trip than he has. An alert UHubber reports he was on an inbound Orange Line train at Back Bay late yesterday afternoon working the crowd with a simpler story: He'd lost the bed lottery at the Pine Street Inn and needed money for a place to stay.