Near my home is a little independent donut shop. I’ve never seen one person inside other than the owner — a petitie, middle-aged, Korean woman. I was driving by today and decided I was in the mood for a donut. I went in, ordered a jelly donut and cup of coffee, and sat down at the bright orange, plastic, uncomfortable, table/chair thingamajig that’s bolted to the floor. The donut and coffee were truly the worst coffee and donut I’ve ever tasted. As I sat eating my disgusting donut, the owner watched some infomercial on a 13″ TV sitting on the counter.
The infomercial was one of those get-rich-quick schemes:
“Use my stock market technique, and within two weeks, your two thousand will be two hundred thousand!”
As one “success story” after another gave his testimony, I could see the eyes of the donut woman widen. She was totally enraptured by what was being said.
I began to feel bad for this woman. She clearly had no talent in making either donuts or coffee. She was probably losing all her money in this awful donut shop. This type of infomercial preys on a woman like this — someone who may be uneducated or part of an immigrant community. It is these innocent people who don’t realize that it is all a scam.
“I put two thousand dollars into the stock market, and soon I was able to quit my job,” said some overly-eager male voice on the television. “Now I don’t spend time behind a desk, but behind the wheel of my new yacht!”
I felt anger at this scam artist on TV, with this modern era three-card Monte swindle. I was so furious that I squeezed my donut with my hand, shooting some jelly onto my shirt.
What was I to do? I had to warn her. I saw her writing some information on a piece of paper. Was she actually going to call these crooks?
I knew this really wasn’t my business, but I felt it was my duty to speak up. As an American citizen. As a Good Jew. I walked over to the counter. She pointed at the pile of donuts.
“Donut?” she asked.
“No, thank you,” I said. “I just wanted to tell you to be careful with these types of TV shows. They might look like real shows, but they are commercials. Don’t believe everything they tell you. You weren’t thinking of calling them up, were you?”
“Donut?” she asked again, being that it was the only English word she knew.
(photo by roadsidepictures via flickr)