Scammed and in love

This happened to me on the 21 line way back in 1991, I recently wrote about it on my blog and thought I’d share….

As I sat on the bus on my way to my boyfriends house I noticed some gambling/betting happening. I was in a seat close by so I watched what was going on. The dealer had 3 cards out on a briefcase that was sitting on his lap and players were betting that they could pick out the Queen of Hearts from the two spades once the cards were scrambled. The dealer kept chanting bets “10/20, 20/40” and a player would say “OK”. The player would put down their $10 and if they picked the correct card the dealer would give them $20. I kept watch for a while and noticed I could always follow where the Queen was. The person sitting next to me noticed that I was watching intently and asked if I thought I could do it. “Yeah, I can always tell where it is”. We watched a while longer and chatted a bit. She asked when my stop was and told me I was good at this and should try it.

He chanted “10/20, 10/20”, I jumped in “OK, I’ll do it”. He scrambled the cards, I picked which was the queen and double checked with my new friend to see if she agreed. She nodded, and I had him turn over the card. I WON! I was reluctant to play again, but the other player who was up $30 or $40 already wanted to do 50/100. The dealer got all extra serious and got to mixing up the cards. She picked what I knew was the right one, and won $100!!

“20/40, 20/40”. I thought, “alright, if I did that and lost I’d only be out the $10 I put up the first time”. “OK, I’m in!”. Some frantic scrambling and then we were on. I was fairly certain which card it was, but not as sure as before. I checked with my friend again, and she agreed. My stop was coming up soon, so I pointed to a card. A flick of his wrist and it was reviled that I had lost.

He picked up his earnings, his cards and his case, gathered his 3 buddies; my new “friend”, the winner of $100, and one other “player” at the side door of the bus where they stood chatting about where they were going next and watched to see if the connecting bus was on it’s way.

I watched, dumbfounded as I realized the scam and then I smiled. I maybe even chuckled and I swelled with love, real LOVE for this guy. My heart was OPEN, way open to learn from every experience and see the best in every challenge.

What an idiot. I blame Leo Buscallia.


I wrote the story to my other boyfriend. The one away at college, the one I was in the process of breaking up with. I wrote it in the middle of the letter that basically said I was choosing the other guy. It was full crazy LOVE talk. This is what I had to say about being scammed with a game of Three Card Monty.

“So I lost! I’m sure it was all illegal and stuff, and he’s kind of an a**hole but its really cool — I love him for letting me learn that. I’ll play him again — as soon as I win one time I’ll get off the bus! I really did feel love for him.”


LOVE: What Life is All About — Leo Buscallia. I received this book from an ex-boyfriends girlfriend when I was 17. Just as I was struggling with choosing between my current “long distance” boyfriend, and the new guy I was “hanging out” with. I was already prone to hippy, loving ways. I was trusting and happy and idealistic and this book brought out the worst of it all.

Twenty years later and I am still VERY close friends with the guy I wrote the letter to, and still married to that “new guy”. I don’t think I love the dealer anymore though, I got over him.

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