When you do something completely and utterly bonkers, word travels fast... wicked fast. In the past couple of weeks, several people have approached me, and the conversations usually start like this:
1. Bekki, is it true you got arrested?
2. Did you really beat somebody up?
3. So I hear you have an impressive criminal record...
Well folks, it's time to set the record straight. No, I did not get arrested...not really. No, I did not beat somebody up...although I wish I did. And no, I'm pretty sure I don't have a record, although I'm not sure how long that will last, given my crazy life. This is the story of an innocent girl, a liar, and a security guard.
About a month ago, I went to Food City after finishing my errands. As I walk in, I see a young man in a suit. A clean-cut, young, attractive man in a classy and tailored suit, I might add. His name was Tyrone, and he was white. Maybe this should have been my first red flag, but I guess I was slightly distracted by his blue eyes and cute dimples.
He calls, "Young lady... can I interest you in some family portraits?" I didn't want to be that person who flat out says "NO" and then walks away quickly. So I approach him and listen to his pitch. The first thing that actually registers in my mind... "Perfect missionary opportunity, right here. He tells me about pictures, and I tell him about Jesus. Win-win." Tyrone excitedly tells me about a package deal that's 50% off. He hands me all of these forms, and I'm signing a bunch of stuff. I lie about all of the information, thinking that I've got myself into a sticky situation.
Tyrone says, "So... I'll schedule you for portraits on January 25th, at 1:25 pm." I'm thinking, "Wait...what? Meh...no worries. I just won't show up, and I won't have to pay for it. Problem solved." I thank Tyrone for his time, completely forgetting about testifying of Jesus's love for him. But as I start to leave, he exclaims, "Oh just one moment! You must pay." And then I do the mother-of-all stupid things... I swipe my card, pay for the stupid $8 portrait session, and then I leave.
I go home, mentally chastising myself for being so idiotic. I tell my roommates about the possibility of taking tasteless roommate portraits in the middle of a ghetto grocery store. I tell my dad about what happened, and he says, "Honey... I think you might have been scammed. Google it."
So, I Google Portraits USA, and I see THIS:
And I read some of the customer reviews:
1. Just because he's in a suit, doesn't mean it's legit!
2. My $8 fee turned into a $300 fee!
3. We took portraits in the bathroom of a Dollar Tree!
I cancelled my card that night and ordered a new one. I'll admit... not one of my finer moments, getting duped by an attractive white guy named Tyrone in the middle of a dilapidated grocery store.
Obviously, I didn't show up for that ridiculous portrait session, but a couple weeks ago, I returned to Food City to pick up some groceries. And who do I see???? Tyrone... the lying white guy, with the dimples that I want to smack off his tragically beautiful face. And the worst part was that tons of parents were swarming him, signing up for a seemingly great deal on family portraits. My emotions got the best of me. I storm up to Tyrone and scream something to this effect:
Who do you think you are???!!!
People!!! DO NOT trust this man - he will rip you off and take all of your money!
You take your stupid kiosk and get out of here, RIGHT NOW!
Several finger-points and (gentle) shoves accompany such a passionate speech. I thought I was being a hero for Arizona... saving families from being ripped off by a fraud, a liar, a swindler, a phony. Tyrone says, "Umm... you must have me mistaken for another gentleman, miss." And then I explode again, attracting the attention of several customers, employees, and security guards. Tyrone requests help from the guards... the wimpy pansy.
A security guard takes hold of my arm and says, "Ma'am... I'm gonna have to escort you to your car." And so... I take the walk of shame with a pot-bellied, drowsy-eyed guard to my car. I try to explain the situation to him, but he says, "There's nothing we can do," to which I reply, "That's the dumbest thing I've ever heard." Before he leaves, Mr. Security Guard specifically requests that I conduct myself in a lady-like manner before entering the premises again.
Was I doing the right thing in trying to prevent those people from being swindled? I think so. Did I handle it in the best way possible? Maybe not (although I'm pretty sure Jesus was flipping tables and cracking whips in the temple). I am the hero Arizona needs... but I guess I need to do a better job of handling situations in a hero-like manner.