How I Became a Crappy Scammer

And I’m sorry I used a lemon cake instead of an angel cake recipe.

I smugly did a good deed this past week, righteously patting my self-anointed back and giving myself three good-karma points redeemable for honking at mindless parking lot idiots aimlessly wandering down the middle of the street and chatting when I’m trying to burn rubber and get home. (Good grief! Don’t people have better things to do than walk the center of the parking lot, holding up traffic?)

On my other alter-ego blog site, I wanted to spotlight the efforts of a small non-profit organization.  So I composed an article and I included a recipe, I took from their site.  (You know how I love easy-peazy recipes.) Of course, I linked, gave them credit and said a few warm words about the organization. Done and done.

And then, I screwed it all up.  I called the organization to let them know, and asked permission to use the  recipe. Well, actually, I emailed a request to the generic address on their site.  I received an email back from the group’s secretary,  who told me to call the president and gave me a phone number.

Uh-oh.  Didn’t this group ever meet? Pass along information?  And didn’t the president have e-mail?

Turns out she didn’t. Nor did she know what a blog was.  She didn’t even know they had recipes posted on their own site.  And the member whose name was listed with recipe? The president had never heard of her.  The leader kept interrupting my explanations, her questions becoming pointed and tinged with ticked-off  suspicion.  “And where are you located?”

“Oregon,” I replied.

That seemed to be the last straw.  My tender little deed was decaying faster than an open container of guacamole.  Why would someone in Oregon help a non-profit project in Wisconsin? There had to be a catch. Nope, she wasn’t interested in checking the blog, or even her own group’s site. “No,” she said angrily, “I will not give you permission to use a lemon cake recipe.”

Okay.  Darn. I can’t even scam someone out of a recipe.  I suck…and I know what you’re thinking because I was beating myself throughout the whole conversation with the thought:  Why did I call? Why did I even ask?

 Fortunately, I picked up a few coins of insight here. I learned that the classic response to

Who are you?
Whaddy ya want?
Why are you even talking to me?
Get away before I bite you.

blind fear is to block everything.  “No. No. Hell no!” Like when the foreign guy at the mall kiosk says, “May I ask you a question?”

“NO thanks.” I keep walking.

And the best way to overcome fear is with education.  Right? So thank you, Ms. Paranoid Non-Profit President in Wisconsin. Because of  you, when I was last at the mall and a heavily accented man queried…Can I ask you a question? I let some strange guy slather my hands with wonder polish which made them look at least 6 hours  younger.  I didn’t buy any of his miracle cream, but at least now I know what I’m saying “No” to instead of scowling and scurrying away from him.

5 points for targeting Parking-Lot zombies.
If they’re talking on a phone, that’s 3 extra points.

And my good deed?  I used a recipe from a sister organization.  Nope. I didn’t get prior permission.  I’ll just redeem my karma points for this omission instead of spending it on parking lot zombies.

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About Barb

I escaped from a hardscrabble farm in Oklahoma. I'm not sure why people think I have an accent. I miss the sunshine, but not the fried foods.
This entry was posted in A Laugh, Appreciation, Change, Humor and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

63 Responses to How I Became a Crappy Scammer

  1. ansuyo says:

    Wow. Should’ve just flown under the radar on that one! Angie 🙂

    Like

  2. I love your post. Honest, straight forward, adventurous, exciting and yes, loaded with humor that tickles the bones. As for good karma…I’m hoping to get a few myself. But of course I have to do the good deeds first. Have a great day!

    Like

  3. Arindam says:

    You are really funny! I still can’t understand why she did not allow you to use her recipe in your blog. I hope she did not taste it herself yet. So she if afraid of making fun of herself, when others are going to try it and it will taste bad! 🙂

    Like

    • Barb says:

      Why do any of us do the weird things that we do? I had an aunt who set the feet of her stove in small cans of water because she used to have a problem with aunts. She hadn’t had a problem with aunts in 20 years but she continued to fill keep the stove legs in water.

      Like

  4. You are STILL a nut Barb, and I am so glad some things never change. Funny post my dear! Margie

    Like

  5. Red says:

    I adore all the jackasses who tell me “No, you cannot use that!” I tell them thank you kindly…I will just ask the person you stole it from without permission because the information is all over the web on sites who are more than happy to have anyone promoting them without cost to them.

    What an ultra maroon! This is why stores only have one manager and a throng of buggy boys. The honcho’s job shields him/her from all of the workings which make the company work at all.

    Red.
    (former manager)
    xxx

    Like

    • Barb says:

      I used to work in advertising and every now and then I’d hear people say, they didn’t want to advertise; they didn’t want more business; they had all they could handle. I suppose it’s not surprising they’re no longer in business.

      Like

  6. Nisha says:

    Hey, wait, you have another blog? Did I miss something here…?

    Like

  7. souldipper says:

    Well, Barb, one thing we can surmise. That first contact, the one who put you on to the President, sure knew what she was doing! No way she was going to try and explain all that to the Prez!! 😀

    Like

    • Barb says:

      Oh…you are so clever. I hadn’t even thought of that. I had a little alarm go off wondering why the secretary didn’t simply call the Prez, but you’re probably right. You know what? If I live long enough, I’ll have all the tricks of life figured out…but with my two-full-to-capacity brain cells, I’ll forget it all. So…in the future, I’ll be contacting you for help. Aren’t you lucky?

      Like

  8. dan says:

    Heck, when I go home to the country, there are two farmers yacking and one us usually in a tractor. It’s kind of like waiting for a herd of cows to cross.

    Like

    • Barb says:

      Dan, you’re such a BSer, that when those ol’ boys see you comin’ in your pickup truck, they probably fire up their tractors and head for the north forty, saying, “Let’s get going. That guy could talk the ears off an elephant.”
      (I’m so happy to see you, Dan. I’m going over to your blog to if you’ve been in jail, in Vegas, or nominated for a Pulitzer lately.)

      Like

  9. Rose L says:

    I am sure there are a dozen people who would give you lemon cake recipes and I bet if you compare them to the one you had planned to use, they are probably all very similar!
    I used some recipes on my blog from a book that is out of print and had also contacted them to get permission and it was granted.

    Like

  10. Silva Gang says:

    Oh Barb, you are truly one of a kind! I will tell you that I absolutely detest those people that wander in the middle of the lane in parking lots… and they ALWAYS have a shopping cart to boot! I found out how to solve that problem. I just keep inching closer and closer to them with my car until they finally sense my presence behind them, see the bumper at their heels, and turn around and scowl at me with a disgusted “My God, do you have ANY decency?!” look. That is about the time they jump out of the way and scoop up their toddlers from the middle of the road to save them from the renegade psycho (me) on the loose in the Walmart parking lot. Works every time! 😉

    Like

    • Barb says:

      Have you ever had anyone spit on your car? One time a passerby hawked a big lugie on my hood (well…I had stopped about a foot into the crosswalk, but not near him.) Some of those pedestrians have spunk.

      Like

      • Silva Gang says:

        No, I haven’t had that happen to me… wow! Some people are so ballsy! Personally, I wouldn’t want to mess with a driver behind the wheel of a vehicle that could crush me! Apparently the guy who spit on your hood was either incredibly stupid or not afraid to die!

        Like

  11. Alice Lynn says:

    Everybody has said everything I would have said if I’d had the smarts and the time. Brave Barb who goes where no-one has dared go before. Kudos!

    Like

  12. Ya’ know, just cuz you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they’re not out to get cha’.

    Truth is stranger than fiction which is wonderful for folks who love to write. Love your humor, the comments to your post, and your animated characters.

    Like

    • Barb says:

      Thanks, and you’re sooooo right. I’m always searching for quirky stories, even though I accidentally create most of them by my I-Love-Lucy bungling. The comments are usually funnier and more insightful than the post itself. I feel so blessed because these commenters are the best. Thanks for becoming one of them.

      Like

  13. Margie says:

    Did you try the recipe yet? I had a ‘friend’ who would give me her recipes, but would leave out an ingredient or part of the directions. Needless to say, the friendship didn’t last…

    Like

    • Barb says:

      I had a relative who did this, too!!! Every recipe in her little wooden recipe box had a missing ingredient. She said she did it so no one could cook as wonderfully as she did. Hooboy. A lot of the recipes were unique family favorites and we’d rave about them at family get-togethers. When she died, she took the key ingredients with her…which I guess is how she meant for it to be. Strange legacy.

      Like

  14. Barb, sometimes doing the right thing doesn’t always work as it should… and you’ve just reminded me of something I need to write a post about! I don’t think I want to try their cake or their recipe now though… cake and attitude don’t go down very well! 😉
    How many points do you get for accidentally reversing into a parking lot zombie?

    Like

    • Barb says:

      Tom,
      I use the North American Before Morning Breaks guideline for Zombie awards and an accidental flattening doesn’t count. It’s…well…it’s an accident.
      But I think you could adopt the Universal Hillbilly Code wherein: If you hit it; you own it. Good luck.

      Like

  15. You have it, Barb: fear makes people shut up like clams….ho hum. I have a rather nice lemon cake recipe, should you need one. It’s not my own though….erk…

    Like

    • Barb says:

      Kate, I’d be honored to use your recipe. We can get together, make it, and have a bake sale to increase internet awareness. (And think of all the Zombie-flattening karma points we’d earn.)

      Like

  16. Al says:

    As Georgette said, I’ve always lived by the Jesuit philosophy, to wit: “It’s easier to get forgiveness than permission.”

    Having said that, people like the non-profit Nazi are a blogger’s best friend and provide the fodder for many a blog. Do you think you would get many hits with a blog titled “I got permission to give you a recipe”?

    Just one more thing, I love the angelic Barb, the meany Barb is very scary.

    I was wondering what I would do for excitement today. I’m on the way out to drive around looking for big parking lots. I’ll let you know what my score is.

    Like

  17. Yay, yet another president who knows nothing! And I don’t mean Obama, I like him 🙂 Corporate ones!

    Like

  18. mj monaghan says:

    Unbelievable, Barb. I’m still a bit gob-smacked by the attitude of your would-be recipe-giver-outer. Not sure why the utter feeling of importance, but you’re better off not having it, in hindsight. Glad you took the high road, my friend.

    Like

    • Barb says:

      Yeah, at first I was ticked, but then I realized it was fear. If you don’t know about the bloggy world, then the whole thing is a den of thieves and boogeywomen. Best to keep the door closed on that nightmare.

      Like

  19. I’m with Elyse–it’s a recipe! Good lord. It’s not like you plagarized someone’s entire novel. I wonder what was the woman’s fear? that someone out there might make something that tastes delicious?

    Like

  20. moma escriva says:

    Good Lord! Is the midwest still in the 1800s? Goes to show, there is hilarity in truth without having to make it up.

    Like

    • Barb says:

      Hi Moma, I think that most folks have made it to this century. There’s always a few who don’t like change. And because this blog is about change…I can’t fault that, eh?

      Like

  21. Roxie Matthews says:

    Heck,I got a lemon cake recipe I could share with you.

    Isn’t it wonderful how people get burrowed down into the Things That Are Important in their lives and start to believe that this is all there is of the world? I am flabbergasted when I run across someone who thinks knitting is archaic or quaint or esoteric. And how can someone live without an e-mail address?

    So tell me about this alter-ego blog and why haven’t I known about it and where is the link? You are the most secretive person!

    Like

  22. dorannrule says:

    Kudos for being careful Barb! Their ignorance is certainly their loss. Maybe you can send them a copy of this blog post, including all the comments to let them know what they are missing. 🙂

    Like

    • Barb says:

      They’d have to have an email…and as Susan says…how can a leader of an organization operate if they don’t have email. (However, we have a gal at our church who threatens the church secretary with dire consequences if she ever gives out the gal’s email. Takes all kinds. Makes for great stories.)

      Like

  23. pegoleg says:

    I love how you do all your own stunts here on the blog! But in the parking lot shot you might want to have that boil on your chest looked at.

    Like

  24. Wow, it’s hard to believe that in this day an age a person can serve competently as the leader of any organization without having an email address and at least a modicum of computer smarts. You get lotsa brownie points for trying to do the right thing. (It’s not your fault she was a wee bit paranoid.)

    Like

    • Barb says:

      Hi Susan, you’re a writer, too. Isn’t that paranoia interesting? That’s got to be a character in my next book…or yours. Maybe she’ll lie to census takers and won’t tell Safeway her real address to get her Rewards card.

      Like

  25. You know what they say, “Go ahead and do what you want and then ask for forgiveness later.” Sometimes doing the right thing is an awful lot of extra effort you hadn’t planned on. Kudos to you for being so thorough. I’m sure the other recipe is as good or better.

    Like

  26. Fabulous – I really enjoyed reading that – thanks for sharing.

    Like

    • Barb says:

      Thanks. Didn’t that LoonyTunes Pig, Porky, have some recipes?

      Like

      • Yes it did. I know it must have been so annoying for you at the time but when I read it, it just made me laugh so much because we have all come across this kind of thing, although maybe not to that extent – I’ve been telling my family and friends what happened – everybody has enjoyed the story.

        Like

  27. What a lovely example of human psychology. First one is not even aware of ground reality but quick to stamp one’s authority.

    Shakti

    Like

  28. Elyse says:

    Recipes are meant to be shared and have been stolen since folks started cooking. I’m pretty sure there is no copyright on them.

    My sister Beth had the best chocolate chip cookie recipe, which she shared with me when I was about 10. I made the cookies for decades, always crediting Beth. Then a few years ago she mentioned that should I ever lose/forget the recipe, it’s just Betty Crockers’. Oy.

    Like

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