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The Cruise … Barcelona ‘Bandits’.

Posted by Big John on July 16, 2011

One of my favourite pastimes when on holiday is to sit at a table in a street café and ‘people watch’, and where better to do this than on Barcelona’s ‘La Rambla’ …

 (click on images to enlarge)

So, there we were watching the world go by and enjoying a cold beer, when something happened that I have not seen for many years. A shifty looking señor set down a small board on the pavement and invited passing tourists to take part in what is known as … ‘the shell game’

This crooked operation did not seem to be that well organized, as the ‘winning’ accomplices planted in the crowd were easy to spot, and the lookouts must have been asleep as they failed to see this highly visible police officer …

… who pounced from behind a newsstand next to where we were sitting. It was a case of … “You’re nicked sunshine !” … and in this case, in plenty of sunshine.

I must say that the ‘arrest’ was a very civilised affair with the con-men showing no resistance, but then I suppose this must happen so often, that they are probably …

…   on first name terms with the cop !     🙂


5 Responses to “The Cruise … Barcelona ‘Bandits’.”

  1. Rummuser said

    Ah, yes. They will be on first name basis indeed. In India, the cop would have already been “taken care of” and the local don too would have been assured a “cut”. Everybody is happy.

  2. To my mind the more interesting question is why people fall for such scams. Greed must blind them.

    It’s not only in Barcelona that one sees this. Some years ago, a colleague of mine, a very intelligent man, got caught by this scam somewhere in London. He ended up putting down a lot of money which of course disappeared the second the police hove in sight. He couldn’t really explain how he let himself get drawn in.

    The police were not helpful. They more or less told him he was an idiot and not to expect to get his money back. They even hinted that if he made a nuisance of himself he might be charged with illegal gambling…

  3. Ginnie said

    I’ve heard of the Shell Game but it never ocurred to me that it was done on a city street. You were clever to recognize it and get some pictures.

  4. Big John said

    Ramana .. ‘Tiger’ .. Ginnie ..
    There is one way to win. When asked to pick a shell, pick up two of the shells and indicate that the pea is under the remaining one, although I wouldn’t recommend doing this if you don’t like hospital food ! 🙂

  5. Red Baron said

    Ah, 3 card Monty, Find The Lady and all other variants. This is one that does require a little greed but actually the main vice it plays on is arrogance, the notion that we the bystander are somehow cleverer than someone for whom this is unlikely to be the first time they are performing the action. It is the simplicity of the trick that is its greatest strength because the onlooker thinks they cannot fail to spot what they are looking for. I tend to see such things, like the lottery, as a stupid tax, they prey on nothing other than blind faith, there is no skill or definition involved. Hmm, religion anyone…?!

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