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  #1  
Old 01-07-2000, 09:31 PM
dasmoocher dasmoocher is offline
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"Gypsies" for lack of a better description at the risk of be labeled bigoted. I just saw a segment on 'Dateline' on gypsy thieves. It was about bands that go into businesses and completely distract the clerks in order to gain access to the cash registers and safes. It brought back old resentments.

I never had to deal with outright theft but I used to work at a restaurant that had a family (~10-12 people) of "gypsies" come in every few months. They had a palm reading/curse removing/fortune telling business down the road. They were any server's nightmare. "I want margarine…I asked for butter; my beer glass isn't cold enough; I didn't order this; we need 5 more baskets of the free dinner rolls; there's a fly in my soup…"

What is up with people like this? They would eat all but a dozen tails or so of 5lbs. of streamed shrimp and then want a replacement for the whole order because 'a fly had landed on it'. Eat 4.75 lbs. of shrimp and then ask for 5 more lbs. for free. Bitch about being charged for cheeseburgers they had eaten because it had the wrong type of cheese on it-saying this isn't what I ordered and I shouldn't have to pay for it AFTER it was eaten. Ordering beer and giving the beer to the underage members of the party. One of the teenage sons sat at the bar and wanted a Long Island Ice-tea. When I laughed and asked for ID, he told me it was OK-his mom said it was all right. I could just picture the liquor board inspector's face; well, if his mom said it was OK. Claim that they hadn't gotten their 10 pounds of crab legs even after I had seen it weighed out on a scale. They would just dump all the napkins, shrimp peels, and crab shells on the floor. The infants' diapers were changed on any available table in full view of the whole place. And, even the little 5-6 yrs olds would try to work the staff for quarters that they claimed to have lost in the video game machines. Oh, yeah, they usually came in after 11:00 PM, when you would think kids this age would be in bed.

Best yet was the fact that they didn't tip, even though tips were added in automatically to the bill with tables larger than 5 people. Their average bill was about $200, a nice size tip (for the place) to the server that would have to deal with them, but not even that.

Talk about wanting to buy into stereotypes (since these are the only "gypsies that I've ever had to deal with; I'm not into being rooked to have my palm read). Anybody have some thoughts about or experiences with "gypsies" or other scammers, or, just tables from hell.
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  #2  
Old 01-08-2000, 03:53 AM
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Dammit, your post got that horrible Cher song stuck in my head...


Gyyyypsies, tramps and thieves
  #3  
Old 01-08-2000, 04:33 PM
Lynn Bodoni Lynn Bodoni is offline
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I think that you're referring to the Travellers, not necessarily Gypsies.

Next time you're frustrated with a business establishment's policy, remember these people. It's people who abuse the system who make it necessary for you to have your receipt and birth certificate before you can be issued a refund. Anyone who works with the public for any length of time has horror stories about certain customers.


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  #4  
Old 01-08-2000, 04:51 PM
RobRoy RobRoy is offline
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Like most racists he has it all wrong...
(What? aren't gooks and chinks the same??)

He is referring to "WHITE TRASH", not gypsies.

Gypsies live in Europe, India and Asia, play the violin and are nomadic.

They might carry off your daughter tho...
  #5  
Old 01-08-2000, 09:22 PM
voguevixen voguevixen is offline
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Nah, he's not referring to any specific ethnic group I don't think it's limited to one. It's more a "state-of-mind" sorta thing and I'm sure the ethnicity varies depending on region. At the theater I worked at we called them gypsies too. First they'd show up with a dozen or so kids and try to get you to let one in to use the bathroom. If you did they'd pull the old exit door scam. If they actually bought a ticket, they'd give you a ten and pull the old "hey, I gave you a 20 (50, 100)!" Sometimes they'd show up out of the blue and claim "I was in last night and my kid choked on a hotdog/slipped in the restroom/got hives and was throwing up from your popcorn and we couldn't find a manager to get passes so we left and went to the hospital, can we come back in and see the rest of the movie?" They always came up with something dramatic and litigation worthy so you'd think "Oh goodness, me! Thank heavens they only want to see the movie and not sue us!" Gimme a break! I told one guy flat out "Last night was a Saturday, and at one point there were FIVE managers working. I find it hard to believe you couldn't find one of us." He got belligerent and started yelling about how it wasn't the money, it was the principle of the thing, waving a wad of bills around. "I GOT money! It's not ABOUT money!!!" You'd ask to see ticket stubs and they'd (of course!) have thrown them away, or our "bad ticket person" hadn't given them any. (RIGHT!) Then when you asked them what movie it actually was, they'd look around wildly until they saw something listing what we were playing and blurt the first thing they saw. (They wouldn't even know what was playing, they only wanted something for nothing and didn't care if it was a movie or passes or free food, etc.) Arrgh!

When the company started issuing free refills on the large popcorn they had to put a disclaimer on the sign saying "same visit only." People would always laugh when they saw it but then admitted that if we didn't say it some scammer would keep bringing back the same greasy, beat up container and get mad because you wouldn't let it near the popcorn bin.

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  #6  
Old 01-09-2000, 10:18 PM
Kyla Kyla is offline
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I haven't ever seen any gypsies in the U.S., but I had my pocket picked TWICE in Italy (in two days), and at least once, it was done by gypsies. (I got it back. Second time, I didn't, so I have no idea who did it.)

Of course, it's important to note that gypsies are discriminated upon all over Europe - being a Romany has got to be pretty difficult, and I was an easy and obvious target ("She's got a big backpack and is speaking English! Must be a rich American.")



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~Kyla

"Anger is what makes America great."
  #7  
Old 01-10-2000, 12:14 AM
theuglytruth theuglytruth is offline
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If these were gypsies, they would be south Asian in appearence, and I do not think too many gyspies live in the US. Either these were Irish-origin travellors, or just groups of white trash.

Anyway, I'm laughing my ASS off at these stories- I used to work retail so I've seen all the scams.
"The other salesman told me I could get this on sale today!" "Oh yeah? Whats his name?""I dont know- the younger guy with the glasses."
"This power tool doesnt work. I want my money back." "Well sir. It looks a BIT used.
Do you have your receipt?""No I dont. Look if you wnot take it back I want the manager!"
  #8  
Old 01-10-2000, 02:34 AM
Dizzy Dizzy is offline
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No, these are gypsies. They do not look Asian, and they certainly are not white trash or Irish. I used to work in the hotel industry, and I am very familar with these people. They are distinctly ethnic. They seem to be European, travel in a large family group, and steal whatever they can. I have seen children in these groups who are 4 or 5 years old, already practicing the "family business". I was always under the impression that these people *are* genuine gypsies, not just a bunch of thieves traveling together.

We had a network in our town to warn other businesses if gypsies came around. The cops knew about them, and so did all of the restaraunts and hotel/motels. And they are distint enough in their manners and looks that you can basicly tell gypsies on sight.

Believe me, these people may not travel in horse-drawn caravans anymore, but they do exist. And there is nothing romantic about them.

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Dizzy

You people have been holding me back long enough! I'm going to clown college!
  #9  
Old 01-10-2000, 09:35 AM
David B David B is offline
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Uglytruth said:
Quote:
If these were gypsies, they would be south Asian in appearence
What?! Actually, after Gypsies commit crimes, they are most often described as "Hispanic" by their victims, who don't know better. They certainly are not "south Asian in appearance."
Quote:
I do not think too many gyspies live in the US. Either these were Irish-origin travellors, or just groups of white trash.
Actually, a fair number of Gyspies live in the US, although they tend to stick together in specific locations. In other words, there are many at all in some parts of the US, and quite a lot in others. Yes, another group that is similar in terms of perpetration of certain types of crimes are Travellers, but that doesn't exclude one or the other.
  #10  
Old 01-10-2000, 07:07 PM
elelle elelle is offline
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The group shown on the Dateline segment was said to be from Eastern Europe. Until the leaders of the group fled the US, they operated out of Skokie, Illinois.

The footage shown, from store surveillance cams, was pretty amazing. These people were well organized and quick. Most of the participants were women, wearing long, full skirts. One robbery involved two women raising and waving their skirts to distract a store employee. Pretty weird.
  #11  
Old 01-10-2000, 07:38 PM
andros andros is offline
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The Romany (or Romani, or Roma, or Gypsies) are members of a distinct ethnic group who have been reviled and vilified for ages. Over a million were killed in Hitler's pogroms (thought it was all Jews, huh?), though he was hardly the first to want the Gypsies dead. They are originally of Eastern European origin, although they have spread across the world. There are quite a number in the States and Canada.

As Jews have gotten a reputation for being misers and bankers, so have the Romany gotten a reputation for theft and graft (and stealing babies, yadda yadda). One of the main differences between the two groups, however, is the Romany nomadic tradition. For the Romany, family is of the utmost importance, and ownership of property is an illusion.

Instead of staying in one place to eventually become accepted (as did many Jews in medieval Europe), the Roma have always travelled in their companies (kumpania), and as such never had a chance to become accepted in any communities. Survival became a watchword--when all are against you, you do whatever is necessary to survive. That includes larceny, deceit, and con. At the same time, they are by and large a very spiritual and religious people, often adopting the dominiant religion of their adopted countries, especially Chistianity and Islam, while maintianing many traditional animistic and "pagan" elements (which also have never endeared them to the mainstream).

I could yap for ages, but I'll provide links instead:

A page with a great deal of info on Romany culture and personal anecdote: www.geocities.com/~patrin/patrin.htm
An essay by the Czech Helsinki Committee on the disposition and situation of Romany in the Czech Republic: www.helcom.cz/en/zprava98/3_1.htm
A brief essay on Romany language from Radio Prague: www.radio.cz/romove/lang.html
A description of the Romany population of Finland (from the state-written Finnish information site): www.finland.fi/finfo/english/minorit4.html
A decent examination of Romany religious beliefs from ReligiousTolerance.org: http://www.religioustolerance.org/roma.htm

For the sci-fi inclined, I'd highly recommend Bob Silverberg's Star of Gypsies, an extremely well-researched and very enjoyable novel.

-andros-
  #12  
Old 01-10-2000, 08:51 PM
dasmoocher dasmoocher is offline
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Sorry, I haven't got back to this sooner after the OP.

RobRoy-"like most racists blah blah blah…"

Thanks, I knew somebody was going to post this. Sounds like a blanket statement similar to the one that you feel I made. Not that I want to defend racists or want to sound like one. FWIW, to me, "gypsies" connotes these scam artists, not some particular ethic group. As Lynn mentioned, maybe "Travelers" would have been a better term to use.

Hmm… WHITE TRASH, yep, you're right, these are the people that pulled this shit. I guess the fact that they looked "ethnic", threw me. Believe me, we had plenty of "whitetrash" at this place

I'm going to watch "Pinochio" now to redeem myself.
  #13  
Old 01-10-2000, 09:10 PM
voguevixen voguevixen is offline
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I think in this instance we're (the OP and myself) talking about groups of family scam artists genericly known as "gypsies" although they are of no particular ethnic descent -- Much in the way that all adhesive bandages are collectively known as "Band-Aids." I have a caucasian friend who has dodgey relatives whom she refers to as "gypsies" because they're always trying to scam people by adding zeros to checks or pulling the con where they claim to re-tar a driveway but really just paint it black, etc.

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  #14  
Old 01-10-2000, 10:12 PM
andros andros is offline
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Ah, I see. Well, since this is the Pit, Voguevixen, please don't take too much offense when I ask if your friend also refers to her lazy relatives as beaners or her stupid ones as niggers?
  #15  
Old 01-10-2000, 10:15 PM
andros andros is offline
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Quote:
FWIW, to me, "gypsies" connotes these scam artists, not some particular ethic group.
Hey, I could say that to me, "647" connotes "rude fucker," but that wouldn't make it true, now would it?
  #16  
Old 01-10-2000, 10:36 PM
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Andros -- flaming aside, yer first post is right on the money but fer one detail -- the Gypsies are generally thought to have migrated originally from India to Eastern Europe, among other places. Also, "Romany' is a language. 'Romanian' (or 'Romani') is a nationality.

Anyway, the picking of nits aside -- solid post sir.


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  #17  
Old 01-10-2000, 11:15 PM
dasmoocher dasmoocher is offline
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Andros-maybe, it depends on what you sister sez. Sorry, I never called her afterwards, or was it your mom? I wasn't sure whether my OP was Pit material, but I thought I'd get the racist response.
Sounds like you're a Romany defender, not there's something wrong with that. And maybe it's justified (your definition of "gypsy" is obviously different from mine). I admit I haven't checked your links. Tell us what's the difference. I though it was obvious (even from my OP) that what others and I were referring to weren't necessarily Romany "gypsies". So what do you call these scam-artists in America; or, do they even exist? How would you define the people that have been described, since they're not "gypsies"?

"American travelers"? Who are they and where do they come from?
  #18  
Old 01-11-2000, 12:41 AM
andros andros is offline
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C&W: Thanks for your accolade, and for the India connection-correction. Although if we're picking nits, my dictionary lists "gypsy" as the first definition of "romany." Part of the problem with identifying an ethnic group as widespread as the gypsies is the divergence of language. I used Romany to make sure my usage wasn't confused with Romanian citizens.

And speaking of dictionaries . . . 647, the first definition of "gypsy" reads: "a member of a wandering Caucasian people with dark skin and black hair." The second definition refers to the language spoken by above. The third is "a person whose appearance or habits are like those of a gypsy." (Webster's New World Dictionary).

That's my definition. The last one certainly lends a bit of leeway, but it does not say "one who acts like a stereotype of a gypsy."

I don't remember calling you a racist. I was only seeking to clarify terms. The people in your OP may very well have been gypsy.
Quote:
I though it was obvious (even from my OP) that what others and I were referring to weren't necessarily Romany "gypsies".
Not really. You gave no indication one way or the other. Vogue did, so I figured she wasn't talking about a particular ethnic group. But I sure couldn't tell from your OP.

If you were, you're making an reasonably undersandable generalization of an entire people If your only experience with hispanics is a guy pointing a gun at you, for example, you might well assume that all hispanics point guns at people. You'd be wrong, of course, but it's at least understandable.

OTOH, if you aren't referring to the Rom when you use the term "gypsy", you're using an ethnic descriptor as an epithet. (I used to know a waiter who described anyone who didn't tip well as a "nigger," based on her perceived idea that african-americans were poor tippers. Go fig.) And that's all I wanted to point out. Once again, I really don't think I called you a racist.

Some Rom do act the way you described, especially in the US. I remember an extended family in Utah who ran a huge hot electronics ring. But you asked why? For the "real" gypsies, centuries of persecution and a desperate desire to get as much as they can from a hostile world. That work?

I'm not saying it's right, or justified.
Quote:
How would you define the people that have been described[?]
"Assholes" comes to mind. So does "rude pieces of shit." Regardless of their race, creed, color, or penis shape. If they're Rom, I understand why they act that way. If they aren't, I don't. Either way they're fucking losers who should be permanently banned from the store.


Oh, and my sister says "hi, Floppy." Why'd she call you that?

-andros-
  #19  
Old 01-11-2000, 02:01 AM
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Obviously the problem of how to define these people and their language is not limited to common usage -- the 'Romany' v. 'Romani' problem invades every source available, and probably stems from parallel pronunciation.

In purely linguistic terms, the 'Romany' language ended up being defined largely by default and out of frustration-- the 'Romani' have been a nomadic people throughout their history, and their language is a fascinating hybrid of influences that defies easy catagorization.

Pardon the pedantics, and please allow an old purist his sins . . .

But David B probably described the perception problem the best -- the 'Gypsies', or 'Romani' if ye will, exist in substantial numbers in the U.S., and it is no more 'racist' to describe them in terms of their heritage than fer me to self-describe as a 'Scotsman' or for anyone to describe their neighbor as 'African-American'. They are who they are.

To characterize them, as a people, in terms that limit yer perception of them to criminals and con-artists, on the other hand, is a problem. They've been nomads fer quite a few generations, after all, and might have a thing or two to say about yer own smug ideas about life . . .


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  #20  
Old 01-11-2000, 11:24 PM
courbet courbet is offline
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Hi, all! I feel as if I am walking into the proverbial "snake pit", but I feel as if I have to say a few words here (virtually speaking, of course).

I am Rom (Gypsy). Are any of you? If you are, then you should have spoken up earlier. Among Roma today, there are medical doctors, university professors, scientists, lawyers, law enforcement officers, public officials (voted into office), and many other professions who "hide" their ethnicity in public in order to earn a livelihood, yet maintain "Romaniya" in private and are well respected members of the Roma (Gypsy) community. They are respectable, law-abiding members of the communities in which they live. Yes, Roma do live in houses, and not all travel in wagons or "caravans." Of the worldwide population of Roma, it is estimated that 95 percent are sedentary.

Of course, there are others who choose to do wrong. But I ask, what ethnic group, Euro-American, African-American, Hispanic-American, Asian-American, etc., can claim that their ethnic group commits no crime, no acts of deceit, no infractions against the law? There is good and bad in every social group, every one of us. In America, if one is not Euro-American ("white" American) he or she is easily targeted or scrutinized to live up to the Euro-American's expectations of how one should act or display themselves in public.

Someone earlier mentioned a "blanket." Do not throw a blanket over all Roma (Gypsies). Remember the old adage (paraphrasing from memory), "Do not throw stones if you live in a glass house."

I have received all sorts of verbal, physical, and "electronic" threats because of who I am, and what I am perceived to be. One must have a thick skin to survive, and my skin is thicker than others.

To you who have earlier chosen to "blanket" a minority from a few encounters you may have had, and do not call yourselves racists or bigots, I say that you are not honest with everyone else here, and particularly yourselves.

Roma are Gypsies, but not all "Gypsies" are Roma. This should be a good guideline to follow if you do consider yourselves, indeed, fair-minded.

If you would like to learn more about Roma (Gypsies), please visit http://www.patrin.com

Awaiting your flames with thick and blistering skin, Marko Courbet.

P.S. Thank you, andros, for your words of support (in an earlier post), but you have an uphill battle ahead of you!
  #21  
Old 01-11-2000, 11:30 PM
voguevixen voguevixen is offline
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Andros, why are you ragging on me for how my friend acts? Besides, the question is why they act like that, not what is the politically correct term for them. And what the hell is a beaner?

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Homer: "Fun, too!"
  #22  
Old 01-11-2000, 11:48 PM
andros andros is offline
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I'm not "ragging on you for how [your] friend acts." I don't give a shit how your friend acts or what (s)he says. However, you used your friend as an example of your own point, and I hardly think you have any room to backtrack with the weak justification "well, I didn't say that, I was only repeating it."

Funny how "politically correct" has turned into the epithet du jour, huh? When you can't manage to justify your own point you attempt to dismiss mine by telling me I'm just being PC. Cute.

Nevertheless, I didn't want to call anyone a racist. Again, I only wanted to make sure everyone's terms were defined. Call an asshole an asshole, but I don't know that these assholes are in any sense "gypsies." 'Nuff said?

Salishan, Marko, welcome aboard. Being as how this is the Pit and all, I'm being much more abusive than is my wont, but in General Questions and Great Debates we're all a fairly civilized bunch. . .

-andros-
  #23  
Old 01-12-2000, 10:44 PM
dasmoocher dasmoocher is offline
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You know what, I think my use of the term "gypsy" was off base. "Travelers" might have been better. I used it in the spur of the moment right after seeing the Dateline segment. Just as I wouldn't assume all blacks are crack dealers or professional athletes or whatever, or that any ethnic/minority group fills some bill, I think my definition of "gypsies" as scam artists needs some rethought.

I had always thought of "gypsies" as these scam artists and not some specific ethnic group. People obviously disagree with my definition. Since "gypsy" turns out to be a specific group with which people claim heritage, I can't disparage an entire ethnic group.

I still hate these fuckers that pulled the shit I described, but it's unfair to lump all "gypsies" into a general ethnic category. Scammers come in all shapes and sizes and colors.

Courbet-I was unfair. Thanks for the insight.

Andros-I never thought that you called me a racist, I was referring to an earlier post regarding my OP. And, you made some good points. But I said "'gypsies' for lack of a better term" with quotes for me meaning the uncertainty. Small comfort for someone that's been slighted.

Andros-since it's the Pit--your sister calls me Floppy because my dick hangs between my knees and she's not hot enough to get it hard.;-)
  #24  
Old 01-13-2000, 12:05 AM
Johnny Angel Johnny Angel is offline
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courbet
Quote:
Someone earlier mentioned a "blanket." Do not throw a blanket over all Roma (Gypsies).
I appreciate the sentiment you express here, and I would ask that if you believe as you say, please reciprocate and do not hasten to throw the blanket of `racism' over others.

The issue of the Gypsies is a delicate one in our racially sensitive culture. Whether or not the reputation of the Gypsies of history is deserved, there are many Gypsies living today who don't deserve it and would very much like not to be branded as thieves or con artists any more than an Itallian-American would want to be branded as a mafioso simply by virtue of being Italian.

But just as I don't mean to indite all Italians when I say that there is undeniably such a thing as a uniquely Italian criminal subculture, I also don't mean to indite the entire race of Gypsies when I say that there is, beyond a shadow of a doubt, such a thing as a uniquely Gypsy criminal subculture with charistic language and modi operandi which has not only existed for many years but which has been active among and influential with the criminal subcultures of all the locations and ethnicities with which it has come in contact.

Jan Yoors, who ran away from home as a child and was accepted among Gypsies in the thirties and who witnessed their persecution under the Nazis, extols the virtues of this fascinating culture but does not flinch from the fact the company he was with practiced thievery and swindling as a way of life, and that although they were persecuted, their taking ways were not motivated by a reaction to the persecution they recieved but by the belief among the Gypsies that non-Gypsies were not quite human. And although not all Gypsies practiced it to the extent that the band that took him in did, it was not frowned upon.

Marko Courbet, don't misunderstand me. We, the Gadje, have been intensely curious about the Rom for centuries. But the Rom have been secretive about their own culture for a long time, distrustful of outsiders. Nearly all knowledge we have of your culture comes from contact with its raconteurs. Clearly, the web page you mentioned shows that this is changing. And with more knowledge will come different attitudes. Please feel free to speak for your people to whatever extent one man can speak for his people. But don't dismiss the attitudes born of centuries in which we did not and could not know your people beyond the predators among you as mere racism. And of the true racism that you have no doubt suffered, please don't throw that blanket over all of us.
  #25  
Old 01-15-2000, 09:43 AM
David B David B is offline
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Speaking of Gypsy scams, check out this Chicago Tribune article: http://www.chicago.tribune.com/news/...-40639,FF.html

(Hope that works ok)

Two women were arrested for pulling a classic psychic scam. Their last name, "Bimbo" is one of the main criminal Gypsy clans in the U.S.

As the article notes: "Wiberg said some con artists are part of a group the Chicago Crime Commission classifies as Eastern European Organized Criminal Travelers, which traces its roots to Poland, Romania and Yugoslavia and has been investigated for other con games, such as accident fraud and home-repair scams."
  #26  
Old 01-17-2000, 05:03 PM
Pontificator Pontificator is offline
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In Ireland, they are called "Tinkers". The name is derived from their skill in doing minor metal repair work. For instance, a group will descend on a village and go door to door, asking if the Missus needs any pots and pans repaied. If so, they take the pot/pan to their vehicle (it used to be a horse drawn caravan), and fix it by riveting a dam over the hole. It usually gives way after a while, which brought about the term "Not worth a Tinkers dam." While all this is going on in the front of the house, the women are ransacking all they can from clothelines, etc. in the rear of the house.

Ethnically, they do look Irish. Most very fair, blondes and redheads.

In this country, they have been in trouble in Dallas recently, buying trucks with little down, and an forged ID card and SS # of someone who has good credit.

They also follow Circus's, and work them. Some do minor auto body work in your driveway.
  #27  
Old 01-17-2000, 08:13 PM
AuntiePam AuntiePam is offline
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I've always rooted for the underdog and was just laughing my ass off reading about these scams.

But then it's been awhile since I've worked in a restaurant and I don't have to clean up after people unrelated to me anymore.

But part of me wants to cheer these folks on -- damn!

I mean, Sears (a good retail example) grossly over-prices its plastic clothes (do NOT light a match anywhere near the ladies' department) and what about those shoddy Craftsman tools (shame on Bob Vila) -- they can afford to give over a power screwdriver or replace a polyester bathrobe once in awhile.

I suppose I should feel sympathy for any gypsies or Rom folk who think they have an image problem and who cringe when these news accounts pop up.

But I can't fault them. They're a very small group of people in a big, unfriendly country, and they're steadfastly maintaining a way of life. They're holding on, not giving in, doing it their way.

Obnoxious, sure. Illegal? Yep. But hey, if I'm stupid enough to pay money in advance to someone I don't know to asphalt my driveway and I get black paint instead, it's MY fault.


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Not being specialists on bear's dicks, none of us responded. We didn't want to look like fools. Joe Lansdale
  #28  
Old 01-17-2000, 10:43 PM
David B David B is offline
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Well, heck, in that case we ought to just get rid of all fraud laws. I mean, it's obviously all people who are too stupid to live anyway.
  #29  
Old 01-18-2000, 05:31 PM
AuntiePam AuntiePam is offline
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David -- that'd be a good topic for another thread. How much time, effort, money and other resources go into protecting us from our own stupidity and greed?

Too many people fall for pyramid schemes, bank drop fraud and other scams where they think they're getting something for little or nothing, then go crying to the BBB or the police when they lose their money.

I know what these folks are doing isn't right, but like I said, I root for the underdog.

Now if they were gonna shakedown my mom, I'm sure I'd feel differently.
  #30  
Old 01-18-2000, 08:26 PM
David B David B is offline
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Precisely. Many of the people they rip off are the elderly -- the woman who can't see very well and notice that the driveway is just being painted black or the roof hasn't really had any work done. These people aren't stupid, just vulnerable. Ok, some of 'em are stupid, too, but that's still not an excuse to commit crimes against them.
  #31  
Old 01-19-2000, 01:26 AM
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Well, I suppose it's encouraging that we've moved on from 'gypsies' in particular to scam artists in general.

One of my current favorites is painting sub-contractors who low-bid the job, then batch their latex paint 50/50 with water. Thanks to the largesse of the local court, I am now the proud owner of one of these concerns.

Anyone want to buy a 1983 Chevy van in three colors of primer, four bent ladders, two thrashed out air compressors, and a handfull of clogged spray guns? I'll be happy to let the whole thing go fer a case of decent ale . . .

Dr. Watson
"We live, we learn, then we learn some more."
  #32  
Old 02-14-2000, 08:54 PM
foolsguinea foolsguinea is offline
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I have heard "gypsy" used to describe a nomadic lifestyle without implying that the people were Rom. It's entered the language that way. "Bugger" (not booger) supposedly comes from a reference to Bulgarians, as bizarre as that sounds, and there are "Indian summers", "French kisses", and "English muffins" that never saw India, France, nor England. Oh well. I call tramps, wanderers, and scammers what they are, if I can. I call ethnic gypsies "Rom"; it's their own name, and they're not Egyptian anyway.
By the way, people who don't tip well are "niggards", not "niggers". It's a real English word, meaning "people who give lousy tips." REALLY.

------------------
A new world order has been formed/between the cheque book and the dawn/A new renaissance man is born"
Jim Moginie/Peter Garrett/Martin Rotsey(Midnight Oil), "Renaissance Man"
  #33  
Old 02-14-2000, 09:00 PM
Ringo Ringo is offline
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Weird.

As I look at this thread (8:45 PM, 2/14/00) it is at the top of the BBQ pit with the last post showing being that of Crick&Watson from 1/19/00.
  #34  
Old 02-16-2000, 07:12 PM
Lynn Bodoni Lynn Bodoni is offline
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Beatle, you need to refresh your screen. Your server is displaying a cached page, that's all.

Of course, you probably won't see this til you get a current page, not a cached one.



------------------
Lynn

If it's helpful, I'll compare everyone to Hitler so we can get this
over with as soon as possible.
  #35  
Old 06-03-2010, 04:09 AM
Galina Trefil Galina Trefil is offline
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I am Romani. My father is a doctor who was in practice for over 30 years before he retired. He helped co-found a clinic giving free treatment to the poor. He was an assistant college professor. My uncle is a world-known physicist. My family has several published authors and other professional sorts, including an assistant district attorney, a surgeon, and two other college professors.

If you want to debate what Romani people look like, I'd like to inform you that most of you are wrong. We are of Northern Indian descent and largely--and predictably--look like Indians who have somewhat mixed with Caucasian DNA. Some look like they are complete Indians and others can be blond-haired and blue-eyed, depending on how much is in their genetic makeup. The bottom line is YOU CAN'T TELL what we are by looking at us.

Any hippie can put on a long skirt and hoop earrings and I've run into plenty who like to immitate what they think being a "Gypsy" is. It's usually these immitators that bring so much embarrassment to us. For example, one fellow I knew who liked to pretend he was a Rom would steal things and leave a note, "Stolen by the Gypsies...." This sort of bad behavior is very common and, if people actually spoke to us, rather than just about us, so much they would know what our cultural norms are and are not.

One thing is for certain though.... A good half of the stuff that I see written about my people on this site would never be tolerated in mainstream America if the racism were directed at nearly every other minority group.

The only reason my family came to this country was to escape racial murder in the first place. Those who stayed behind, thirty years later, almost all were slaughtered down to the last child. We had 1.5 million killed in the Holocaust. Our land has never been returned. Our funds from our bank accounts hasn't been either. Before that genocide, my family were slaves, like half the Romani population were slaves, in Eastern Europe because we had blacksmithing and metalworking technology that the Europeans needed to protect themselves from Turkish invasion.

Today we have no justice. Pogroms still happen in Europe and the press never bothers to write about it. Our women and children are still forcedly sterilized without their knowledge. In hospitals, we are told that we gave birth to stillborns so that the we don't notice when our children are trafficked by governments who sell them into the international sex slave trade.

I myself was a victim of a hate crime because of my heritage and knew at the time and still do know that, in America, which has not ever once prosecuted violence against us as a hate crime, that if the reason for the attack--my heritage alone--was known to police, they would throw the case out automatically.

The bottom line is this. Don't romanticize us. Don't villainize us. Don't think that we live inside a crystal ball and are just aching to do nothing more than sit around and tell yet another boring twit their fortune. A lot of what I've read in this page about hating us doesn't sound that far a cry from the mind-set the people who murdered my family were in. Ask yourself: do you want to speak like a human being...or speak like Hitler?
  #36  
Old 06-03-2010, 04:38 AM
Indistinguishable Indistinguishable is offline
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Just so you know, you're responding to a thread from more than ten years ago.

Last edited by Indistinguishable; 06-03-2010 at 04:38 AM..
  #37  
Old 06-03-2010, 04:44 AM
BigT BigT is offline
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Um, the racism was in like one or two posts, and was swiftly corrected.
  #38  
Old 06-03-2010, 07:39 AM
Gfactor Gfactor is offline
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Moderator Note

Putting this zombie out of its misery.
  #39  
Old 06-03-2010, 05:10 PM
Gfactor Gfactor is offline
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Posts: 9,491
Moderator Note

Welcome to the Straight Dope, Galina Trefil. I probably should have explained myself a little better when I closed this thread. This thread is ten years old. We call older threads, zombies, because the discussion was dead and now has been revived. It's fine for you to start a new thread on this topic if you wish to discuss it. If you think it's relevant, you can post a link to this thread in the thread that you start.

Gfactor
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Closed Thread

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