Here’s a big Tattler thank you to Venus for posting this photo at my Facebook page. It reminds us who and what to look out for on the old CTA shell game. I will let Venus tell the story, since she did it so well:
WARNING – CTA RIDERS! It’s called the old “Shell Game,” a prehistoric hustle still alive and kicking on the CTA.
The “Hustler” pulls out a flat board with either three cards or three bottle caps. He moves them around and asks you to find the cap with something under it, or the odd playing card. He makes it seem easy, like you have a fair chance.
He plays the game with the “Plant.” They act like they don’t know each other. He finally “convinces” her to gamble and she “wins” some money.
The “Lookout” either sits quietly, scanning the car to make sure there are no cops, or he joins in the conversation, encouraging people to play because it will be “easy money.”
THEY ARE PREDATORS, taking advantage of anyone who might be vulnerable to their game.
When I took this picture they packed up the “game” and simply moved to another car, acting like they didn’t know each other and starting the hustle all over again.
If you see them, DON’T PLAY and call the conductor and tell him there are hustlers on the train. THE ARE CRIMINALS. – p.s. If I’m killed on the CTA it will probably be by these folks. I’ve called them out on their “game” more than once and they don’t like me much.