Texas Liberal

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Should A Sucker Be Given An Even Break?


P.T Barnum once said “Never give a sucker an even break.”

(Here is a link to the Barnum Museum in Bridgeport, Connecticut.)

Is this a correct assertion of how a sucker should be treated?

Let’s consider the case of this blogger as the sucker at the Men’s Wearhouse.

I needed a tuxedo to attend the annual Black Tie Gala of the United Negro College Fund.

My wife said go get a basic tuxedo and whatever you do, don’t get a tuxedo with tails.

I went to the store.  I did not want to be there. I just wanted to get measured for the thing and go home.

I told the man at the store that I wanted the most basic generic tuxedo he had in stock.

He did not offer a suggestion. He did not say much at all. He just handed me a book of pictures of tuxedos.

I just wanted out of that place. I picked a tuxedo I thought was okay.

It cost $120. As it turned out, this was near the top of the range for tuxedos at the Men’s Wearhouse.

And it had tails.

Though I did see one other man at that dinner wearing tails.

My wife simply shook her head at me.   

The guy at the Men’s Wearhouse knew I rarely rent formal wear and I just wanted to be done with it all.  How hard is it to guess that a man in a clothing store wants to make the shopping as brief as possible?   

I’m pretty sure that if situation had been reversed I would have helped the customer out.

Let me be clear—This was my fault. I was not paying attention to what I was doing.

But I’d been up-front in stating what I wanted and this guy let me walk out of there with an order for a tuxedo with tails as if I was going to dinner with the Queen of England. 

Should a sucker be given an even break?

I think he or she should be given an even break.

While I have a measure of admiration for the successful huckster in a rough world, it is not good to take advantage of people even if they are making it easy for you to do so.

Life is already hard enough without always being on the lookout for an easy mark.  

December 12, 2007 Posted by | Houston, Uncategorized | , , , , | 9 Comments