Recently I was researching an article for a woman’s magazine, whose considerate editor had already entitled it—Con-Men: Their Games And Their NAMES—aiming, with the final emphasis for a bit of the old exposé mileage no doubt. I had assumed in front that, through editorial pressures, it might gradually get bent into the usual hacksville tom-foolery—a rehash of classic and clichéd hustles … and, for the most part, so it proved to be. Most, yes, but not all, for there was one conspicuous exception, and it was deleted, totally, from the piece—“because of,” in the head-back closed-eyed words of the senior blue-coiffed lady-editor, “certain elements in the narrative which are simply too, how shall I say, er, uh, gross for our general readership.”

I was really quite surprised. A prevalent real-life hustle “too gross” to be exposed? What a curious age we live in.

In my research I used a small unobtrusive Sony-600, obtaining verbatim recordings of every conversation. The following is the one which was deleted from the piece, and is, I submit, among the most intriguing (albeit outrageous) deceptions presently in vogue, in the U.S. of A.