February 17th, 2007

On The Grift

Talking with The Iceman tonight I realized that the words "grift" and "grifter" do not exist in British English.

I did my best to explain the concept and why a grift is different than a con. The main difference, to my mind, is that at the end of a grift the person who has been grifted doesn't know he or she has been ripped off. While at the end of a con, the point is to not only get something over on the person, but to revel in them knowing they've been gotten over.

When asked for an example of a grift I used the old "Bar Room 20." That's when you go into a bar and order a beer or two and lay a $20 bill on the table where the barkeep can see it. Then, while he's pouring the pints you take the $20 away and replace it with a $1. More often than not, if the bar is busy, the barkeep will take your $1 bill and give you change for a $20, so you net one or two pints and change of a $20.

Anyone else have any good examples of a grift?