I drove to a run-down house on the outskirts of town to sell my old bass guitar that I hadn’t picked up in years. I was asking $20. Knocked on the door and the man’s wife answers, lets me in, eyes me up. The man hands me a five dollar bill and some coins. “Here’s twenty,” he says. I look at the handful of change and see some $2 coins, figure it looks about right. As I walk out the front door and begin to count the coins, I realize the $2 coins were actually $1 coins and I had far far less than the measly $20 I had been asking. As the door is still closing behind me, I let myself back in and confront the man. He refuses to come clean, says I could have switched up the coins. I had hardly gotten out the door yet, I said, but he remained stubborn. I left, and as I walked down the front steps of the house, I looked around at the dusty gravel pit of a yard thinking to myself “I should have expected this much from a man who lives in a house like this.” My younger sister and my mother were both there, having come along for the ride. They were not surprised at what happened.

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