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Monday, February 18, 2008


The Raptor was a savage prehistoric beast that hunted in packs. Typically, the Raptor would send out a scout to distract the prey. The prey would wearily watch the scout Raptor. Meanwhile, his Raptor buddies would close in on the flanks. Then they pounced with deadly quickness.

This shameful technique is employed by gypmeisters throughout this burg. Atavistic impulse. Avarice. Downright deviousness. A gypmeister is a throwback to savage times. I've peeped them using the Raptor technique so many times I lost count. And before you whine, “LOL Larry! If you see it all the time why don't you just stop it!” I'll just say this: This burg is bursting with muckers and suckers and I just do my small part. If it happens my immediate vicinity is a safer one, then I consider my job done.

What I'm about to describe are variations of the Gypmeister Raptor Con. They went down right before my unbelieving eyes. How birds fall for this is beyond me. Let these true stories serve as warnings to all tourists.


This is one of the most cunning Raptor methods I have ever seen. I have yet to stop it in action. For it is as rare as it is brilliant.

I was fumigating my brains with a Ducado one night in the lower Ramblas. Outside a French bar called Pastis. This area is notorious for the high density of so-called chicas con sorpresa. Trannies in modern American parlance. What I saw was shocking.

A large whale of a tranny had planted himself in front of the bar. He was even fatter than me, and I'm a big guy. But it looked like he had two watermelons stuffed in the top of his dress. The damn things were so big they had their own gravtiational field!

This young blonde kraut came tumbling out the bar, completely soused. When he regained his balance and looked ahead, he went slack-jawed. The tranny just in front of the bar was flashing his massive boobs and making lewd sucking noises with his mouth. The young kraut was momentarily stunned by the sight of this lard can with boobs. Taking advantage of the young kraut's distraction, the tranny's friends swarmed in from the sides and fleeced him but good. The trannies were off around the corner before the young kraut realized that they had ganked his wallet.

Back when I was sailing this mudball I saw a similar thing in Cartagena. Though not a Raptor Con, it is worth mentioning. Goodlooking dames would sashay along the avenues and approach fellows. They would bare their breasts to the fellows and allow them to lick them. The suckers, of course, were more than happy to lick their charms.

What they didn't know was the dames had dissolved powerful narcotic pills in water and rubbed their breasts with it. Licking their charms would cause the suckers to fall into a stupor. The suckers woke up with their wallets, their cars, sometimes even their pants missing.

Fellows. Just remember one sure way to avoid the Attraction as a Distraction. A goodlooking dame needs to be wined and dined before you can even think of fooling around with her charms.


This is a fairly common gypmeister technique. It is both sinister and simple, and it is effectively used throughout the centric neighborhood. The yeggs are wise to me now, so they never do it in my presence. But this is what I saw one time.

A charming Jap tourist couple were enjoying a coffee in front of café Zurich on Plaça Catalunya. Just enjoying their trip to the Catalonian capital. Enjoying what they bought with their hard-earned yens. They were cautious. Had their video camera bag looped around the foot of the chair. Little did they know their vacay plans were about to go blooey.

A member of the Track Suit Mafia brazenly approached them. He had some maps of Barcelona and he began fanning them. I was at the bar inside so I couldn't hear his patter – but no doubt he was trying to “sell” them a map.

The fanning motion of the maps and the irritating patter of the map vendor distracted the couple. They refused to by his map, just as expected. But with lightning speed two other members of the Track Suit Mafia came up and “grappled and slashed” their camera.

The map vendor walked away dejectedly. The tourist couple were glad to be rid of this pest. Then they noticed the strap to their video camera dangling. It had been razored. The map vendor had disappeared and he and his pals were one video camera richer.

Don't get Rand-McNallied. There is no such thing as wandering map vendors. When you see one, you can be sure his buddies are close by, waiting for their chance to “grapple & slash”.


This dastardly gypmeister raptor technique involves tourists in cars. Tourists in cars are easy to spot. Erratic driving. Long pauses at street corners to read street signs. Maps unfurled in the passenger seat. Any number of signs will blow their cover. Especially stickers on the car that make it an obvious rental. This is what I saw happen to a guy in a “Pepe” rent-a-car – easily the most obvious rental car on the market because it says “Pepe” really big on the side of the car.

I was in this joint near Plaça Universitat. Wolfing down a plato combinado with some lousy wine. What they call around here corrupción gastronómica. From my vantage point at the bar I could see the intersection outside through the window.

The light just turned red and a “Pepe” rent-a-car pulled up to the crosswalk and waited. One lone fellow was in it. An obvious forastero.

This is the real yarn of what happened next, even if it sounds improbable. I was scarfing down a mouthful of horsemeat and fries when I saw a gypmeister pounding on the car's rear side window. His arms were a flurry of gesticulations. Pointing to the rear tire on the opposite side of the driver, which was flat.

The the light turned green and the driver pulled ahead slowly, rolling on the rims of his tire. He parked and joined the gypmeister who “kindly” told him about his flat tire.

What happened next was duck soup for a gypmeister. While the tourist was inspecting his tire with Gypmeister #1, Gypmeister #2 opened the driver's side door and ganked everything in sight. It was unbelievably fast. I barely had time to shoot down some vino sin pedigree. I ran out of the bar and yelled, “They're in your car!” Gypmeister #2 was off running. The tourist first looked at me, then at Gypmeister #2 scattering off, then at Gypmeister #1 who scattered off in the opposite direction.

I approached him and told him he had just fallen victim to the Tire Pinch, a variation of the Gypmeister Raptor Con. Gypmeister #1 had slashed his tire when he stopped the car. With the pretense of helping him out, he tricked the tourist into pulling over and getting out so his gypmeisting pal could rifle through his goods. The gypmeisters had stolen his overnight bag. His passport, credit cards, everything. I gave the poor tourist some scratch so he could buy some hooch to sooth his pain. That's all I could do.

These are just three variations of the Raptor Con. There are endless possibilities. These dirty rats always got something on the fire. Their craftiness knows no ethical bounds, and their brazenness is shocking. Just keep your eyes peeled and these plundering pikers won't have a chance.