Sunday, October 23, 2011

A word of advice to the lady doing the yogi

Okay, let's say you're doing the yogi in a rest area. You spot a potential mark -- some dude driving a dirty Jeep with what looks like half his possessions in plastic bags in the back. So you go up to him and apologetically say "I hate to bother you, but my car is out of gas... it's that brown car over there..."

At that point, SHUT UP. Let the mark think helping you out is HIS idea. Especially if it's a guy in a Jeep, Jeepers are notoriously generous and usually are carrying at least 5 gallons of gas on them in that red can that's on the back of their Jeep, so if you really ARE needing gas, you're likely to get a significant bunch of gas. If the next words out of your mouth are, "do you have some money I could buy gas with?", the next words out of *his* mouth are going to be, "I see", and he's going to shut his door, start his engine, and drive away. Because, look. You're in a rest area. Not in a truck stop. There is no place in a rest area to buy gas. Duh. Jeepers may be generous, but they're not idiots. Just sayin' :).

-- Badtux the Not-THAT-stupid Penguin


  1. "Doing the yogi?" Never heard THAT expression before, any idea of derivation?


  2. It's a panhandling technique originally defined by Pacific Crest Trail "trail trash", generally younger men who stay out on the trail without resupply by begging food and fuel and other necessities from folks at campgrounds along the way. The derivation is from the Yogi Bear show, where Yogi begs food from the tourists.

    The difference between doing the Yogi and just straight panhandling is that if you're doing the Yogi, you do *not* ask for cash, you make it known that you need some necessity and try to find a sympathetic person who might have an excess and wish to provide such a necessity. If you need fuel to move on, for example, Jeepers are an easy mark because their vehicles are so fuel-hungry that a few gallons of fuel out of their budget isn't a big deal and many times they already have a gas can full of fuel onboard. If you ask for cash, you're doing it wrong. But if you do the Yogi right with the appropriate persona and the right story, you are likely to get cash at the end anyhow, you just have to work the mark into thinking it's his idea.

    But anyhow, don't mix straight panhandling with the Yogi. If you make a blatant panhandling request, you spoil the Yogi.

    And that's the end of this session of Panhandling 101 :).

    - Badtux the Not-panhandling Penguin
    (*) But who observes their techniques, just in case.

  3. OMG. "Doing the Yogi" I have never heard that term before but I think my brother was a natural at it when we were kids. I can still see him working my grandmother at the local K Mart with his big eyes and sighs and sweet little "oh, that matchbox car is so wonderful" ;) He never asked for it but he always got it.

  4. Also, when I first read this post, I misread "yogi" and thought you said "yoga" so I had this weird picture in my mind of a lady in a leotard doing poses in a reststop while panhandling. I clearly need to stop getting 1/2 decaf coffee in the morning.

  5. "Doing the yogi" is not exactly what I envisioned. Guess I should get my mind out of the gutter.

  6. Anyone wants to do the yogi, just check with my wife first, mK?


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