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A Most Unusual Panhandling Scam

This subway beggar can't be for real.

Who can possibly be too lazy to panhandle? This guy.

Saying anything more would be a spoiler, so I'll just mention that in the pantheon of begging gimmicks – from San Francisco's World Famous Bushman to that awful woman in Manhattan who pretended to have a spinal deformity – this one is so surreal that I am 75 percent sure that it's a fake. So if you're a film student or comedy troupe who made this video, own up to it now.

And if it is real, and the guy who's doing this in Russia is reading, be aware that you're an awful person. Ingenious, but still awful.

About the Author

  • John Metcalfe
    John Metcalfe is CityLab’s Bay Area bureau chief, based in Oakland. His coverage focuses on climate change and the science of cities.