by Matt Schiff
This story is about a man we met shrouded in suspicion and mystery; we’ve spent days discussing the facts, a source of curiosity. We’ve been told to watch for strangers but on a trip like this, you talk to people you don’t know or else the experience you would miss.
But now there is something that we really must share and in making our judgments I hope we are fair. To label someone a con-man is quite harsh, but as we review the facts his whole story could have been a farce.
John, can you understand our confusion?
It was in a coffee shop we saw him sitting by himself,
At the time we didn’t know he was a man of great wealth.
We noticed his backpack and made him out as a hiker,
It didn’t much matter that we are instead bikers.
A traveler is a traveler there is no difference you see,
He is just like you and I, there will be instant camaraderie.
He told stories galore, he’d traveled so far,
From South America to Australia and even Zanzibar.
From the places he’d been his facts added up,
And the stories went on, fueled by the joe from his cup.
Then his secret came out, he was a man of great wealth,
He’d traveled the past 45 years, thanks to his health.
364 million, one less than days in year,
He could buy planes and yachts and even my soul, I fear.
His face was sunburned but not wrinkled his skin,
His beard neatly shaven, the perfect gentleman.
His gear was typical, like Merrell shoes and The North Face,
If he was a hiker, nothing seemed out of place.
We were killing time, it was a windy day,
We all decided we should walk the same way.
Over to the library we went for some interneting,
But now I must fill in the details I’ve been omitting.
He was waiting for a package, just as we have you see,
But why send such important stuff (like 5K cash) through general delivery?
“I travel around as free as a bird,
Then send for my money, it’s the Mormon connection, surely you’ve heard.
I come from a large family with sisters and brothers,
And although not biological, at least a few mothers.
A polygamist brother, no wait there are two,
There are 19 of us in all, give or take a few.”
Are you Mormon?
It’s my family.
I am blessed.
I’ve had 2 cups of coffee now look at what I’ve confessed.”
He was paranoid about theft, he was a private man he said,
“No pictures please, they’ll be after me, I’ll be dead!”
But here comes the whammy that blows holes like Swiss cheese,
He asks us for money, maybe he’s not so grandioseeese.
He talked about his millions like a rapper, dropping a grand here and there,
He’s even donated to other cyclists, we might get our share.
How embarrassing for him, it’s done secretly when asked,
A $20 is slapped in his palm which closes on it fast.
We’re all parting ways, what’s your name we ask,
“They call me John Hughes, it’s great our paths have passed.”
Well my name is Sean Penn and over there Doc Holliday,
There’s Meryl Streep in the crowd, we could go on all day.
If this was all truth or lies, we may never know,
His name was John Hughes,
But was he friend or foe?