Beach Day by Rodger Bliss
May 2024


Not long ago, I spent some time vacationing in a well-known place. It was also well known for pickpockets and other unsavory characters. When I checked into the hotel, the folks at the desk were quick to warn me of the dangers of certain areas. They insisted that I would be much safer not leaving the hotel grounds, and I could spend all of my money right there.

I chose to disregard their advice, of course, and when I visited some of these areas, I saw signs all over the place warning people to be on their guard for pickpockets. By the end of my visit, I found out that the percentage of people who had filed reports with the police claiming to have had their pockets picked had gone up dramatically since the signs were put up. And there is your riddle: Can you explain why pick-pocketing rates increased after the signs went up?

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3 guesses to Pick-A-Pocket

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  • MMG

    The tourist sees the sign, and instinctively gives his wallet a pat to make sure it hasn’t already been stolen. All the while, the thieves are standing back and learning the exact location of the wallet that’s about to get picked.

  • Dude

    Correct MMG.

    Here’s what happens. You see a sign that says, ‘Beware of the pickpockets,’ and you immediately reach for your wallet! Or you might reach for the most valuable thing you have, whether it’s your wallet, your passport, your Rolex watch, to reassure yourself that it hasn’t already been taken. Now the pickpockets know exactly which pocket to go to. They hang out by the signs and watch. It seemed like a good idea at the time.

    Well done. You’re today’s winner.