The Grifter

Marcel started small cons to get by, improving his craft one step at a time.

He’s not a thief.
He’s not a robber.
He’s not a thug.

He’s just trying to get his spirit back, a sense of being with confidence, some momentum towards normalcy since his wife divorced him for infidelity. She took everything they shared, the beautiful apartment overlooking Monte Carlo, exotic clothes and cars, the savings account and jewelry. Everything, except the booze. Now, sober, Marcel has a plan to execute.

The designer suit fits perfectly. He had been looking for months at the church recycled clothing bin for just such a look. After pressing and a bit of cologne he will have the air of a prince. Studying the upcoming convention schedule, the pharmaceutical professionals who are about to converge on Monaco look to be the perfect prey. Good looks and the air of money.

Looking at the companies and participants the game plan is set. Conference after conference -attend the opens sessions only. Make small talk, then more small talk, and finally the invitation for more serious discussion over dinner. Marcel explains that it would be his honor to treat the small group of reps to the restaurant Louis XV at the Hotel Paris. “I need your insights on X,Y & Z, and for your time, the dinner is on my company” Marcel explains solidifying the invitation. “Not only does it help him, he pleads, but it will truly be a once in a lifetime gastronomic experience for all”.

Reservation confirmed for a table of seven, the sommelier doesn’t raise an eyebrow when 2 bottles of Krug Rose Champagne begin the epicurean journey that only Chef Alain Ducasse can create. Marcel suggests the Degustation Menu at 500 Euro per person, with starters of Beluga Caviar and seared Foie Gras.

Gastronomic extravagance and incredibly expensive - even for Monaco.

Everyone eases into the meal as conversation is flowing. Younger reps tend to like the sound of there own voice and Marcel simply asks a question about the newest drug and off the conversation goes. Wine is poured and then more wine is poured. Everyone is at ease as a round of chocolate soufflés is ordered. A short 20 minute wait to prepare the waiter explains, which is perfect as Marcel's phone rings and he excuses himself to answer the call “he must take”. “I’ll only be a few minutes, so please carry on without me” he whispers to his dinner guest and slowly strides towards the foyer, phone pressed hard to his ear, pretending the call is of immense importance. Taking out a pack of cigarettes to distract the maitre’d, he turns the corner and exits the lobby. Walking briskly down the avenue he crosses and boards the bus back to the port of Nice. Settling into his seat a slight smile exudes another layer of confidence building like the skin of an onion, knowing he just had the greatest meal on the planet on the fortunes of the professional pharmaceutical industry and it’s representatives arrogance of being so smart and secure but without a brain, as they have no conscience in being so willfully wasteful when there is so much pain.