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Old 07-29-2014, 07:41 PM   #61
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I believe it is because I tend to look people straight in the eye and smile. As a young woman, I had to curb the tendency, because it got me attention I didn't want. Middle-age cured that problem.

The funny thing is, we are not wealthy. At any rate, we sure couldn't buy bunches of expensive German automobiles.

Amethyst

You have more wealth BECAUSE you won 't buy a bunch of expensive German automobiles.


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Old 07-29-2014, 07:47 PM   #62
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I too started alerting other driver's when I saw traffic slowing down by tapping brakes.
This is taught on day one in motorcycle riding school. Since motorcycles have a high power-to-weight ratio they can also usually slow down quickly using engine compression alone. In normal riding I don't touch the brakes and then only lightly until I'm down to second gear. But when downshifting I'll tap and hold the front brake lever just enough to turn on the brake light, flashing it a few times.
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Old 07-29-2014, 07:53 PM   #63
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This is taught on day one in motorcycle riding school. Since motorcycles have a high power-to-weight ratio they can also usually slow down quickly using engine compression alone. In normal riding I don't touch the brakes and then only lightly until I'm down to second gear. But when downshifting I'll tap and hold the front brake lever just enough to turn on the brake light, flashing it a few times.
I do this in the car when approaching a bad area - multi lanes stopping, merging traffic coming into stopped or slowed traffic - or if it looks like the car behind me is coming up fast. I try and get their attention with a flashing brake light.
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Old 07-29-2014, 08:07 PM   #64
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Before I relate the little incident that happened to me today, let me preface my story by saying that as a faithful adherent of LBYM and stealth wealth, over the years I’ve had my shares of interesting moments with people who behave towards me in a certain way based on their perception and assessment of my financial situation.

Today I went to a local bank branch to get some spending cash from the ATM. When I was backing my beat-up 14-year-old car out of my parking spot, another car backed into me. I actually saw it coming on the rear view mirror and stepped on the gas pedal to get out of the way, but it was too late.

When I got out of the car to inspect the damage (it was minor---one side of the rear bumper popped out of its slot from the impact), the driver of the other car (a late model luxury German sedan---you know, the kind that anyone can lease for a few hundred a month) got out---I will call him Mr. Big---took one look at my car, and started shouting that there was no damage to my car and that he wouldn’t give me any info other than his phone number.

I was offended by Mr. Big’s belligerent attitude and responded that if he refused to provide the information as mandated by state law under such circumstances, I would call the cop and report a hit and run. This set Mr. Big off and he began shouting that I was trying to scam money from him and then added the classic line of “you have no idea who I am.” Mr. Big had, of course, no idea that I had enough assets to buy a few hundred of his fancy ride; to him I was just a little nobody with a beat-up car.

I was about the call the cops when Mr. Big’s companion, a lady, stepped out of the car to diffuse to situation. She was pleasant and exchanged information with me willingly, and while we were doing so, Mr. Big proceeded to engage what I would call the automobile equivalent of alpha male prancing/chest thumbing by revving his engine and circling the parking lot in his fancy ride. I am not sure if the bystanders were suitably impressed; I was not.

I told my wife what happened after I got home, and she laughed and said that when it comes to being involved in an accident, it’s good to have a beat-up car and be perceived as poor (or at least not well off). This way the other party won’t try to scam me, as no doubt Mr. Big feared when he ran into me. Had I been driving a car more commiserate with my means, perhaps I would have been the one to fear being scammed.

As for the damage, Mr. Big’s companion agreed to settle it without going through insurance company by giving me money directly after I get an estimate. I am thinking about getting my beat-up car fixed, but maybe not. After all, why blow a perfectly good cover? Instead, I think I will use the money for my planned trip to Easter Island next year.

Any similar stories from members of the forum?
A quick update on my brush with Mr. Big. DW took the car to the shop and got an estimate of, gulp, $250. DW then contacted Mr. Big's lady companion, who promised to get back to us by the end of the week on how they want to proceed.

I hope this $250 won't affect Mr. Big's ability to make his car payment . Just kidding of course. For I know, Mr. Big could be a billionaire masquerading as merely "mass affluent" by driving just a BMW to hide his wealth instead of being chauffeured in a Rolls.
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Old 07-29-2014, 08:39 PM   #65
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Note that the extreme example of this sort of thing was Sam Walton, who drove a beat up pickup around Bentonville. There are many stories of folks thinking he was a poor man.
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Old 07-29-2014, 08:50 PM   #66
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I may have posted this before, but I'm old and sometimes I forget. Anyway -- once, when I was a brand new young lawyer, I was second chairing a trial with one of the crusty old partners of the firm. As we were walking into court one morning, we saw our opponent pull up in a shiny black Porsche 911, with the whale tail and flare fenders (just like the one in Flashdance) and a customized license plate - "Litigator" or something like that. I opined that he must really be rich to have a car like that. The old partner with me said "Nope. It just means he either spent a lot of money or borrowed a lot of money. It doesn't mean he HAS a lot of money." Point well taken. When we left court, the old partner gave me a ride back to the office in his Chevy Cavalier. He said he liked jurors to see him drive it.
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Old 07-29-2014, 09:48 PM   #67
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I think that's it. That's what I normally wear on weekdays. And my unassuming, lackluster face does not help.
Wear this from now on (son-in-law wears this shirt sometimes as a joke--his quite healthy ego protected him from a few cases of being treated like the help):
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Old 07-29-2014, 09:51 PM   #68
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When we went to settle, she completely lied and said it was my fault
I've run into that too. Immediate after the accident, the other driver cannot apologize enough and is so so sorry for what she did. She even wrote "sorry" on the little accident diagram we drew. After talking to her insurance, she denied everything and claimed I hit her a block away from the actual site. Amazing what realizing they may be in for a rate increase does to some people's memory. Lucky for me I had the diagram, labelled with her own handwriting, and once her insurance knew I had it, they were instantly very accommodating and helpful. I'm guessing they want to stay away from situations where they have to defend a proven liar which could go poorly for them.
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Old 07-29-2014, 10:14 PM   #69
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LOL, thanks for sharing that short film. I hadn't seen it and it was very nice.
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Old 07-29-2014, 11:48 PM   #70
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I've run into that too. Immediate after the accident, the other driver cannot apologize enough and is so so sorry for what she did. She even wrote "sorry" on the little accident diagram we drew. After talking to her insurance, she denied everything and claimed I hit her a block away from the actual site. Amazing what realizing they may be in for a rate increase does to some people's memory. Lucky for me I had the diagram, labelled with her own handwriting, and once her insurance knew I had it, they were instantly very accommodating and helpful. I'm guessing they want to stay away from situations where they have to defend a proven liar which could go poorly for them.
I have a driving recorder in my car and use it to record all my drives to protect against exactly such scenarios. It has capacity for 8 hours of footage (on a 32 GB SDHC memory card) and just cycles through.

The ironic thing is that when I had my brush with Big, I didn't have it on because it was just a short run to the local ATM, and I thought what could possible go wrong. And of course thing always seems to go wrong when one least expects it.

I like to think all people are honest and will own up to their mistakes, but my past experiences tell me otherwise. Hence I now hope for the best from people but expect the worst.
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Old 07-30-2014, 06:28 AM   #71
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As a minority this happens to me lots of times. I have just learned to just go with the flow and see the humor in it.

Once a friend and I planned to go fishing, and due to the logistics the plan was for DW to drop me off at a location and the friend to pick me up (he already had all the fishing gear). Turns out the drop-off place was near a day laborers' pick up point, and being dressed for fishing -old jeans, t-shirt, baseball cap, etc. - I didn't look much different from them. So several folks pulled up to me asking if I wanted work for the day.

Another time I was attending a swim meet for one of our kids in a "McMansion" neighborhood. Since there were long delays between the events our kid was in, and it wasn't my turn for volunteering that week, I walked a couple of blocks to a tag sale I had noticed being set up when we arrived, out of curiosity. I was dressed down as well as not having shaved for several days due to vacation, so the hostess took "pity" on me, thought I must have been poor and made remarks (albeit pleasant) along the lines. She was also a curvy middle-aged woman so I kind of enjoyed the attention . Her remarks also indicated that they had to deal with a lot of bills, but based on their house and vehicles it was likely a lifestyle thing.
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Old 07-30-2014, 07:12 AM   #72
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I have a driving recorder in my car and use it to record all my drives to protect against exactly such scenarios. It has capacity for 8 hours of footage (on a 32 GB SDHC memory card) and just cycles through.

The ironic thing is that when I had my brush with Big, I didn't have it on because it was just a short run to the local ATM, and I thought what could possible go wrong. And of course thing always seems to go wrong when one least expects it.

I like to think all people are honest and will own up to their mistakes, but my past experiences tell me otherwise. Hence I now hope for the best from people but expect the worst.
Not sure exactly but I remember some statistic that most accidents happen within a few miles of one's home.
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Old 07-30-2014, 07:27 AM   #73
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Like luckydude I believe in LBYM and stealth wealth but I still drive a new Cadillac SRX, leased for a few hundred dollars per month.......why leave it all to my kids? And, I had a similar accident when a gal backed into my other car.....a cheaper Ford with her Mercedes 350.....her car was brand new. She jumped out of her Mercedes blaming me for backing into her.....I gave her my insurance info, she held hers 2 feet away and threatened to mace me when I told her I couldn't read it that far out......so I took a pic of it and read it later. The really good news was I had a witness.....she then said I offered to pay him off.....not true! I thought we would both end up paying our own damages....$1400 to my car.....$3000 to hers BUT......the shopping center had a tape of the accident......and, I was vindicated!!!!!!!!! The cops wouldn't come because it happened on private property and no one was hurt......they probably would have if I had called back and told them about the mace threat........unbelievable......but true! Now the car is fixed......I"m happy and glad I lucky enough to have a witness and a video.
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Old 07-30-2014, 08:02 AM   #74
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My grandfather worked his way up from nothing to lawyer and eventually to judge. During their later, affluent years, my grandparents lived in a ritzy neighborhood, but my grandfather still drove a beater. A wealthier man in the neighborhood admonished him one day: "You aren't rich enough to drive that car."

So, even back in the 1930s, "stealth wealth" was sometimes known to be a "humble brag."
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Old 07-30-2014, 08:29 AM   #75
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Not sure exactly but I remember some statistic that most accidents happen within a few miles of one's home.
A good reason to move.
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Old 07-30-2014, 08:33 AM   #76
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Was this by chance on Rte 198?
No, but it wasn't too far from it! The incident with the Infiniti happened on Route 176/Dorsey Road, just south of BWI Airport. The other time, with the 2001 Elantra, happened on Florida Avenue in DC, just northwest of New York Avenue.

The girl with the Infiniti was very apologetic. The one with the Elantra was nasty, wanted to know "Why did you stop at a green light?" Nevermind the fact that we were in a traffic jam...whatever color the light happened to be, a light that we were a good 5-6 car lengths back from, was totally irrelevant.
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Old 07-30-2014, 08:41 AM   #77
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Note that the extreme example of this sort of thing was Sam Walton, who drove a beat up pickup around Bentonville. There are many stories of folks thinking he was a poor man.
Yep. The advantage of driving an old and dented pickup is that people will stay away from you in traffic. Plus, you save on insurance premiums, since you won't care about repairs!
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Old 07-30-2014, 08:43 AM   #78
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The one with the Elantra was nasty, wanted to know "Why did you stop at a green light?" Nevermind the fact that we were in a traffic jam...whatever color the light happened to be, a light that we were a good 5-6 car lengths back from, was totally irrelevant.
You always stop at a green light if you can't get through the intersection safely (as they say in D.C. - "don't block the box").
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Old 07-30-2014, 08:46 AM   #79
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All this talk of people lying and changing their stories after an accident scare me. Luckily, my wife and I don't have much experience with auto accidents. It got me to thinking, is it best to always call the police to file a police report? Do they not come out for minor accidents? I am guessing it probably depends on how big a city you live in?
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Old 07-30-2014, 08:49 AM   #80
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You always stop at a green light if you can't get through the intersection safely (as they say in D.C. - "don't block the box").
Oh, the box was already blocked, and then some, in this incident, and I was about 5 or 6 cars back from the intersection. What happened was that the cars in front of me crept up a bit, so I let off the brake, let the truck idle forward a few feet, and then stopped. But, apparently the girl thought the lane to the left of me was going to move faster, so she tried to change lanes in this traffic jam, and I guess she saw a green light off in the distance, thought we were all moving forward, and simply mis-judged.

She simply didn't want to admit she was wrong. Funny thing is, she got on the phone with her mother, and her mother wanted to talk to me, and even her mother, who was not there, asked "why did you stop at a green light?" When I told her the whole story, that it was a traffic jam, her daughter mis-judged, cut it too close, and hit me, she simply said "Well, it looks like since we hit you, we're going to be held responsible." No apology, no nothing. Same holier-than-thou attitude as her daughter, so I can see where the daughter learned it from!
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