THE UPSKIRT CON

This is how I single-handedly destroyed a network of upskirt perverts. Their modus operandi is simple. Hide a video camera in duffel bag or something similar. Point the lens so it peeks out a hole, angled up. Press Rec. Since the tendency of girls these days is to go sans panties, their work is easy. And lately it’s been all over this burg. Apparently this devious perv technique is an import from the Tokyo subway system. I read about on the internet. There they call the upskirt pervs panchiras. The only difference is that there they insist on giving the dames 200 dollar tips after upskirting them. It is a great affront and loss of face if the dame refuses the tip.

It was some sweltering day in August. I had just downed a sol y sombra in a joint near the Ramblas. I hit the pissed on flagstones outside, set fire to a Reig. I was looking for action. Preferably the tall and blonde kind. Draught. I grabbed the front brim of my Stetson and pulled it low.

I crossed to the median and was making my way down to bar La Plata off of carrer Ample. I had pretty much the whole stretch of the Ramblas to foot. My eyes peeled, I noticed a man in gray. Gray khakis, gray linen shirt, dark with sweat around the armpits. His shoes were gray, his hair was gray. His bespectacled face was about as remarkable as suction cup shoes on a cat burglar. Gray Man was pulling a little Spanish shopping trolley. Nothing strange about Gray Man.

And that’s the rub. The mucker was so damn nondescript I got that funny feeling in my shorts. I dragged the last of the Reig and mashed it out under my brogue. I shadowed him from twenty feet back. He walked with a casual air. Approached a group of tourists gawking at a living statue of Che Guevara. He positioned himself behind a tourist dame wearing a sleazy summer dress. A dead give away. Why would a native watch the living statues? No native in his right mind would watch those crooks. They’d sooner be playing bocce ball in drag! Then I peeped it.

He angled the shopping trolley in such a way that the lower edge was very close to the girl’s legs. Odd, considering all the possible places he could place his trolley. I closed in at forty-five degrees, about ten feet away. The girl moved and jawed with her male companion. The trolley moved behind her. The whole while the perv looking straight ahead at Che.

I jabbed my typer finger into his puny backside.

“Euhhhha! Qué te pasa?!

Pasa algo en tu trolley!”

“Eh? Qué?

Not wanting to cause embarrassment to the charming tourist broad I grabbed his stick arm and walked him to the edge of the crowd. Near a kiosk covered in Ronaldinho and Messi paraphernalia I gave him the third degree. In Spanglish.

***

Read the rest of this story in Larry Kovaks’ book, City of Crime, available now in print or in e-book format. You can also preview the book here.

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