composed, he was wearing an Exxon cap, holding up an I NEED TICKETS sign,
talking a brisk line and moving along Poydras Street outside the Super-dome
like a man with things to take care of.
"You might be
Vice," he suggested when I asked if I could question him while he
I showed him my
hell, it's legal in Texas," he said, and shouted, "I need
"Do you do
this for a living?" I asked.
"Me? I'm a
commodities broker in Midland, Texas. I came in this morning with a good
customer of mine. I just like to trade—buy low, sell high. Let's see those
tickets! We kind of do this for kicks. We got here this morning at 11 with no
tickets and we've been doubling our money ever since. Show me tickets! It gives
me a thrill, that speculative desire. There's a van! We got to hit that van! I
got six from a van earlier for $50 each."
The van proved
dry. "Need tickets!" Carameros cried. "I'll stand on my head for
$100 and a ticket!"
smiled, their pride in their tickets enhanced. "You got one?" a man
with a much less contented expression inquired. As smoothly as he had
accelerated in pursuit of the van, Carameros modulated his voice to a softer
but not surreptitious pitch. "$150," he said.
"Is it a real
ticket?" asked the man.
that people are basically honest," Carameros said, as if buying were his
primary concern and selling just a sideline. The man forked over three 50s.