(Update: You can read comedian and writer Carolyn Castiglia's take on Dinnercon '11 here: A brief glimpse inside the hate-filled mind of a con artist
You can also read accounts of two other women Susan Crain Bakos has scammed in the comments section over here: Ridiculous White Woman… Hold My Pocket)
Beware, up-and-coming female writers in New York! There is a raging 'Dine and Dasher' who is preying on women at some of the city's finest restaurants.
The Granny Grifter is cleverly disguised as a diminutive 60-year-old sex columnist with a penchant for inviting young women to dinner to discuss "a possible job opportunity."
Her name is Susan Crain Bakos, and she is the author of The Sex Bible. She claims she used to be a ghostwriter for Dr. Ruth.
Unbelievably, she has fully admitted to her short con on a blog post she wrote for Salon, called "How And Why I Stuck So Many Women With the Check".
She's currently trying to delete her blog, but thankfully, there's such a thing as Google cache.
For now, you can read a pdf of her essay here:
How and Why I Stuck So Many Women With The Check by Susan Crain Bakos
(Cached Version Here )
Below, is an open letter in response to her article on Salon:
Dear Susan Crain Bakos,
The dinner was great. Thank you again for the invitation. I, myself, also had it for free, since I was unable to pay. I had to speak with the management and give them all my information (and yours!) so they would let me leave. As such, I applaud you on masterminding the lamest con ever.
A Jim Thompson novel you are not.
Your essay was written eight months before we met, so it seems you left out a few of the more current details about your exploits. An innocent oversight, I'm sure.
For example, you didn't mention how you contacted me first and claimed that you had a business opportunity. Nor did you mention how you lied and said that you needed me to take photos for an article you are writing for Playboy.
If you recall, as I sat down at the table, I told you I wasn't hungry (to be gracious and not assume you were paying the bill, I had eaten before I got to the restaurant) but you INSISTED we order huge swathes of food, telling me multiple times "It's on me."
It certainly is all on you, Susan Crain Bakos.
For all intents and purposes, you invited me to a business meeting. A business meeting about which you lied through your teeth and summarily walked out on the check.
Without judgment, I have to wonder: who would want to do business with someone who exhibits these sorts of behaviors?
So, you write about it on Salon. Some might say it's what you do well. You explain that this is a con you enjoy inflicting on other women. You use tags like "my con." You insinuate that the women somehow "deserve" it because they want to network (network over lunch in New York? My stars!). You think they are looking for a free meal.
The main issue is that the scenario you present in your story is absolutely nothing like the actual scene which took place on August 2 at 4:30 PM in Pipa. The one in which you repeatedly said "It's on me." The one where it was your idea to go to dinner.
You made up a story about writing for Playboy and contacted me - an unemployed writer and photographer who is working my RUMP off as a freelancer - to request that I be hired on as your personal photographer.
If anyone was trying to get something for nothing from this situation, I'd say it's you, Susan.
To top it all off, once you finish demonizing your victims as lazy and dumb, you then have the utter gall to claim you're exploring it in an essay because you're trying to understand why you do it?
Well, let me take a wild stab for you.
It's because you grew up with no sense of self worth other than your looks. You have no idea what you can offer to society outside of a sexual context. And now you steal steak dinners from young up-and-coming authors at Pipa and The Ace Hotel and god knows where else. Have you been to Chipotle? They have excellent guacamole.
Do you honestly think these women "deserve" this, or are you just trying to justify your antisocial, cruel behavior?
Do you think you get a free pass because you have "psychological issues"? Because you're a grandmother? Because no one would ever suspect the 60-year-old author of The Sex Bible of purposely being on the grift?
I can think of many reasons you might be doing this and absolutely none of them are acceptable.
Gorging your face on fried ham in a tapas bar and running out on the bill isn't going to change who you are.
Nor is blaming your victims and insinuating that they somehow deserved it because they wanted something from you. Something that you offered.
It's time to do what the rest of us adults in the world have to do and grow up. You're 60-years-old for Godssakes.
Please, Grammy. Act your age.
Oh, look! I just saved you a $75 therapist appointment!
(Not that the check you'd write to the doctor would be any good.)
A (not so) naive mark