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1947-48 Theatre Catalog, 6th Edition, Page 516 (500)

1947-48 Theatre Catalog, 6th Edition
1947-48 Theatre Catalog
1947-48 Theatre Catalog, 6th Edition, Page 516
Page 516

1947-48 Theatre Catalog, 6th Edition, Page 516

Protect Your Signature as If It Were Cash

How to Handle the Kinky Penman Who Wants The Motion-Picture Exhibitor's Autograph

uNever sign a paper for a stranger" is my advice to the motion-picture exhibitor. This advice is based on my twenty-eight years of defrauding innumerable victims with a clever and resourceful pen. No calligraphic swindler could operate With success were this recommendation adopted without any exceptions being made.

Equally important is to forget your belief that beautiful handwriting denotes an honest character. While not every penman is an expert chirographist, intriguing letter formations are the core of his crooked game. He also relies on the appeal they make to your esthetic sense.

Be suspicious of any approach which seems to offer you more than a normal or conservative profit. One of the kinky penmanis strongest working points is to oifer you something for nothing. Be very chary of so-called good thingsof long, involved yarns with a glitter to them at the end. To get you to bite like a fish, the kinky penman and calligraphic swindler tosses out attractive ideas, leads, or words.

Since your signature means so much to your own protection, it is foolhardy to part with it too easily or on terms which are vague at the beginning. Transactions which seem to spring from nowhere at you, and seem attractive, are

THE AUTHOR SIGNS HIS NAME! Practically all styles of penmanship are represented in this sample. indicating how easy it is for the kinky penman to duplicate any signature he can obtain.

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best ignored.

If, at the beginning of any flashy or questionable deal, you communicate your suspicions to the proper authorities, explaining to the professional penman that you never accept such a proposition Without first making the fullest investigation, you will not get a follow-up visit. Clever as the professional penman is, he runs too much risk of the law closv ing in on him, to continue his resourceful verbal artillery on the alert business man or woman.

The kinky penman, even if subtle, works fast. He lets no grass grow under his feet, as it were. The tinal or closing contract he makes with his victim will be timed to lightning speed, although it may not be obvious to the victim unless he is on guard.


Two kinds of strangers occasionally approach you. The first are harmless sheep, who are in the majority, and prowling wolves, who are in the minority. How can you separate the sheep from the wolves? Easy enough-figure out some harmless devices to induce reactions from such strangers. You may toss a pointed question. Write a. conclue sive answer, if you must write. Telephone your lawyer or the police department, depending on circumstances.

You may, in the course of this performance of meeting fire with hre, uncover or detect a movement, gesture or word amounting to a deciding slip if the stranger is out to take or make you for your hard-earned cash. On the other hand, any honest stranger will react as any honest person does, so there Will be no harm done.


In a more complicated deal#one with greater stake in prospectethe professional penman is likely to use one of your distant relatives, a close friend, or a business acquaintance as an intro ductory foil. Whether the crook actually made this preliminary contact and got the desired recommendation, or whether the crook is blufting his way, is beside the point. The real point is this: The relative, friend, or acquaintance may have easily succumbed to the crook's personal charm and his plausible interview; or if the crook found the initial approach tinged with a bit of suspicion he may have made an alternative proposition#harmlcss on the surfaceeto win confidence and a signature on a piece of paper.

What you Will subsequently be permitted to see is a duplication of that relativeis signature appended to a glowing recommendation or testimonial. The switch or fake has been made in the interim. You are not to know that, so

the signed okay impresses you a lot. Think a bit at this stage. The caller before you still has the status of a stranger; you have never dealt with him before.


In any legitimate business transaction you either establish a credit rating or pay cash on delivery of the merchandise or completion of the serve ice; never in advance, as this stranger wants you to do. There are, of course, exceptions to such business and professional customs, but you know the organizations are reputable; and you know, too, the traveling representatives. Perhaps they established their confidence by calling on you six times in six months. Between visits, letters and literature soliciting your business bobbed up in the mail. You also noticed their advertisements in the trade journals.

By way of contrast, no stranger with crooked intentions would persevere for six whole months. And six separate visits-perish the thought! Neither would he use the United States mails, since he would become embroiled with the federal government, which never forgets its man, and doles out sentences more severe than most of the states, counties, and municipalities.

The safest way to handle a stranger 0f the type described above is to completely ignore the relative, friend, or acquaintance forming the introductory

THIS ENTIRE PIECE of copy was written by the author, showing how easy it is for the skilled calligraphic swindler to duplicate any piece of writing he can turn to his own devious ends.

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1947-48 Theatre Catalog, 6th Edition, Page 516