2004_04_askmms.gifWhat's the deal with those kids who sell candy on the street and the subway? They say that they're with the Boys Club, raising money for their basketball team. Are they legit?

We've all heard it. A short, barely adolescent boy or girl barges into the car and shouts: "Excuse me ladies and gentlemen. I am selling candy to raise money for my basketball team's uniforms. Candy is a dollar each." And usually they only have the peanut M&Ms.

General consensus (and by that, we mean what the people on the Straphangers message boards say) is that it's a scam. A lot of these kids get candy in bulk and sell it at a profit, and make some pretty good money. Besides, by Gothamist's calculations, two or three basketball seasons have come and gone since we first saw one of these kids clamor into the car and demand our charity in exchange for chocolate.

Interestingly, if you've noticed, lately the kids have changed their tune: "Excuse me ladies and gentlemen. I will be honest with you. I am not selling candy for my basketball team. I am selling candy to keep myself out of trouble." It's hard to argue with honesty. We'd like it more if you had plain M&Ms left, though.

Tale of Two Cities shed some light on this very question just last week.