How To Get Picked Up By Guys: Look Homeless

, , , , , , | Romantic | December 6, 2018

(I am out late at night, walking to a convenience store. I lead a largely nocturnal schedule so I sometimes have to go to stores at night. I live in an okay neighborhood, but not completely safe, so I do my best not to look like an attractive target for harassment or robbery. There is nothing I can do to hide being female, but I wear old frumpy clothes, going for a look somewhere between “poor” and “homeless.” This evening, about a block before I reach the store, a young guy in sweats and a hoodie, who’s casually walking in the other direction by me on the street, suddenly stops and turns to me.)

Guy: “Hey. Do you have any change to spare for me so I can take the bus?”

(It is too late for any bus line in this area to be running. I don’t carry any cash, in any case.)

Me: “No, I don’t. Sorry.”

Guy: “Oh, okay.” *goes on his way*

(Half a minute later, when he’s walked at least four house lengths away from me:)

Guy: “Hey! Hey! HEY! HEY! HEY!”

(I turn around and see he’s actually got his hands around the sides of his mouth to more effectively shout at me.)

Guy: “Hey! Do you wanna [unintelligible]?”

(I make a gesture that I don’t understand him.)

Guy: “Do you wanna [unintelligible]?”

(I make another gesture that I can’t hear.)

Guy: “Do you wanna [unintelligible]?”

(The best I could make it out in the moment, it sounded something like, “Do you wanna fight?” I was bit alarmed, and gestured again that I couldn’t hear him. Instead of doing anything sensible, like walking closer to me, the guy started making the “come here” beckoning gesture with his hands that is usually only made to little children. Having had quite enough of this dude bothering me, and having recently had another bad experience after a man made that same exact “come here” hand gesture at me and I was stupid enough to obey, I physically reared back while making a very alarmed expression, turned back around, and hurried super-fast in the opposite direction from him, to the store I was going to. Luckily, he didn’t follow me. Later, after going over the sounds in my head several times, I realized he had actually been calling at me, “Do you wanna ride?” Yes, the guy who’d just thirty seconds previously asked me to give him change so that he could take a — non-existent — bus, now decided it made sense to try to lure me in by offering me a ride.)

Need To Put More Than A Hundred Feet Between Me And You

, , , , , | Romantic | November 20, 2018

(My car’s gas gauge is wonky, and one time my car unexpectedly runs out of gas while on the road, around early afternoon. Luckily, traffic is sparse and I am in my neighborhood, maybe 100 feet from a gas station. I manage to park on the side of the street, fish my empty gas can out of the backseat, and walk the 100 feet across an intersection to the gas station. As I’m crouching down near one of the pumps, filling up the gas can, some dude suddenly looms right over my head. I can see his pickup truck with its door open parked right behind him; it’s obvious he’s not an employee here. It’s just as obvious that he’s not here to get gas, himself.)

Dude: “Uh… so… Um-hmm…”

(I ignore him and pretend to be terribly busy. Nothing good has EVER come to me from talking to strange men.)

Dude: *inching even closer to me* “Uhh… Um-HEM! HI! HELLO! MISS!”

(I sigh. Clearly he’s not going away.)

Me: *side-eyeing him* “Yes?”

Dude: *suggestively* “Soooo… I just saw you walking down the street with your gas can while I was driving.”

(There is a very expectant pause while he’s staring at me hard enough that it’s almost like he’s attempting hypnosis. Already knowing where this is going, I put on a sweet, condescending tone of voice and a fake smile.)

Me: “That’s great for you!”

(I immediately dropped the smile and turned away from him again. He was somewhat flustered at this, but wouldn’t you just know it – he persisted in repeatedly offering me “a ride” to my car, anyway. Shockingly, I said no. Several times over. He finally left, with extreme reluctance. I have a very high skepticism that it’s even possible he didn’t see how close my car was parked, but frankly, even if I had to walk 100 miles instead of 100 feet, I’d never have agreed to get into his truck. 100 feet! That’s how little it takes to have a creep notice you walking alone down a street and decide to follow you in his car!)

Man Who Encases His Privates In Lead Has The Last Laugh

, , , , , , , | Healthy | November 16, 2018

I had testicular cancer and surgery, plus radiation therapy. These treatments needed a lead box closed around my privates. At the end of the last treatment, when the nurse pulled my sheet off to remove the box, he found…

A popped-out single-use turkey thermometer indicating I was done. I had saved it from the Thanksgiving turkey just to place in my navel after the treatment.

He had to run from the room before bursting into laughter.

Beer With Me For A Moment

, , , , , , | Working | November 15, 2018

(In early 1994, I am invited over to the States from the UK by an American music software house, as a demonstrator for their flagship software program at a major trade show in California. Whilst at the show, one of their lead sales managers, knowing of my liking for beer, invites me out along with several other folks from the company for an evening at a local bar. This bar is apparently known for having something like 114 different beers from around the world. Anxious to introduce my friends to the peculiar delights of British beer, I peruse the section dedicated to my home country, at which point the alarm bells go off. There are three beers on offer: a low-alcohol brew borne out of the privations of World War II which hasn’t been brewed for UK consumption since 1976, though still brewed for export at that time, a favourite of Clint Eastwood, but only ever available in bottles, never on tap, and a strong cask ale known for its knee-trembler abilities when consumed to excess. I therefore order a jug of the final nectar for our drinking pleasure, which is duly delivered… at which point I feel the need to complain to the barman.)

Me: *after taking a sip* “This isn’t [Brand]!”

Barman: “Yes, it is, sir.”

Me: *deploying my best upper-class English accent* “Au contraire, dear boy! For your information, I was born 100 yards from their brewery in Chiswick, London. I was raised drinking this, my local brew, and can categorically assure you that this is not [Brand]!”

Barman: “What makes you think that?”

Me: “Well, for a start, you’re obviously serving it from a gas-pumped barrel; [Brand] is only ever served from a tap-and-vent barrel, hand-pumped via a long swan neck. Secondly, the colour is entirely wrong, and thirdly — and most importantly — it tastes nothing like [Brand]. I have no idea what you call it here, but in my country we have a little something called the Trades Descriptions Act, which makes it illegal to pass off a product as something else.”

Barman: “…”

Me: “Get me your manager.”

(The manager ended up giving us free drinks for the rest of the night which, despite this hiccup, proved highly entertaining for all concerned, and a prime example of American hospitality. I note with considerable pleasure that in the intervening years, America has embraced the production of craft ale/real ale and is now making some seriously excellent beers.)

No One Is Surprised, As Angrily Honking The Car Horn Proves Less Effective Than Language

, , , , , , | Friendly | November 13, 2018

(I’m leaving campus late at night and I come up to the intersection at the street outside. The light is red. I press the button for the pedestrian crossing. I’ve noticed before that this intersection’s lights are badly programmed: it takes three to five minutes at night for the light to turn green after pressing the button. There’s no traffic at all, and no other people around. I press the pedestrian crossing button and wait near it. About five seconds later, a lone car comes up on the road to my left, also out of the campus, clearly intending to go straight across in the same direction as me. It stops at the red light, in the second lane away from me. Then, suddenly:)

Driver: *Hoooonk. Hooooonk. Hooooonk.*

(I’m startled and confused.)

Driver: *Hoooonk. Hooooonk. Hooooonk.*

(I’m alarmed enough that I take a couple steps away.)

Driver: *Hoooonk. Hooooonk. Hooooonk. Hooooooooonk.*

(I look over and see it’s an expensive sports car, with some very impatient-looking, young dude behind the wheel. He’s making weird and angry faces at me and gesturing wildly; either pointing at me or at the light-pole behind me, while really laying on his horn. The other side of the street is a residential neighborhood, it’s late at night, and he’s making an enormous racket. I’m understandably weirded out and I take some more steps away.)

Driver: *Hoooonk. Hooooonk. Hooooonk. Hooooooooonk. Hoooooooooooooonk.*

(He keeps on making angry faces at me and gesturing. I step away some more.)

Driver: *Hoooonk. Hooooonk. Hooooonk. Hooooooooonk. Hoooooooooooooonk.*

(With more angry faces and gesturing, I’m thoroughly freaked out. This is really weird, and there’s no one else around at all. The honking is just nonstop now. I take a wild guess and press the button for pedestrian crossing AGAIN. Like magic, the dude quits his gesticulating and lays off the horn.)

Me: *thinking* “Oh, my f****** God. Really!? That a**wipe really thought I was just standing around here waiting for a green light without having pressed the button?! And he was willing to scare the ever-living h*** out of me and wake up the whole neighborhood with this racket just to make me press that stupid button again?!

(Surprise, surprise, nothing happened after I pressed the button again. We both had to wait several more minutes for a green light, anyway, just like always at that intersection.)

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