Never Talk to Strangers
I almost never watch the news. The suffering I see just taking a look around the city is generally sufficient, and I don’t need to digest a whole lot more fear on a daily basis either. The “You’re supposed to be afraid, VERY afraid, ALL OF THE TIME!!!!” type emails do find their way to me on a fairly regular basis, however.
If you’re a female, and particularly a female in a parking lot, you’re pretty much considered dead meat according to these types of emails. Maybe ‘cause I don’t like to shop (and thus spend a limited amount of time in parking lots), I laugh those off as best I can.
The most recent one I received said to be afraid of men offering perfume samples, which I should highly suspect of being a smelly paper covered in ether. I responded to my friend’s email with the following:
Who are all these crazy people out to get us and how come ****I**** never run into them? :-) :-) :-) KIDDING! I imagine I *do* run into them...I just expect them to buy me a drink...KIDDING again!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Honestly though, I'll make sure not to smell paper in any more parking lots.
My favorite of these “be very afraid” emails had something to do with those spray bottles people use to clean their computer key boards. Now we’re supposed to be afraid of AIR?!?!?
The majority seem to advise us to fear strangers. And, y’know, caution is certainly warranted when interacting with the unknown. But in reality most people I know (with, admittedly, a few sensational exceptions) have had all their hurts inflicted on them by someone they know and like, love even. My personal experience with most strangers is that they are content to say “hi”, comment a little on the weather, share some happy news (yesterday a woman displaced by Katrina told me she’d be returning to Louisiana this weekend), or offer to make you feel things without touching you.
Of course, horrible things have happened at the hands of those we don’t know and one should never under any circumstances get into the car of an ax wielding stranger. I’ve only been close to kidnapped by a stranger/drug dealer ONE time (don’t worry Mom & Dad, this was way back when Nana was alive). And though I should have been more careful than I was, the very thing that got me out of the situation gracefully was that I had previously spoken to enough strangers to have befriended my neighbor Clarence. He happened to be out walking his dog at the time and ran the potential kidnapper off.
What was my point? Oh yeah! Talk to strangers people! I’m sure there are three or four out there who want to fill your gas tank with sugar water so they can molest and/or kill you in the parking lot (always, always in a parking lot), but I’m pretty sure the rest just want to know where the nearest coffee shop is and ask whether or not you’re tired of all the rain
Meanwhile, be sure to exercise caution when sniffing all those perfume cards the perverts and psychos hand out in the parking lots!