Friday, June 29, 2007

Talk to Strangers

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!


  1. I get very sick of all those forwards. If I listened to everything they are saying I wouldn't ever be able to leave my house!!!!

  2. Yikes! You were almost kidnapped? Crikey ..

    There's a degree of irony in this post in the sense that the internet has to be the number one place for strangers to talk to one another. (And yes, it's all good.)

  3. You know what guys freak me out? The one that stand next to the beauty product booth at the mall and you have to have the skills of a linebacker to get by. They come at you going "Excuse me Miss? Can I ask you a question?". The question is usually about my pores being so big you could drove a Yugo through them. THOSE are the guys that we should be getting email forwards on!

  4. Lara - Yeah, that's why I skim them now. :-)

    TS - Well, y'know...I was 15 years younger & 15 years more gullible...what can I say besides "Thank God for Clarence" and "It sure wouldn't play out that way today."

    Ingrid - So if you manage to dodge all the psychos & perverts out in the parking lot, there are more where that came from inside the mall?!?!? I can't even remember the last time I was in a mall so I'll just take you at your word here. What on earth could they possibly want to know about your pores?!?!?!

  5. Jill I hate shopping too! I erase the chain emails (such a crabby old cow) and look too grumpy to be approached by genuine sales people proffering smelly bits of paper...but I was raised by a hippe (see my other blog) and so I DO talk to strangers and think it goes a little way towards making the world a more peaceful place.

  6. I forgot about this post! I know I read it because I recalled the perfume folks. Which is another reason to avoid malls.