Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Witz DOESN'T Pick: Creepin' Out Yer Neighbors

You learn something new every day, and late last night, I learned that if you want to freak a girl out, simply shout at her from a distance, "ARE YOU LOOKING FOR A CAT?!"

She turned and looked at me, roughly twenty yards away. Staring at her, I shouted it again: "EXCUSE ME! ARE YOU LOOKING FOR A CAT??" She quickly turned and hustled back inside.

Here's what was happening from my perspective: I was outside around midnight, taking in the first cool air I've felt in weeks, taking stock of my life, and occasionally talking on my cell phone. While I'm talking on the phone at the corner of a residential street, a girl rushes out of an apartment building, looks back and forth frantically, gesiculates wildly, and talks quickly into her phone. She then goes back inside. I turn, on the phone with my dad, and see a small cat with a bright blue collar peer skittishly from behind a car tire. The girl comes back outside, still frantic, and thus I tell my dad to hang on a minute, turn to the girl, and shout, "ARE YOU LOOKING FOR A CAT!?" It's unclear if she knows I'm talking to her, so I add, "EXCUSE ME! ARE YOU LOOKING FOR A CAT??" I decide she's probably not, and so I conclude, "OK, I GUESS NOT! NEVERMIND!" but it's too late-- she has already run inside.

Here's what was happening from her perspective: While going outside to see if her ride was there, a man with headphones on spots her. She goes back inside, waits, and goes back out to look for her friends. They're not here yet, but that strange guy with headphones on is still there talking to no one, and he's looking at her again. "ARE YOU LOOKING FOR A CAT!?" he might be shouting at her, but why the hell would she be looking for a cat? "Is that some kind of pick up line? Is he being lewd? Ew, what a creep," she thinks, and oh christ, he's saying it again. "EXCUSE ME! ARE YOU LOOKING FOR A CAT??" The creepy rapist lunatic with the headphones and bright white shoes takes a few steps towards her. Where the hell are her friends? They said they were outside, but they must have been on the wrong street, because when she came outside, they were nowhere to be found. "Like my body," she thinks as she sees that the psycho's getting closer. Where are her friends? "Fuck it," she thinks. "I'm not dying like this. Not tonight," and she rushes back inside to safety.

I blame what happened on two things: I was in a weird half-depressed, half-wistful mood, and was feeling like being particulary helpful towards strangers. I also must have been feeling an additional community vibe yesterday because earlier, I had been at the bank and while going through the revolving glass doors at the same time as another guy, and thought, "I like the necessary teamwork of revolving doors." Now, that's a weird thought to have, but it's true. We recognized that we were both going around and had to push and walk accordingly. It was like an urban Eagle Scouts test.

So what's the point of the story? Is it that you shouldn't shout at strangers, no matter how helpful you're trying to be? Is it that it's sad how disconnected we've become from our neighbors? How helpful interaction can be miscontrued as attempted violence? No. The point is that even though it wasn't hers, there was still a fucking cat out there and I totally didn't think to check the collar in case someone ELSE was looking for it. I guess I dropped the ball on that one. To be fair though, my creeper level would only have risen exponentially if I was actually holding and petting a cat, while walking towards the next person I saw, shouting, "ARE YOU LOOKING FOR A CAT!?"

No, But Seriously, Are You Looking For a Cat?,

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