No consequences

Just when I thought whatever is going on with whatever happened down there in Steubenville, Ohio, couldn’t get any more outrageous, I read a statement in the paper made by one of the boy’s attorneys. It was almost funny.

“They are reluctant to sacrifice their college career, their reputation, or their otherwise good standing in whatever community they may be found for fear of being vilified, and certain personal information finding its way on the Internet,”

“They are reluctant to sacrifice their college career, their reputation, or their otherwise good standing in whatever community they may be found for fear of being vilified, and certain personal information finding its way on the Internet,”

“They are reluctant to sacrifice their college career, their reputation, or their otherwise good standing in whatever community they may be found for fear of being vilified, and certain personal information finding its way on the Internet,”

Well, that’s too damn bad. There are consequences to what you do, and when what you do is probably criminal, those things are some of them. What they’re accused of is serious stuff. Do they not understand? College should not be an issue. Not going straight to prison should be. These kids should be scared sh*tless. Even if they never actually raped the girl and faked the whole, horrible thing in order to make the worst Internet video in history.  Either way, they’re rapists or assholes, and they need to be taught a lesson.

Am I Just Parnoid? Cause I know I’m not stoned.

A guy asked for my phone number at work today, and then gave me his. Is this weird? Does this happen to a lot of dudes?

I wasn’t even wearing my Cloudsdale Weather Factory or Rainbow Dash shirt.

He had come in with his mother earlier. She bought some stuff, we exchanged greetings. I think there was some brief conversation and a joke in there somewhere. The two left, but about 30 minutes later, he came back. He said he wanted to look at some of the bracelets we had at the counter. They’re the kind you can find at any sort of “fun-in-the-sun” type store; a coupla leather straps, a few beads and some sort of shell or starfish. One had a butterfly on it. I joked about that one. He told me if he bought that one he would “really fly away” and was “only half girl”.

Half-girl. This reminds me of Jeff Goldblum’s line in “The Life Aquatic” about being “part gay”. Maybe I should have thought of that sooner.

Anyways, nobody is coming in, so we shoot the shit. Learn a little bit about each other. Where we live, what we do for a living.  Eventually he drops a line about meeting people, and I ask if he has any friends where he works. He mentions a few girls who are “just a hoot”.  At that point, a few customers come in. He continues looking at the bracelets. After the newcomers leave, he picks out a bracelet, buys it, then asks if he can give me his number, and if I wouldn’t mind, give him mine.

Who asks for some guys number after just meeting him in some store? It would make more sense if he was a regular and we talk a few times, or maybe we strike upon some sort of mutual interest. Weird. But I give him my home phone anyway. I’m a nice guy, and I know what it is like to not have many friends around. Besides, it isn’t me on the machine. Whoops, sorry. Wrong number.

He leaves. I just gave some dude my phone number. He probably wants my butt or my blood.

What the hell kind of world have I grown up in? Why should I be so paranoid about giving some dude my phone number? Why should I assume he is some sort of deranged killer?

Ah, childhood training and the media have done their jobs well. All of the “never talk to strangers” lectures I had when I was a kid. The pamphlets on how the threat of molestation loomed from every corner of your family. All of the stories about horrible murders, kidnappings and other equally terrible things on the news have poisoned my sense of community. Armies of television dramas featuring the seedier side of human kind have subliminally brainwashed me into thinking everybody is a pervert or a killer. A certain friend who, every time, upon entering a nice suburb, asked; “Which house has the kiddie-porn dungeon?”.

What the hell, man? He’s probably some super-lonely guy desperate enough to start asking strangers for their numbers. Hot strangers, who don’t swing that way; even if they wear ponies on their shirts.

I’m still not going to answer the phone for the rest of the year, though, just in case.