Wednesday, October 21, 2009

So…this morning I went downtown. To the big city. With the tall buildings. And the one-way streets. And the horrendous traffic. And the light-rail and taxis and all kinds of chaos. I had promised someone I would go to Criminal Court with them to lend some moral support. So I went.

Criminal Court is in one of those great big buildings downtown and surprise, surprise… it is filled with well…lots of criminal types. Sure there are some regular middle-aged-frumpy-not-covered-in-tattoos women like me! But not too darned many.

As usual I set off the metal detector. What is up with that? I swear, it must be my magnetic personality or something but I can rarely go through one of those things without it going crazy.

And I think somehow my magnetic personality must also be responsible for some strange attraction I have to scary criminal types. They just like me. They do. I know this seems odd but whenever I am anyplace where there are …. Ummmm….. unsavory characters they just gravitate to me.

And today was no exception.

There I was sitting on my little hard bench waiting to do my “rah, rah, support” thing and a scary guy came up and sat beside me. Now there were empty benches elsewhere in the room but obviously the seat right next to me was the most desirable.

I had my purse sitting beside me and when this guy went to sit down I moved my purse.

And he glared at me! Yea. He was scary. Short, muscular, heavily tatooed, ummm…. OK.

Then he said “yea, lady, I’m not going to steal your purse.”

And I replied “I was just being polite.” And he squinched his eyes up really tight and glared at me.

It’s not like there was anything to steal in there. It was one of my ZippyRagBags in a cute autumn leaf pattern and contained three pennies, two bags of Halloween fruit bits, some wrinkled up kleenex, a broken crayon and one of those fat pencils that kindergartners use.

He glared some more. I got irritated.

“What is your problem,” I said, “I was just being polite.”

To which he replied “well, you’re bigger then me so you could probably beat me up if I took your purse.”

And I said, “well, obviously you are meaner then me so you would probably try.”

And then he tipped back his head and started laughing.

Hmmm…. I thought briefly of the fat yellow pencil and wondered if he might be able to kill me with it. I decided he probably could. I thought about moving. But I didn’t want to die. After all I hadn’t done my “rah, rah, support” thing yet. And a promise is a promise.

The scary woman he was with told him she was going downstairs and as soon as she was in the elevator he said “Women! there is no living with women! Yea, you look like you’d be hard to live with.”

WHAT???? OK, here is some felon gang-banger guy telling me I look hard to live with. What the heck.

I tell him “no way.” And he says “give me your number and I’ll call your husband and I’m sure he’ll tell me the truth.”

And all of sudden we are just chatting away.

He is telling me about gangs in LA and how he moved to Phoenix to get a new lifestyle and how he has a step-son in the military but he has another kid in jail and it was just old-home week. All we needed was a cup of tea and a crocheted aphgan. The clerical person at the desk called him up and my “rah, rah, support” person said “What are you doing, that guy is scary.”

But he really wasn’t. He was just a regular, old gang guy from LA up on drug possession charges.


It was a bit surreal.

He kept calling me “lady” and talking away and I learned about prison and tattoos and actually it was kind of interesting in a strange way. I told him I wondered sometimes if the people with those fancy tattoos actually just drew them on their arms with sharpie markers and did he think that might be true. He told me I was strange and that tattoos were more about who you knew then how much you paid. Good to know. Just in case.

And when they finally called him he waved goodbye to me in a funny way and my “rah, rah, support” person said “He just flashed you a gang symbol”.

I’m tellin’ ya, it’s just some weird magnetic attraction I have to people like this in these situations.

I once passed an hour waiting for another “rah, rah, support” thing by talking to an even scarier guy about how to make bread dough rise.

It’s a gift, I tell ya. Or a curse. Or maybe some combination of the two.

And after I came back home to my lovely suburban house from the big city I told my husband my tale. He didn’t even look surprised.

My husband thinks maybe the scary guy wanted to recruit me to be the gang Grandma.

To be honest I think I’d just be too tired to do the whole initiation thing, you know?

And I guess if I survived the initiation I would have to get a tattoo, right? But I really hate needles.

So I would at the very least have to buy one of those giant packs of cool colored sharpies so I could fit in with my “homies.” And I suspect the whole gang activity thing would interfere with my paper-crafting and blogging so…

I’m just gonna stick with being a middle-aged-frumpy-not-covered-in-tattoos woman and living my boring, old life.



Allie said...

Giggling -- giggling louder .... where are my sharpies? Great story!

laterg8r said...

omg jenny, you had me laughing so hard when you asked if the tattoos were just sharpies! that is sooooo funny!

i'm a weirdo magnet too - i once had a guy offer me a beer from his backpack in a crowded courthouse so i can relate! LOL :D

Diana said...

This was a great post!! Thanks for sharing.

Mardell said...

Only you Jenny, only you!! :o) I bet you made his day (or visa versa.) Cool story & I loved how you told it.

Brenda said...

Now THAT was funny, LOL!

Brenda said...

Oh, you didn't leave an email and I can't find your post for the giveaway! B.

SmallWorld at Home said...

I really, really liked that story!

~Kristen~ said...

Oh Jenny I can just see it now!!! You in your biker jacket and a Zippy Strippy Quilt in your gang colors!!! :-)

Rebecca said...

Great story! Good for you for sticking your neck out and continuing the conversation with him. Never let them see you sweat, right?

Back in the day before electronic car door locks, my sis was at a stoplight in the big city of Dallas when a scary-looking-biker-dude pulled up in the lane next to her. She oh-so-casually rested her arm on the side of the door and pushed down the lock with her elbow. And he saw! He looked at her, laughed, and said, "I'm not gonna hurt you!" Just think of the great conversations THEY could have had if only they were sitting in a courtroom instead...

MaryB. said...

I'm smiling and giggling... I thought I was the only one who attracted strange people... but then someone pointed out that I was the strange one!
Tats & zippies... definitely a strange combo!

Kimi said...

What a gift! Honestly I think it is pretty cool that all kinds of people are drawn to you. That definitely says something about you. A good something.

Amy said...

Oh Jenny, you are just a loveable nut!! And I'm a nut who loves ya!

We are THAT Family said...

Awesome story!

Anonymous said...

Hilarious! You sound like me!

ProlificMom said...

You crack me up! This is so funny. I just happen to be a magnate for very disfunctional people. I guess they sense that I am no threat to them and must be someone who will love them back. I once had a guy at my bus stop tell me that he had been telling his grandmother about me. I changed my morning commute route. The guy at my regular morning fast food breakfast stop started calling me sweetie and asked me if I wanted my usual. So I changed my morning commute fast food stop. Some of these people have even gotten my phone number from the ether and called me to talk. Even my best friend in college was dysfunctional but I didn't really notice until she graduated and we weren't together every moment of the day. I decided to stop making friends in the real world.

Thanks for sharing. Your blog is fantastic!

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

LOL --Only you Jenny! I bet he was scared and just wanted to talk, but had to do it with a tough guy demeanor ...or at least that is what I'd be trying to convince myself if he was talking to me!

Nadeen said...

Just think what could happen in Sturgis!

Bits-n-Pieces said...

ooh... pretty sharpies!!

now I want to go out and buy some more.

That's're out in the Phoenix area. I forgot. My sister lives out there. My mom is going out there in March to visit, without me. If you see her say Hi. But yell...she is hard of hearing, and she won't see you either cuz she's just about completely blind. But you'll recognize her...4'10" curly black headed woman with big dark sunglasses, she'll be the one bumping into mailboxes and light poles and apologizing to them.
You'll know her when you see her! :)

anitamombanita said...

I adore you too!! Maybe we should start a gang of our own... Drive-by shootings where we fling chocolate chip cookies instead of bullets...!!