|If you think my would-be muggers do NOT look like this - you are a profiling, |
stereo-typing racist. And you happen to be right. This time, Zimmerman
I was running on 13th street, just east of Hillside (this will mean nothing to any readers not in/familiar with Wichita) in the construction zone when I saw three gentlemen approaching me. They were not just walking toward me as in "I was heading west, they were heading east" they were walking TOWARD me as in "We're going to get directly in front of you now."
I made eye contact and waved a feeble hand jerk while smiling (this works well with all the jergov runners I cross paths with) and the defacto leader of the gang simply nodded his head and threw up a "stop" sign with his hand. I obliged (I was super tired anyway) and this is what happened . . .
HIM: "Give us your money and your cell phone and that iPod you're wearing."
ME: "Well - you can have the iPod but I don't have my wallet or cell phone on me."
HIM: (laughing in disbelief) "What do you mean you don't have any of that stuff on you - and you're out here in this neighborhood running . . . what are you, crazy? Are you trying to die?"
ME: (flood of chemicals to brain and body) "Well, in all actuality I am about to run past a Popeye's, Church's, McDonald's, Jimmy John's, Chipotle, Spangles, Taco Bueno, Walgreens, Pizza Hut, Subway, China Wall, and Freebirds . . . I left my money at home because I'm trying to LIVE!"
HIM: (laughing in humor) "Man. You ARE crazy. And what's with that crappy little iPod - what's that hold like 50 songs?"
ME: "Probably about 100 - you can have it." (holds out)
HIM: "What is playing RIGHT now?"
ME: (hesitates, looks at ground) "All Good Things by The Weepies . . . "
GUY NUMBER TWO: "The f*ck is a Weepie?"
ME: "Uh (panic setting in for fear that I'm about to get killed for liking pop-folk-singer-songwriter music) they are a married couple. It is sorta' pop music. They have had a few smaller hits and have been on a few movie soundtracks - probably nothing you know - they aren't really all that famous."
GUY NUMBER ONE: "Is your iPod full of that sh*t?"
ME: "I mean - it is a mix of stuff. Some pop, some hip hop and rap, some dance, a little rock . . . seriously - you're welcome to it." (continues to hold out in humble offering form)
GUY NUMBER THREE: "Man, let's get out of here. This guy is f*cking with us."
GUY NUMBER ONE: "Alright, man. You'd better get out of here. Seriously. It is about to storm and you need to get home. And no stopping for fast food." (laughs and pats me on the back as I start to pass his group)
ME: "Okay. You guys be safe, too. Thanks for not hurting me and all that."
ONE OF THEM (I was NOT looking back): "You're welcome."
THANK YOU, questionable taste in music, pocketless running shorts, fast-talking, self-deprecating fat jokes, and grace of G-d! Seriously. THANK YOU!