“It puts the lotion on its skin, or it gets the hose again…”
That is the phrase I most often expect to hear come out of the mouths of the men (and occasional women) that choose to flatter (or scare) me by hitting on me. I attract more weirdos and creepy strangers than any individual I have ever met. My ability to catch the eye of the strangest person in a room is uncanny; my friends think it’s hysterical and my mother worries for my safety. In an effort to keep my content fresh, I’m going to highlight these winners in a new series of posts, similar to The Automobile Follies. Here’s numero uno, for your reading delight:
The Guy I Pepper-Sprayed on the Subway That One Time.
During my college years, I relied heavily on public transportation – known in these parts as SEPTA (or the devil’s asshole, whichever you prefer). The university I attended had a parking situation that was less than ideal, so I often commuted to school on pub trans. My route went a little something like this: walk to the trolley, take the trolley to the el, take the el to the subway. Getting home, this was reversed. I digress.
One spring afternoon, I decided to head to campus. I was going to crash with the guy I was seeing, simply to make my life easier (and I missed living on campus – I had moved back to the ‘burbs to save money). I went about my usual excursion. When I ride SEPTA, I typically have my headphones in – it’s normally a “small talk with strangers” deterrent. One stop after I got on, a rather odiferous gentleman took the seat next to mine… in a mostly empty car. If you’ve ever taken public transportation, you should be aware that proper etiquette is as follows: if there are empty seats that are NOT practically in someone else’s lap, you sit in those seats. As the car fills up, and it becomes necessity, THAT is when you sit directly next to someone.
Anyway, the man who smelled like a distillery not only sat right next to me, but once we were on our way, he put his hand on my leg. I politely removed said hand, and said “Please don’t touch me.” When he did this again, clearly ignoring my request, I got up and switched seats. He followed. I politely got up and moved once again, as I was thoroughly creeped out. Clearly not taking my hint, my new friend followed once again.
At the next stop, I got off the car, and moved to a different, slightly more populated car. Wouldn’t you know, at the next stop, he boarded my car. He sat down directly next to me, once again, and put his hand on my leg. I very loudly and very clearly said, “Sir, if you touch me one more time, I’m going to pepperspray the shit out of you.” I got up, and moved to a different seat on the same car. Within 20 seconds, he followed. I warned him once again, and once again, I moved. I was semi-shocked that not a single person on the car came to my aid – then I remembered where I was. Within moments, he was sitting next to me again, and attempted to put his hand on my leg. As we were pulling up to the next stop, I calmly pulled out my trusty can of pepper spray and used it. He screamed like a little girl, and called me a bitch, while taking a swing at me. Thankfully, I had already moved toward the door.
Once we hit the platform, SEPTA’s transit police ended up evacuating the car and arresting my assailant. I went about my day, and vowed to take regional rail from there on out.