I watched a co-worker rappel off of a 22 story building downtown this morning. It was a fundraising event for the Special Olympics. As good a cause as that was, I won’t belabor discussing the event here, as it was largely uneventful.
I was there with several co-workers, two of whom are reasonably attractive 30-something females who, I noticed, caught the attention of more than one man in the crowd.
I was unconcerned with that, until one of the admirers turned out to be an unwashed-looking character with head, face, and neck tattoos, and a couple of his shady-looking friends.
|Nothing screams "Poor impulse control, poor decision making, |
and no desire whatsoever to ever be an upstanding member of society" than tattoos on the face, amirite?
They moved over close to my group. Neck-tats was acting pretty nervous, pacing back and forth and glancing all about. I could not tell if this was a result of his having been a tweaker, or if he was nervously telegraphing the fact that he was about to start something nefarious. It didn’t matter to me, as either option was unacceptable, given his proximity to my group. The other was a short, stocky, menacing looking fellow who didn’t make much effort to conceal the fact that he was essentially leering lecherously at my co-workers.
One of the young women recognized quickly what was happening, and moved away from the group. The other was nearly unaware of the existence of her admirers, and stood intently with her face to the sky, watching my other co-worker descend from dizzying heights, on a rope that appeared to be much too small, at least in my estimation.
I also noticed that of the other male co-workers that I was with, only one seemed to be aware of the very real threat that bordered our group. He walked over with the situationally-aware young woman and stood next to her, unceremoniously, while I inserted myself between neck-tats and the other of our group who was less aware.
I did it casually, without telegraphing my intentions, and I stood in such a manner as to block the stocky fellow’s view, while putting myself in a strong position vis-à-vis neck-tats, in case he stopped being all tweaky and started being more forceful.
Neck-tats continued to pace and twitch throughout the event, casting me nervous sidelong glances the whole time, while his more purposeful, glaring friend lost interest and started looking at a different gal in the audience. The entire time, I lamented the fact that I decided years ago not to carry a pistol while at work. The escalation was subtle, but these guys were really up to no good, and I knew it in my bones.
|"What are you no-goodniks up to, now?"|
It wasn’t until a Spokane police officer moved in our direction, similarly curious about the intent of this nefarious looking gang, that they dispersed and moved away.
I have no idea what their intent was, or if there was any intent there at all.
|"I just wanted to ask if you'd found Jesus, man. That's all!"|
I do, however, believe that had their intent been dishonorable, that I would have surprised them mightily by being ready for them. I don’t think that they realized that I was in condition Orange at all. My guess is that they thought I was condition white, just like the rest of my co-workers, and that was to my advantage.