I feel the need to correct any impressions you may have that I am either a victim or a decent-hearted human being. I’ve talked a fair amount about stalkers (both men and women)but the truth is–I am a truly terrible person, and it’s not even by accident. I wake up every morning looking for opportunities to victimize unwitting strangers. Skeptical? Read on for a delicious sampling of 5 terrible things I’ve done to strangers– and now, YOU CAN TOO!
#1. Get Your Jollies From a Stranger’s Fear of Flying:
On my flight from LAX to Taipei, Air China did me a favor by seating me next to one of the only other Westerners on the flight. While I appreciated the opportunity to sit next to Ryan– an unsuspecting lad from Arkansas– I was giddy when he confessed that this was his first international flight and he was afraid of flying.
I was practically salivating.
“You know,” I said “It’s good we’re sitting over the wing. In case the plane goes down.”
He stared at me as a slow curtain of terror lowered upon his face.
I went on.
“Though, I read something about how you’re more likely to survive if you’re sitting towards the back. But let’s be serious– we’re all going to die.”
Ryan swallowed and looked out the window at the luggage carriers as though they might rescue him. We were obviously stuck together for the next 11 hours so he tried to change the subject by asking some polite question about my life. But I wasn’t having it.
“How crazy is it that they never found that plane that went missing over North Africa? Imagine… hundreds of people, just gone… POOF!”
My plane-crash jazz-hands inspired an audible cry of fear, but Ryan quickly recovered.
“Well,” he stammered, “I’ve always heard that flying is safer than driving.”
Oh– he was a clever one, that Ryan.
“That has to be an old statistic,” I countered, “Imagine all that’s changed, especially in this economy… I wonder how well they pay the guy who’s supposed to make sure every nut and bolt is tightened. I wonder if he likes his job enough to actually check as often as they tell him to… I definitely wouldn’t.”
It was about this time that Ryan put his headphones in. For some reason, we didn’t talk that much during the flight.
#2. Transform someone’s phone into a portent of doom
I worked at AT&T for five years whilst twiddling my way through college. Being that it was a retail position, I encountered my fair share of pissy and entitled strangers. I hate to burst your bubble, but we didn’t care that you dropped your phone in the toilet. We had our own problems and you were just a dollar sign that stood between us and our lunch break.
There were many things I got sick of hearing, but one of the biggest was everyone’s insistence that it was their “business phone” and that unlike me they were VERY special and impressive and important.
One particular guy pushed me to the limit when he actually posed the rhetorical question “are you an idiot?” as I was setting up his VERY IMPORTANT business phone with his VERY IMPORTANT e-mail account.
While I won’t deny that I have idiot tendencies, I also possessed the ability to alter e-mail settings and change the signature on his VERY IMPORTANT e-mails to say “Sent from my Die-phone.”
#3. Start a Tradition of Drunkenly Photobombing a Stranger’s Yard:
When I first moved back to the states I strategically chose a rental property within walking distance of my job and a bar that boasted a killer sangria. During the week I was a productive member of society– but on the weekends my friend Shleisel and I would walk our sad sober asses to the bar…
Then skip our happy drunk asses back home at 2AM.
The walk home was always much more exciting as there was so much to discover and explore. The first time we made the trek we came upon a home belonging to The Siddles— We knew this because they had a large wooden sign with “Siddles” in their front yard. When I flipped through my phone a few days later I saw this:
The rest is history. It became our fondest tradition to pass by The Siddles and snap a photo. Even though I have moved to a different area, we still pay homage to The Siddles anytime we partake in Sangria.
4. Annihilate The Copier And Leave It For A Stranger To Deal With:
Like every career minded girl, I used the copier at work to print my resume while I was hunting for a better job. Unfortunately, the copier was not suited for my super fancy paper and got it’s little Xerox panties in a twist. I’ve done a Xerox copier lease before and I got the printer working perfectly so I’m not sure what happened!
I promise I tried to fix it by flipping levers and turning bobbins and saying magic words, but sadly, “proficiency with office equipment” was not on the resume that had hopelessly jammed itself somewhere between copy and print.
I did what anyone else would do; I checked the hallway before skipping out on the whole mess. I came back the next day and– like magic!– it was working again. Some stranger even left this note for me:
5. Frighten A Stranger So Thoroughly That They Abandon Their Job:
One of the weird perks of my current job is that I have a set of master keys and am able to wile away my free time by exploring old buildings on our property. Seeing as how the place is super haunted I can’t resist the opportunity to set a trap for future passerby.
I hit the jackpot when I came across a cardboard cutout of a human figure.
I’ve never worked so fervently in all my days. Within a couple minutes I’d scrounged through the abandoned offices to give Cardboard Man a more comfortable lifestyle.
I snapped the photo, chuckled to myself, and forgot about it…Until a couple weeks later when Mail Room Guy came strolling in my office.
“You will never believe what just happened.”
I love stories that start this way, so I paused my riveting game of Solitaire and gave him my full attention.
“I was taking the telephone repairman through Building B and out of nowhere the dude starts screaming like a little girl. I look up, and you won’t believe what I see.“
He hands me his phone, and I expect to see a shrine of dead pigeons or a blood-written message, but there he is– Cardboard Man, wired to a door frame just as I had left him.
“Craziest shit, I ever seen,” Mail Room Guy concluded. “The repairman just bolted, refused to stay in the building. We have a call in to another place to come take a look tomorrow.”
He shook his head, traumatized.
“I still can’t believe it. How does something like that even get there? No one has access to those buildings.”
I evaded his gaze by looking back to my screen of solitaire.
“Wow,” I said, “That is just the craziest thing.”
What insidious acts of stranger danger have you committed? Was it intentional or did it just… turn out that way? I might need some ideas for the future.
Want to keep in touch? Drop your email below and I'll send you FULL POSTS anytime I write something new. Only want to know book news? Get on the list here.