Mar 9, 2009

What are you looking at?

This picture was taken in Vegas. We were waiting at the corner for the rest of the group, right in front of Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville. I saw this gentleman walk down the street and then come back. I saw him eye me and I saw him eye the open space next to me. Sure I could have moved down but I took it as a personal challenge. I'm sure he was surprised. He smoked his cigarette and we both did some people watching, then he was on his way. It's a free country he can sit where he chooses and I don't have to move.

I've gotten into trouble on a few of the girl trips. In Berlin, Alexanderplatz to be exact, there are gangs of young thugs just hanging out around the edges and under the stairs. Their "thing" is they all have big bad ass dogs with spike collars. Dobermans, german shepherds, rottweilers. They swear a lot and yell and just generally carry on. One young punk stood there and proceeded to take a leak up against the building. My cousin and I were standing there and I started to laugh. He comes over, after zipping up, and proceeds to get in my face swearing at me in German. He couldn't have been more than 16 or so. I think I said something like "Shouldn't you be getting home to mommy?" and stood my ground. He backed down.

Then there was the time in Munich, at the Hofbrauhaus, when I got into it with a skinhead. I didn't like the way he kept giving us dirty looks. So I started to stare him down. After about a half hour of the evil eye from me he came over. Telling me we didn't belong in Germany and we should all go home and leave Germany for the Germans. I understood his German and in broken German told him that my mother was from Germany and I had every right to be there. I also told him that if all the tourists left the Hofbrauhaus they would be closing up soon after. I don't think he understood exactly what I was saying but he knew what I meant.

I don't look for trouble but I certainly don't back down from it. I grew up in a neighborhood where showing weakness could get you in trouble. Keep your head down and keep moving but if you can't get out of it try to give back as good as you get.


  1. You've hit upon a fundamental aspect of defensive psychology.One we used to teach our students in Kung-Fu.
    'Take up the space that you're in'
    It sounds agressive,but it's just taking advantage of people's subconcious tendency to keep a respectable distance from an unknown quantity...Good move!

  2. Wow. Maybe I picked it up from David Carradine when I was a young kid watching Kung Fu...

  3. I have that picture somewhere around with you getting in that German's face at the Hofbrauhaus. I will post in on my blog!

  4. Sling is so right. I am doing this sort of thing more now than what i used to do. And also becomming more aware of those who are struggling like old people (which i will be hopefully) with bags and things.

    Maybe just maybe us baby boomers could start our own revolution and take nack civilisation and manners, kindness and compassion. We could all do this every day there are a whole lot of us.

    Might go out and start my own movement.