21 January 2006

Women and Islam (and Road House)

I'm not a psychologist, so I won't bother adding my completely extraneous two bits to the discussion of Islamists' obvious fear of women and female sexuality. I just wanted to relate a story of which Allah's post reminded me. (Not that Allah. The one with the blog. You know, that Allah.)

At school, there is an Islam Awareness Week every year, usually during the playoffs in October. They have lectures and such. That means I have to run a gauntlet of people handing out flyers. Now, I avoid everyone that hands out flyers. Over the years, I've developed a number of techniques for getting past these people, including holding my math notes before my face so that I appear to be studying intensely, timing my entry into the building so that each flyer-person is occupied with a victim, and suddenly developing a highly localized blind spot while walking very quickly (this last technique works best if you appear to be lost in thought and can muster up a slight frown).

But on this particular day, my techniques were of no avail. You see, it was the playoffs, and I was wearing a shirt to support my team. This shirt happened to be a tank top.

I entered the building walking very quickly (I was running a bit late for class) and within a group of fellow stragglers. And yet, one of these bearded fellows spotted me and rushed across half of the lobby, practically running, flew past several other people, halted mere centimeters away from me, and shoved his "Women and Islam" flyer in my face in a very threatening fashion. Obviously, he felt I needed to be subjected to sharia law. I restrained my dirty look as best as I could and said firmly but politely, "No, thank you."

I guess my story would be more exciting if I had given voice to one or more of the remarks that crossed my mind. But my mom raised me to be polite. "Be nice," she'd say. "If somebody gets in your face and calls you a cocksucker, I want you to be nice. Ask him to walk. Be nice. If he won't walk, walk him. But be nice. I want you to be nice until it's time to not be nice."

Wait a minute! That wasn't Mom. That was Patrick Swayze. Damn my misspent youth!

20 Comments:

Anonymous someone said...

Nice time warp we're in...

4:33 PM  
Anonymous steve_in_hb said...

You put too much thought in to your flyer evasion strategies. NYC method is best - absolutely refuse to acknowledge the person exists. Don't hide, don't say "no thanks", don't avert your eyes, just pretend they are not there. If they jam the flyer in to your path walk right through it.

As for a guy aggressively jamming something in your face, I guess your best option is just to step around and keep walking. Don't talk, don't make eye contact. As a guy, I would have shouldered him aside and let him decide whether he wanted to escalate.

Oh yeah, keep a folder with all your medical records handy, buy a beat up junker of a car, keep four spare tires in it, and keep your head on a swivel for Ben Gazzara.

6:41 PM  
Blogger Mrs. Peel said...

If I had actually felt threatened, I would have reacted differently. But there's nothing a guy wielding a flyer can do to intimidate me. Now, a guy wielding a gun or a cell phone with wires leading from it to his backpack might be a different story, but I guess we won't know till it happens.

And what about a screwdriver to change out the license plates?

8:02 PM  
Anonymous steve_in_hb said...

Don't play tough with me. You and your bare arms and shoulders were intimidated by his truth. Admit it.

Why are we concentrating on the negative parts of the movie? What about the positives? Skimming money from the register, illicit backroom sex, violent brawls, etc. The Happy Time before the fun was ruined by that tight ass bouncer.

10:24 PM  
Blogger Mrs. Peel said...

I gotta say, steve, I wasn't expecting you to remark on his ass. But it is quite easy on the eye.

11:11 PM  
Anonymous Michael said...

Typical iNTj behavior.

1:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Going for Dalton - you are such a GIRL. A WOMAN would know Gazzara is the way to go - money and power trumps looks, hair, and a tight ass.

2:48 AM  
Anonymous steve_in_hb said...

anonymous = steve_in_hb. And yes I'm drunk and incompetent.

3:21 AM  
Blogger Mrs. Peel said...

I dunno, steve, Dalton may not have political power, but he can rip a guy's throat out. And wasn't his non-decoy car a Camaro or something equally nice?

Out of curiosity, Michael, to what were you referring?

10:14 AM  
Anonymous steve_in_hb said...

Yeah, but you would never be able to launch your rockets from that barn - think of the fire risk. With Gazzara's estate you would even have room to build a concrete command bunker.

Plus with Dalton you'd have to deal with that hussy of a doctor coming on to your man every time he went in for a stitch job.

11:38 AM  
Blogger Anonymous Austinite said...

My favorite flyer evasion techniques are to put on headphones (whether or not they're attached to anything playing music) or to talk (or pretend to be talking) on my cell phone. These techniques are especially useful when walking to class through protests or other High Density Flyer events. However, if you don't have any props, go with the NYC technique.

12:25 PM  
Blogger Mrs. Peel said...

Ah, but steve, I make my own money. Dalton can come to my estate and be my charismatic second-in-command when I start my Mars colony.

12:35 PM  
Anonymous Michael said...

The fact that you actually think up strategies to avoid pamphleteers. An E would take the pamphlet and shoot the breeze with the guy for a few minutes.

12:49 PM  
Anonymous steve_in_hb said...

anonymous austinite -

The NYC technique is always preferable because you are essentially saying, "I refuse to acknowledge you as a person." The prop techniques means you are allowing them to change your behavior - effectively acknowledging them.


mrs. peel -

Have you considered the strain Dalton's hair care product needs would put on your supply system?

1:04 PM  
Blogger Mrs. Peel said...

Oh, he wouldn't need any hair care products. I like my men with short, military-style haircuts.

Michael - And it is those E's who enable my strategy of ducking through the crowd while they are engaged with the flyer-people. More power to them, I say.

1:27 PM  
Anonymous steve_in_hb said...

mrs. peel -

I humbly submit that trying to get Dalton to cut his hair would result in the throat ripping you alluded to earlier. Maybe if he really likes you, he'll only do the "kick the knee out" move that was also featured in the movie.

1:47 PM  
Anonymous Michael said...

My specialty is making a fast-break for the door after a church service so I don't have to engage with all the friendly people milling around. I tell ya, I've developed this skill to the point where it's an art form. Some members of my congregation think I have the ability to become invisible.

2:01 PM  
Blogger Mrs. Peel said...

True, steve, and he might not look as good with short hair anyway. Maybe I should pick a new charismatic second-in-command.

Michael - I just look lost in thought because I'm usually still thinking over the sermon. So an exchange of smiles and a shake of the rev's hand gets me out of there.

3:37 PM  
Anonymous Michael said...

Are you kidding? I'm in the parking lot lighting up a smoke before the rev shakes his first hand.

(The trick is this side door at the back of the sanctuary that goes through the church offices. Don't tell anyone.)

3:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I tell people I sell life insurance and ask them if they have a few minutes.

Dave in Texas

10:27 AM  

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