Thursday, June 13, 2013

Not Exactly the Stealth Model

This is a true story, unlike many of the other things I’ve posted, this did actually happen. I’m even pretty sure it wasn’t a hallucination. I mean, I know the duck’s a hallucination, but he assures me that this wasn’t and who am I to doubt a hallucinatory duck?

Besides, the duck’s been good to me. Not like that *#%*#(!-ing rabbit.

Last weekend, I decided to take a walk. It was a nice day, sunny with a little breeze, and there’s a park with a walking/running trail just down the street. So I slipped into something more comfortable than the usual mail hauberk I wear at home and headed out. 

It was fairly busy, with lots of runners and walkers on the path and I was nearing the end of my walk when I turned a corner and saw a young couple a couple hundred feet ahead of me. They were walking hand-in-hand in the same direction I was and being generally cute, what with the leaning into each other and chatting and whatnot.

It was a nice scene. A young couple walking hand-in-hand along a trail, green grass around them, the sun high in a cloudless sky.  It was so wholesome Norman Rockwell could have painted it. It made even my black and bitter heart quiver, even though I keep it in a jar back home.

So, I’m walking along, gaining ground on this couple, because I walk really, really fast (seriously, ask anyone). Joggers are passing us, along with the occasional walker approaching from the opposite direction. They all pass the couple, who move a little to let them by. It’s all very, very normal. Nothing weird or amiss going on.

I get to about five yards behind them and step on a leaf or branch or something, causing the young woman to glance over her shoulder. Now, I’m not exactly the stealth model, so it’s not like I was sneaking up on them. I’m just walking along normally. 

Now, as I said, the young lady glances over her shoulder at me, and then moves completely to the left, pressing up against her boyfriend, leaving about ¾ of the trail open. She hasn’t done this with any of the other half-dozen people who’ve gone by.

I pass them after a minute or so. As I go by, dead silence. I get to about a dozen yards ahead of them and idly glance back, to see her move back to where she had been. They start talking again.

I literally said ‘Am I that scary?’ to myself.

It was kind of weird. I mean, I don’t think I’m a scary person. I did yell ‘Farfegnugen!’ at some ducks, but that’s the polite thing to do. I even left my machete in the car. I kind of wanted to slow down and let them catch up so I could say something nonchalant like ‘my, it’s a nice day for not strangling people!’ or something else to demonstrate that I was, in fact, not going to strangle them.

I dunno. Perhaps all these years of fighting ninjas have left their mark. Maybe her uncle was a ninja and he used to tell her stories of a burly, non-stealthy, fast-walking guy that beat him up on a regular basis. Maybe I just smell really, really bad (it’s possible). 

Then again, I was wearing my ‘Thumbs Up for Mindless Violence!’ t-shirt, so maybe that had something to do with it.



Unknown said...

Ah, she may have had that reaction because you did not show proper "trail etiquette" when passing someone from behind. In order not to startle them, the polite thing to say is "on your left" (or right, as the case may be, but it is typically left because people tend to walk on the right of the path to avoid oncoming traffic). And you usually give about 5-10 feet notice so you are not right up behind them when you say it. Also a "hello" is nice to show you are friendly and not a homicidal maniac (one never knows these days)!

Rahel Sewell said...

This happens to me all the time, and I'm a small female person. I just seem to have a knack for scaring random strangers. I'm not sure why, I'm very polite! I do tend to stare a lot at people, though.

Jason Janicki said...

So, Unknown, the thing is that she HAD to have seen me before that. There were enough people on the trail and she'd glanced over her shoulder at least three times before I passed them, so I can't imagine she didn't see me. Unless, of course, she unconsciously blocked it out, which happens.

Are you holding a dagger or some sort of skull when you're staring at people? As that might explain things, Rahel ;)

Anonymous said...

This happens to me a lot. I'm not exactly small either, and more importantly my eyesight is such that I don't see well unless I scowl. I don't even realize I'm doing it, because I see just fine as long as I glare, but it has lead to some misunderstandings and confrontation that always takes me by surprise. ("Hey buddy, what's your problem?")