Sunday, October 3, 2010

Scum, and How They Inconvenience Decent People Like Me

There is lots of scum in the world, but I would have to say the top of my list includes murderers, rapists, child-molesters, and purse-snatchers.  This particular rant has mostly to do with genus purse-snatcher, including the various species pickpocket, identity thief, and general sleaze.

The subject arises not only because I've had the misfortune of having my purse picked in a foreign country, but because my ever-vigilant dad recently sent me a telling snippet of surveillance footage.  I'm a creature of precautions, so what's a girl to do?  Besides looking both ways and trying not to walk alone, there only seemed to be four options.

1) Let the purse go and pop the sucker with the handgun you managed to smuggle somewhere on your person.

2) Let the purse go, knowing you have your wallet in your pocket and keys on your belt, letting him get away with girly supplies and Kleenex.

3) Keep hold of the purse with bulldog determination and end up beaten, stabbed, or left for dead.

4) Let the purse go and end up stranded with no wallet, no credit cards, no check book, no ID, no keys, no phone, and a soon-to-be-destroyed credit score.

The fact is I am very alone when I run my errands, and indeed most of the time.  When I ask other women how they protect themselves, they usually say, "That's what husbands are for."  Husbands are providers, not round-the-clock bodyguards.  David can't babysit me; he has work to do.  Because I am currently unable to arm myself appropriately, and because I refuse to be victimized again, I have opted for the decoy purse.  It still looks ripe for picking, but I've started carrying a smaller wallet in my pocket and clipping my keys to a belt loop.  Fortunately, most of my favorite skirts are so equipped.  People call me paranoid, but at least I won't be that woman on the news.

At the same time, it's a real pain in the neck to learn a new routine, to remember where your stuff is, to rummage through your pockets in the check-out line because you might possibly be robbed around the next corner.  It's the same smoldering hatred of thieves and the trouble they cause us that most upstanding citizens feel as they struggle to open shoplifter-proof packaging, or waste time and money on the latest anti-virus software.

Death to scum.

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