Friday, September 19, 2008

A Serious Moral Dilemma

I'm at a coffee shop in EDH right now (called Habit) and there is a potentially disturbing situation going on. I'll copy and paste a convo to make things quick. If you've never seen the movie Hard Candy, you should. But if you haven't, the opening scene is a 30-something photographer and a 14 year old girl talking online and agreeing to meet up at a coffee shop. They flirt and it's creepy and the movie only gets creepier from there. With that said...
(1:53:13 PM) Me: so
(1:53:15 PM) Me: im at a coffee shop
(1:53:34 PM) Me: and there are two people at another table that creepily remind me of the opening scene of Hard Candy
(1:53:53 PM) Me: the guy is a bearded redhead...maybe 25-30 yrs old
(1:53:56 PM) Me: and the girl looks...13
(1:54:02 PM) Mikey: how great is that movie
(1:54:04 PM) Me: and they are talking about how muscular she likes guys
(1:54:08 PM) Mikey: hahah
(1:54:09 PM) Mikey: ew
(1:54:14 PM) Me: im creeped out
(1:54:17 PM) Mikey: so am i
(1:54:20 PM) Me: it's a coffee shop just like the one in the movie, too
(1:54:43 PM) Mikey: lol
(1:55:08 PM) Me: looking at not sure if 13 is too old. could be 12
(1:55:16 PM) Mikey: ask her
(1:55:20 PM) Me: oh gosh, they are talking about how she's in gymnastics
(1:55:25 PM) Mikey: hahahah
(1:55:25 PM) Me: he could be her super creep-o coach
(1:55:30 PM) Me: hard to say
(1:55:32 PM) Me: but this is wrong

(2:06:09 PM) Me: omg omg omg
(2:06:10 PM) Me: im not kidding
(2:06:18 PM) Me: the 12 yr old and the dude are talking about condoms
(2:06:20 PM) Me: WTF
(2:06:24 PM) Me: i feel like i should call the police
(2:06:39 PM) Mikey: uhh
(2:06:52 PM) Mikey: this just took a very disgusting turn
(2:06:53 PM) Me: she's talking about how she found some "at the warped tour"...i cant hear much, but it is an inappropriate conversation
(2:07:17 PM) Me: i need to know how old she is. i suppose she could be a young looking...15. 15 is the oldest i can imagine
(2:07:25 PM) Me: if i wasnt right in her view i would take a pic for you
(2:07:27 PM) Mikey: either way, not legal
(2:07:29 PM) Mikey: lol
(2:07:35 PM) Mikey: very kind
(2:07:37 PM) Me: because then I'D be the one going to jail
(2:07:37 PM) Me: haha
(2:07:51 PM) Mikey: can just snap a pic in a few days of the MISSING poster
(2:08:07 PM) Me: hahap

So, serious question...I suppose I should and have and will mind my own business...but this just seems so wrong. I am curious about what you would do in this situation? What if it was your daughter or sister? Would you want me to say SOMETHING?

UPDATE: They are now talking about she works at Posh Punkins, a baby store a couple doors down. Which means she must be at least 16. I guess gymnasts do look young, but damn. Sixteen, of course, would be illegal to have sex with...but having coffee with a 16-year old is less creepy than a 12-year old.

FINAL UPDATE: Creepy 20-Something Gingerbeard just left. A flamboyant gay 30-something guy who she apparently knows came in and sat down next to her and took over the conversation. Finally Redbeard got up and left. They hugged when he left, but at least he left alone.

I suppose it's still a valid discussion for future reference. This is a weird fucking coffee shop.

Friday, September 12, 2008

I Might Have the Plague? Or Maybe I Just Saved the Bay Area from The Black Death...

As I walk into the legal clinic I "work" at, I was not terribly excited. Thursday nights are a "classroom" type of session. No clients, just boring lectures and questions.

I proceed to the end of the long table, where I always sit, and place my bag down behind my chair. I turn around and stop dead in my tracks.

This guy, I shall call him Utah, has a...rodent. In his hands. And he is feeding it a coffee creamer.

I stand there, not wanting to sit down and put myself closer to the rodent until I have more information. I survey the scene. There are about a dozen people in the class, and I am the second to last person to arrive. Everyone else seems perfectly comfortable with Utah holding a rodent. I think to myself, "Well...maybe it's his pet?" I look around and see no cage. "And why would he bring his pet to the class?" I ponder.

I am still standing and I try and determine what kind of rodent it is for sure. My initial reaction was, "It's a freaking squirrel. A SQUIRREL." But I think to myself, "No, no one can possibly be that retarded. Maybe it's a rat? Definitely not a rat. A guinea pig? Nope. A...squirrel. It has to be a squirrel."

"Is that...a...squirrel?" I ask, incredulously.
"Yeah," Utah says, still feeding this squirrel the creamer.
" squirrel?"
"Where did you get it?"
"I found it in the parking lot. He looked super hungry."


"So you picked it up and brought it in here?"
"Yeah," says Utah. He seems confused at my reaction.

After pondering my next move for a few minutes, I have to admit to myself that the squirrel is pretty cute. No. No! It's a squirrel! A vehicle for the black death!

Utah puts the squirrel into a small cardboard box once the lecture starts, and I can hear it scurrying around.

Finally I say, "You realize that you could get the plague from that thing if it bites you?"
"What plague?"
"The...bubonic plague."
"haha yeah right."

I proceed to explain how I grew up in Tahoe and how campgrounds were routinely closed down due to outbreaks of the plague. He starts to get worried. We get quiet and continue on with the lecture.

During a short break, Utah asks me again about the plague. I tell him I have no idea, but maybe they transmit the plague by biting you? His face goes cold as the guy on the other side of me tells me, "Whoa, that thing was gnawing on his finger." A girl who came in after I did, and seems equally confused by the presence of the squirrel, chimes in that she believes they just carry fleas with the plague, and the fleas will jump off the squirrel and that is how humans can contract the plague. Now Utah is really freaked out. And actually, so am I.

"Dude, I had no idea. I was going to take it home to my kid."

That's right. He was going to take it home to his kid. A wild freaking squirrel. I have no idea how old he is...maybe 30? And he not only picks up a wild squirrel who is too weak to move, but he is going to take it home to his KID. Later, as I thought about the ridiculousness of the situation, it occurred to me that there is actually a pretty good chance the squirrel has rabies. I remember being taught that if a wild animal like a squirrel or a bat allows you to pick it up because it is so weak, it probably has rabies.

So maybe the Bay Area is safe from the Black Death. But Utah's kid is definitely foaming at the mouth as I write this.