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Stranger Danger - societal paranoia
Old 10-11-2011, 03:07 PM   #1
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Stranger Danger - societal paranoia

Paranoia struck me out of the blue on Saturday.

I was out geocaching in a local park and was heading up a trail to go put the cache back in its hole. Just then a little girl came around the corner on her bike, stopped dead and had a funny look on her face. I thought she looked scared. She then spun around and I heard her yelling for her dad.

My first instinct was to get the heck out of there in case I was confronted as being some kind of pervert lurking in parks to endanger little children.

I'm an overweight woman who only poses a major threat to chairs, pepperoni pizzas and the occasional spider, yet I reacted like a criminal.

I was mad at myself for succumbing to the paranoia that makes completely innocent people feel the need to protect themselves against accusations of crime. Shades of the Salem Witch Trials.

I also realized I'm at the age when I remember that an adult could talk to a kid without feeling guilty. And that a kid would talk to an adult with respect. I can understand why they've lost respect, if they are bombarded day in and day out by people telling them that all strangers are pervs.

It turns out that the kid and her dad were the geocache owners and the funny look on her face was excitement that someone had found their cache. (He emailed me later to say he was sorry they hadn't met me).

I'm going to talk to the next kid I see and let the chips fall where they may. Can someone agree to bail me out
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Old 10-11-2011, 03:20 PM   #2
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Glad that it played out happily and the little girl wasn't yelling for paternal protection!

I don't understand geocaching exactly, but think it seems interesting and admire you for doing a unique outdoor activity that exercises both mind and body.

Got to say----just love your writing style and humor! If you can have a sense of humor while you are still working, just imagine how you can really hone it when you have all the time and energy in the world....
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Old 10-11-2011, 03:24 PM   #3
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My sister and her family have just started geocaching and she mentioned being worried that some homicidal maniac might be waiting by a cache to grab people. I told her that it wouldn't be a homicidal economist, because the odds of being there when some likely victim arrived would be remote. She was less afraid after I pointed out the likelihood.

Glad you enjoy this sport and sorry you had the weird vibe.
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Old 10-11-2011, 03:28 PM   #4
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I guess you must have something else in your mind to think this way...

Heck, I was hiking with my son and was taking a rest under a tree next to a small lake when a group of boy scouts came walking by... they stopped to throw things in the lake and did not see me in the dark under the tree (it was a BIG tree, so I was not hiding)....

I said something to one of the kids and he responded back... a couple of the others made a few remarks... then one of them said loudly to the others "STANGER DANGER"... I was a bit surprised at this and some responded to it by not talking... I told the others that I guess he was right and stopped talking to them.... at NO time did I feel like I was a criminal nor would I have changed what I was doing..... if they feel uncomfortable that is their problem...

Even if a scout master or someone else came by to maybe confront me, I would have said that it is their problem and not mine... leave me alone since this is a public park and I have as much right to be here as you do....
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Old 10-11-2011, 03:52 PM   #5
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[QUOTE=Texas Proud;1120233]I
I said something to one of the kids and he responded back... a couple of the others made a few remarks... then one of them said loudly to the others "STANGER DANGER"... I was a bit surprised at this and some responded to it by not talking... I told the others that I guess he was right and stopped talking to them.... QUOTE]

But that's the sad part. You felt the need to stop talking to them. Don't you find that a bit sad?
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Old 10-11-2011, 03:55 PM   #6
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On a lighter note: I was sitting at the beach this summer and a little 3 year-old came by and started telling me his life story. He talked non-stop for about 10 minutes, then stopped dead and said "Are you a stranger?"

I told him yes, but that it was probably ok to talk to strangers if his dad was there. His dad told him him that was true.

Cute kid. After that we became great friends. It's interesting to view a beach from a baby's eye view.
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Old 10-11-2011, 04:01 PM   #7
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I'm an overweight woman who only poses a major threat to chairs, pepperoni pizzas and the occasional spider, yet I reacted like a criminal.

Like you, I am to be watched carefully when in the vicinity of pepperoni pizzas.
I just hope these admissions don't land us on some Dominos Pizza Delivery Watch List.



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Old 10-11-2011, 04:07 PM   #8
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My sister and her family have just started geocaching and she mentioned being worried that some homicidal maniac might be waiting by a cache to grab people. I told her that it wouldn't be a homicidal economist, because the odds of being there when some likely victim arrived would be remote. She was less afraid after I pointed out the likelihood.

Glad you enjoy this sport and sorry you had the weird vibe.
I'm more worried about Coyotes, bears and cougars, all of which have been seen in local parks. In fact, I saw a coyote next to the park the day before. Where's there's one, there are many. Haven't worried about homicidal maniacs much.... so far.
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Old 10-11-2011, 04:14 PM   #9
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My first instinct was to get the heck out of there in case I was confronted as being some kind of pervert
Exactly how geezer guys feel when they're cutting through the department store at the mega-mall looking for the door where they came in from the parking lot and suddenly find themselves walking though the lingerie department........
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Old 10-11-2011, 04:15 PM   #10
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So that's who stole my pepperoni pizza. Watch out, someone might lure you in with a pizza!

A homicidal maniac using geocacheing to get victims would make a great mystery novel.
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Old 10-11-2011, 04:17 PM   #11
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I'm more worried about Coyotes, bears and cougars, all of which have been seen in local parks. In fact, I saw a coyote next to the park the day before. Where's there's one, there are many. Haven't worried about homicidal maniacs much.... so far.
I don't think you need sweat the coyotes. They generally cannot be bothered to attack anything larger than a toddler. You as an adult are pretty scary in their eyes. Worse comes to worse, you could probably kick one's head in pretty easily.

Cougars, on the other hand, have me thinking about a concealed carry permit before we start camping and hiking in national forests next year with small kids, dogs, etc...
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Old 10-11-2011, 04:17 PM   #12
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So that's who stole my pepperoni pizza. Watch out, someone might lure you in with a pizza!

A homicidal maniac using geocacheing to get victims would make a great mystery novel.
I think it's been done. They've even made a board game out of it: Clue!
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Old 10-11-2011, 04:17 PM   #13
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Exactly how geezer guys feel when they're cutting across the department store at the mall looking for the door near where they parked and suddenly find themselves walking though the lingerie department........
Yep. One of the many reasons I dislike going shopping with DW is the perverse pleasure she gets from calling me on my cell phone in the dept store so she can ask, "Are you in women's underwear?"
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Old 10-11-2011, 04:20 PM   #14
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Cougars, on the other hand, have me thinking about a concealed carry permit before we start camping and hiking in national forests next year with small kids, dogs, etc...
I think the cougars would be much more intimidated if you carried it out in the open. (And yes, I'm talking about a handgun...)
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Old 10-11-2011, 04:22 PM   #15
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I don't think you need sweat the coyotes. They generally cannot be bothered to attack anything larger than a toddler. You as an adult are pretty scary in their eyes. Worse comes to worse, you could probably kick one's head in pretty easily.

...
Yeah, but winter's coming on. With my size, I could keep a polar bear happily hibernating for several months. Coyotes would think of me as an all you can eat buffet.
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Old 10-11-2011, 04:30 PM   #16
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I think the cougars would be much more intimidated if you carried it out in the open. (And yes, I'm talking about a handgun...)
DW would not be pleased, so that is right out.
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Old 10-11-2011, 05:04 PM   #17
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DW would not be pleased, so that is right out.

Might keep lurking homicidal maniac geocachers in check too. DW surely wouldn't object to that
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Old 10-11-2011, 05:12 PM   #18
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Might keep lurking homicidal maniac geocachers in check too. DW surely wouldn't object to that
The coyotes will get them before I do.
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Old 10-11-2011, 05:35 PM   #19
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Yep. One of the many reasons I dislike going shopping with DW is the perverse pleasure she gets from calling me on my cell phone in the dept store so she can ask, "Are you in women's underwear?"
Your wife is TOOO FUNNY!!!
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Old 10-11-2011, 06:06 PM   #20
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Yep. One of the many reasons I dislike going shopping with DW is the perverse pleasure she gets from calling me on my cell phone in the dept store so she can ask, "Are you in women's underwear?"
Probably ought to keep your phone on vibrate...Ummm, wait, did that sound right??
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