Monday, September 12, 2005

Aaron vs. Muggers

[*This might not be especially funny to those of you who have traumatic memories of being mugged, but, well, get over it. Life moves on. Besides, this one’s dedicated to that special someone, you stalker you.*]

There is nothing (and I’m resisting the urge to post my copy of “There is nothing like a mugging!” [the popular South Pacific hit]) like getting mugged to make one reassess their priorities and values. Like, say, mainly: my life, first and foremost. Which is, obviously, since I’m writing this, intact. And since my hands aren’t visibly shaking (with anything other than the usual carpal tunnel), I’m going to go ahead and say that I’m over it.

At least in a physical sense: nobody likes being threatened with a knife to their throat or patted down by a slimmer version of Fat Joe. Had it been a fatter version of Eminem (a Mega M&M? perhaps), I’m not really sure how I would’ve reacted. In any case, I did exactly as told – not even thinking to lie or anything about my PIN number – and as a reward was left several items: Jorge Luis Borge’s Collected Fictions (you know, so I can reflect on the situation) and my travel edition of Scrabble (don’t ask). I think he may have even chuckled at that after he took off his game face. For some reason, perhaps my writing is that bad, he chose to take my wallet rather than my writer’s notebook. My goal is now to make him regret that by publishing a bestselling novel.

For what it’s worth, I deserved it on some level – you all know how I love to read and walk, something that’s assuredly not a good idea at 1:15a.m. – but at the same time, Stuyvesant has these really awkward looking “riggings” up, as if we’re filming portions of Pirates of the Caribbean here, replete with scaffolds and hulls. Makes it very easy to hide in a little nook and follow someone into their building. For a place that now charges three times as much as they did five years ago, security really should be better.

M&T is also a horrid responder: should your card be stolen while their office hours are black, there is no way for you to reach a live operator. The closest you can come is to report your card stolen/missing to an answering machine. That’s not a real comfort, and I plan to hold M&T completely liable for the money extracted from my card. Even if that means picketing outside of their office – I do enjoy picking fights with people who aren’t likely to brandish knives on me. Hopefully the guy who mugged me will be content with the money he’s now essentially stolen from M&T and never come looking for me again.

Now it’s time to pick up the pieces, which is really just my way of coming full-circle to my initial point: priorities and values, aside from my life, and the living of it. On my list of things to do are a replacement ID card from the DMV (and you’re bound to hear the end of that), clearing up matters with the irascible M&T bank manager and grabbing a wallet from some street vendor (preferably one that hasn’t been stolen). Oh, and getting a library card, because you know I loves to read. Just, um, not at 1:15am anymore.

Surprisingly, one of the biggest inconveniences is going to be obtaining a new cell phone. My mother refused to let me pay for insurance each month (which would've covered this): she's obstinately blocking me from it once more. Of course, she's also paying for the device, and I can't complain because without it, I've had to fall back on pay phones: the poor man's cell phone. Only these never get reception: I spent a dollar in change just trying to find a phone that actually worked on both ends (reciever and mouthpiece) and was terrified to stick my finger into the quarter return slot because of that old urban legend about the tacks people leave in them. Well, not really frightened so much as lazy. Or both. The point is: these things mean business - there's a reason why those stainless steel cords are just long enough to be used as nooses. And there's no negotiating with a machine for a little more time on the phone - Mommy needs more money for crack, so you'd better pay up.

And while we're on the subject of phones and muggers - our lovely antagonist decides that he's going to prank phone call the people in my most recent calls. While this is only heresay until the lovely and anti-commentitus Jeanette posts something (again, she is not a comment whore) in her own defense: she was rudely woken up by Mr. Mugger who proceeded to fumble over her all-too-difficult-to-pronounce name before falling back asleep again. I'm sorry you lost a valuable seven minutes of REM. I will play "It's the End of the World As We Know It (and I feel fine)" for you later. Both my singing and the mugger's calling are, make no mistake, far more disturbing than you might possibly realize.

Moral of the story? You know, I was mugged, and I don’t feel particularly obligated to give you one. Go have your own experience and see if you feel like tying everything up so neatly for everyone else. I just needed to laugh a little.

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