Two Random Stories

During the Columbus Day weekend, I had two experiences that gave me pause.


When I was walking in my hood one afternoon, I noticed that the woman walking in front of me was providing a peepshow to the neighborhood. Somehow, her wrapdress had hooked itself on her large bag so that the entire length of her right leg was in full view. Added to that, the light breeze, and you got a clear shot of her green underwear.

After hesitating for a bit, thinking that one of the other people walking in front of me would surely alert the woman (typical bystander effect as no one did), I caught up with the woman. I tactfully told her that her dress was hitched rather high, probably because of her bag. Instead of saying thank you, this woman said something to the effect of whatever. So I continued, trying to make her understand how serious the situation was: "I can literally see everything, honey." She looked at my blankly. So I was like, fine, whatever, and walked off.

Who knows if she did readjust her dress? When I told a friend about this, she figured that the girl was doing it on purpose. I doubt that. She wasn't a particularly attractive woman, but rather a non-descript 20-something in a sundress. And she did not look like the type who was looking for attention or action. Or maybe that was her shtick.

If I was her, I would have been profusely grateful. But no, she had an attitude.

People are weird.


During that same weekend, I was walking near the Columbia Heights fountain. It was a beautiful day and everyone (and their grandma) was out eating fro-yo, chatting, and simply walking around. On my way to the metro, I noticed two gleaming quarters on the sidewalk. I paused. They were on tails and being the pseudo-superstitious person that I am I debated picking them up.

For those of you who know about my tendency of finding money ($5, $20, $100) on the ground, you might assume that I left the quarters there. I don't have a problem picking up coins—as long as they are on heads. I have a problem with claiming bills that aren't mine—as I'm freaked out by the sort of karma that may be tied to them.

So, I bent over to pick them up. But they wouldn't budge. I literally scrapped the surface of my nails on the concrete trying to pry away the first and then the second quarter. After about a minute, I shrugged it off with an embarrassed laugh and went on my way.

I imagine that someone super-glued them to the sidewalk and was sitting somewhere nearby watching fools like me try to remove the quarters in vain.

Oddly, enough, when I returned home that night, the quarters were gone. I guess someone was carrying around some acetone or a nail file to effectively pick them up. You better believe that I would have tried both if I had them.

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