Thursday, October 15, 2009

Do I Look Like a Bad Guy?

James Rummel writes about an online survey that rates how likely you are to be the victim of a violent crime.

His rating is negative. So was mine*, but only barely.

I could lower my score all the way down to -15, if I were to start locking all car doors when in the car, carrying an umbrella, and not carrying my ATM card. But I've never heard of a carjacking in Eugene, I usually rely on my hat and overcoat for rain protection, and I do carry my ATM card.

Anyway, this is amusing to me because of an incident that happened two years ago at LCC, on a rainy day as I was walking from my office to the bus stop.

My overcoat is a knee-length London Fog coat. I chose black instead of brown, but admittedly Matrix versus Dick Tracy is a touchy fashion decision with no correct answer.

I was also wearing my hat. With both my coat and hat I look too much like the villain from the first Indiana Jones movie. But no one at the bank has ever asked me to identify myself with both a photo id and the symbol burned onto my palm.

I was also carrying my skateboard. I can skip a 10 to 15 minute wait to switch buses (at an uncovered bus stop) by skating home instead. I get no more wet, have a lot more fun, and arrive home at most 5 minutes later.

So I'm walking along, looking like a villain in need of a 1930s getaway car, when along comes a young boy and his mom. The kid is probably 8 or 9. He's been watching the puddles and his feet, but looks up and sees me. His eyes get big. His mouth drops open. A drone of "Whoa" spills out of his mouth.

He wasn't afraid. I think he was wondering what my superpower might be.

UPDATE: I realized the online survey completely neglects making your home secure, something Mr. Rummel writes about often.

* My current rating. Summer's dry spell is over and I'm often wearing my overcoat. Since P'nei Adonai is no longer a congregation I'm not attending IAMCS conferences or taking airplane trips.

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