Friday, April 17, 2009

The Power of a High-Pitched Yelp

[Disclaimer: Remember, I work downtown in a building that houses not only the Prosecutor's Office but also the Probation Department, which means it is filled with not just those mentally and emotionally unstable prosecutors, but also angry defendants and probationers meeting with agents as well as taking drug tests, etc. Apparently, there are reasons we must go through a metal detector to get inside the building during the week and must therefore wait until the weekend to bring in our large knives.]

Yesterday was a bright, sunny, happy Thursday in Grand Rapids. I am lucky enough to have assigned parking downtown in a lot right next to the building in which I work. In order to enter, I park in the lot then use a walkway down to Ionia Avenue, where the front entrance to the building is guarded by deputies and a large metal detector.

I was strolling down the walkway yesterday alone when I noticed a large man sporting a doo rag walking towards me. I thought nothing of it until he started to pass me and I heard the following words mumbled in a low, guttural, "I don't even realize I'm talking out loud" kind of way:

"This is bad .... this is bad .... this is bad ...."

The man continued on his way and I, evil as I am, had a moment of chuckle wondering what he did and what part of his probation was causing him angst. About ten seconds later, my adrenaline jumped when I heard the pounding of someone running behind me. I turned to see the same man who had just passed me, running back toward me.

I had two thoughts flash through my mind: 1) No one is going to assault me in broad daylight right outside the Prosecutor's Office; 2) well, except perhaps some wigged out man talking to himself about things being bad ... oh no.

Now, did my years of karate training (my brown belt is in a closet somewhere) leap to the forefront and aid me in my time of panic?

Yeeeah. Instinct took over and I let out a high-pitched squeal and jump. Now, if you know me, you know that had this been a friend or family member (Jenny) trying to scare me, what followed would have entailed many many bad words and possibly violence.

There was no need this time.

The man jumped nearly as high as me and immediately began a litany of "Oh no no no, I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry" and I dissolved into an embarrassed "No problem" pool. He continued on his way ... and I have no idea what he'd forgotten or why else he needed to hurry in the other direction but it had nothing to do with attacking the short APA in his way.

I continued weakly into my office building, laughing at myself, and wondering if Sanchin Ryu still has classes in the area. Apparently, I need a refresher.


  1. I can't believe you didn't ask what was his problem? Aren't you curious? What is a doo rag? (embarrassed)...LOL

  2. Here you go,Blue ;)

  3. Don't we all wonder what we would do in a situation like that? Yikes!! I carry mace when I run and always wonder exactly what I would do with it if some creep tried to get near me. A good scream served you much better than that brown belt. Good job!