Fiction, Monologues, Plays & More
By Jeff Folschinsky
I’ve been mugged three times this year, twice the year before, and twice the year before that. I don’t know why, I guess I’ve just got one of those faces that said, “Hey, come rip me off. I’m an easy target.”
So needless to say when a new product comes out to discourage muggings, I’m obviously one of the first ones to check it out. The only thing is all the stuff they come up with is worthless.
I mean I’ve tried them all from pepper sprays to personal alarms and they don’t do crap. Believe it or not the only thing that I’ve experienced that had any marginal amount of success was a rape whistle, and the only reason for that was the attacker was laughing so hard he was having trouble going through with it. Keep in mind though, he did manage to pull it together and get my wallet, so in the end I just delayed the inevitable.
And the thing is, it’s not like I’m a coward; far from it. I’ve taken various forms of martial arts, I have a personal trainer, and I have taken primal aggression therapy courses. Theoretically, I’m in prime condition to call forth the primal forces of my inner chi and kill someone five times before they hit the ground.
The only problem is before I have a chance to call forth the primal forces of my inner chi, I’m usually on the ground holding my stomach while my attacker is robbing me blind.
I really wish they would choose a different place to punch me. I’m worried at this point I might be developing some major intestinal problems. I can’t even look at a jalapeno without my stomach tying itself into knots. I won’t even mention what happens in the bathroom after one of these attacks. The last couple of times this happened I didn’t even report it for fear my insurance rates would go through the roof.
In a final act of desperation I decided to get a dog. I read somewhere that people with dogs were statistically less likely to be mugged than people without dogs, so naturally I wanted to give it a try.
My only reservation was that I never really considered myself much of a dog person. I’ve always been a little more partial to cats. This is ironic since I’m allergic to them. I mean, nothing against dogs, it just seemed like the independent nature of cats would be less of a time commitment.
Unfortunately you can’t take a cat out for a walk. Well, I take that back, I’ve actually heard of people doing that sort of thing but a person walking a cat just doesn’t seem to have the same impact as someone walking a dog, and keep in mind this is supposed to be a deterrent. Besides, like I said before, I’m allergic, so the subject of cat ownership is pretty much a moot point.
Finding a dog ended up being a lot easier than I thought it would be. I went down to the local shelter thinking I would just window shop and get an idea of what my options were. The only thing about that though, is that they never tell you how hard it is to just walk through one of those places and not come out with a dog.
I mean you look down and, oh my god, you have these eyes just staring up at you. How are you supposed to just casually look around with those eyes shooting hooks into your heart as you walk from cage to cage?
It’s impossible; it can’t be done I tell you. The person that claims they can do that is either a: a liar or b: born without a soul and needs to be destroyed before they become the next Hitler.
Actually let me strike that last statement. I’ve actually seen pictures of Hitler with dogs. If memory serves me, it’s people he didn’t care for. But anyway, I’m getting off topic here. The point I’m trying to make is that it’s hard to walk through a shelter without getting a dog.
I know this for a fact because I ended up walking out with one. Well actually, I didn’t walk out with one that day, since the dog needs to be neutered before you can take it home. Which to me seems a very strange way to start a relationship with another living thing.
I mean, how would have you reacted if someone looked down at you and said, “Hi there, you’re coming home with me as soon as a doctor removes your means of reproduction.” I’m surprised that Chuck didn’t bite me as soon as I picked him up from the vet.
Chuck is the name I gave to the dog, because I grew up with a bully named Chuck, so I figured it was only fitting. Considering the whole reason I got him in the first place was to be intimidating.
All and all I have to say I was pretty happy with the results he provided. Well, at least I partially was. While it’s true the attacks had stopped, I couldn’t shake the sneaking suspicion that something else was at work. I mean, I’m not talking about God or a higher power or anything like that, but something else entirely.
The dog definitely was part of it but there was something else that I just couldn’t put my finger on. Well, not until last week that is.
You see, I was letting Chuck do his business during our nightly walk when I noticed I was out of poo bags, and while the police seem to be very inept at stopping a mugging, they seem to be very proficient at appearing out of nowhere to give out tickets for not picking up your dog’s poo. Plus I don’t like to step in dog poo, I don’t know anyone that does like to step in dog poo, so I try to be a good dog owner and pick up the dog’s poo.
So I took Chuck back to the apartment, grabbed a bag and headed back out to clean up his mess. After I had finished I noticed that there were some dubious characters hanging around. I attempted to casually walk away but I could feel them following me as I began making my way back to the safety of my apartment building.
I was moving slowly for fear if I moved too quickly it would only excite them and bring down the inevitable beating that much sooner. I kept anticipating the attack that was surely coming, but for some reason they were keeping a safe distance. I could hear them whispering amongst themselves, probably debating which one of them would have the honor of perpetrating mugging number four of this year, so imagine my surprise when I safely walked through my gate unharmed.
Chuck was at the window barking at the potential felons as they walked by saying a few words I don’t care to repeat under their breath and then leaving.
“What the hell just happened?” I thought to myself as I entered my apartment. Chuck greeted me by bumping into my leg and whacking me with his tail as if to remind me he hadn’t gotten a treat for doing his business outside. A pink bag with a pungent odor of baking soda and dog crap appeared in front of my face as I reached up to get Chuck’s milk bones. Crap, I was so caught up in what was going on, that I forgot to throw Chuck’s poo bag away.
That’s when it hit me. The elusive element that I hadn’t seen before. When I was walking the streets with Chuck, I had also been carrying his pink bag of poo with me also.
At first I laughed at the mere idea of it, but the more I thought about it, the more it made sense.
I was carrying a pink bag of dog poo. I mean if you don’t like stepping in it, then you sure as hell don’t want to be hit in the face with it trying to mug some poor fool holding it in their hand.
I couldn’t believe it. All the things I’d tried. All the classes and seminars I’d been to and this is what works? A pink Arm and Hammer baking soda scented bag filled with dog poo.
Not to over dramatize the point but I felt like this was one of those eureka moments that scientist get when they discover something big. Like a cure for cancer or finding their lost car keys. I mean a pink bag of steamy dog poo was the salvation I was looking for. I mean even now, it just blows the mind thinking about it.
Okay, I know what you’re thinking because I was thinking it too, but since the time of this great revelation, I’ve done extensive research into this phenomenon and I’m here to tell you, it just wasn’t a fluke.
You see at night after Chuck has done his business I’ve started to go into what some would consider high risk areas, and have successfully come out mugging free.
Now I’m not going to lie. There have been a couple of close calls when some people wanted to test themselves against the power of the pink bag of poo, but I’ve found in these rare cases that if I reinforce my position by dangling the bag in front of me, with a disgusted look on my face. All the while yelling out, “Oh my God this is so gross.” All courage usually leaves the potential perpetrator and they go out of their way to avoid me.
I’ve never really considered myself much of a religious person, but the word “God Send” is the only thing I can think of to describe this gift.
Was it divine inspiration, a flash of genius or just plain flat out blind luck that caused me to make this discovery? I have no idea and frankly I don’t care. All I know is that I’m finally walking down the streets at night with confidence, and not jumping out of my skin at every little noise that I hear.
People may look at me strangely, but I don’t really care. They don’t know what it was like to live in constant fear. A fear that I no longer have to live with. Thanks to this amazing discovery.
So let them stare as I carry this bag in front of me like a protective talisman, for I do it with pride, because now I feel my life can finally begin. As I venture forth now, worry free into this big bad world, with nothing but myself, Chuck, and my glorious, heaven sent, pink bag of poo.
Jeff Folschinsky’s plays have been seen at various theaters across North America. He is also creator and staff writer for Perilous and The Trials and Tribulations of Vicky Vixen, a serial late night soap opera spoof at the Eclectic Company Theater in North Hollywood, California. Jeff’s plays The Unsinkable Bismarck, A Pill By Any Other Name Is The Wrong Dosage, Rendezvous and Revelations and Kisses From Abroad are published by One Act Play Depot. His full length play Turkey Day that had it’s world premiere at The Eclectic Company Theatre, is published by both Norman Maine Play Publishing and Big Dog Play Publishing. His play he co-wrote with Tyler Tanner The Singing Bone is published by JAC Publishing. Jeff has written and produced the popular podcasts Virgin Falls, Pasiones Obsesionantes, The B-Movie Bastards and Cult Movie Cuisine. Jeff has also written a movie with Tyler Tanner and Stephanie Wiand called Revenge of the Bimbot Zombie Killers which was directed by Joe Camareno and is due to be released later this year.