Category Archives: Creepers

C is for the Creepiest Creeper Experience Ever

So, I talk a lot about creepers and getting creeped on. But most of the time, it’s in, shall we say,.. a controlled environment, such as a club. Yes, creeping is involved, but my personal safety has not been breached, if ya know what I mean.

I thought that moving to a nicer neighborhood in Chicago would cut down on how many mildly creepy experiences I would have, and for the most part, it has. However, a few weeks ago I had a truly terrifying experience that goes above and beyond creepy.

Here’s the set-up: A bunch of my girlfriends and I dressed up and did the barhopping thing until about 2 a.m. Any creeping that happened during barhopping is irrelevant as its level of creep no longer registers on my meter.

My friends were staying at one of the girl’s apartment, which is on the way to my apartment. So, suddenly the group decreased from four girls to one (that would be me). However, I live just a few streets away, and have made the lonely trek several times already, so I blithely continued on my way.

I was almost to my house, and had my keys in hand, when I looked up and saw a guy walking in my direction on the opposite side of the street, pretty much parallel to me. My brain registered that he was there, and that it was a bit odd to see a guy out by himself on my street (which is quiet and residential) at about 2 in the morning, but I wasn’t actually scared.

I proceeded the last couple steps to my apartment, up onto my front porch, fitted the key into the entry door, and stepped inside.

There are times when I just kind of bat the door shut behind me and don’t check to see if it’s actually closed all the way. But that night, something made me give the door an extra little push so that I could hear it click shut.

I then jangled through my key chain to find the key for the front door to my apartment, and as I was getting ready to unlock the deadbolt, I saw a movement out of the corner of my eye. There’s a big mirror in the entryway of the apartment building directly to the left of my front door, facing the entrance of the building. And in the reflection I saw the guy from outside, crouched down with his left hand trying to open the door, and with his right hand shielding the pane of glass next to the door so he could peer in at me.

Even though I knew the door was firmly closed & locked, this probably gave me the biggest jolt of my entire life. I was literally two feet away from some random guy who was trying to follow me into my house. I screamed something at him — go away, or leave me alone, can’t remember — and finally was able to unlock the door and run inside.

Well, that’s pretty much it. I was kind of a wreck for the next 20 minutes until I finally got up the courage to peek out my front window to see if he was still there (he wasn’t), and that was it. I just couldn’t stop thinking about how badly it could have turned out, if I had lingered just 20 seconds talking to my friends before heading to my apartment, or had stopped briefly to check my phone or text someone. It really was just a 20 second differential between me getting inside the apartment building and shutting the door behind me, and this rando literally trying to follow me in. Crazy.

After spending four years in Albany Park and routinely hearing of violence that occurred basically in my backyard, I don’t think I EVER expected my creepiest encounter to happen in my current neighborhood. But it definitely makes the case for ALWAYS being alert.. and maybe some pepper spray wouldn’t hurt, either.

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Hazel

Last Tuesday, I experienced a new level of creeper-ness. It was a long day from working both jobs, including a particularly busy night at the restaurant. I scampered out the door without even enjoying an after-shift drink and started off toward my car only to be halted by yells of  “Hey! Wait! Hey!”

Thinking I had abandoned a table, or left my phone behind, or something equally dire, I turned to see who was shouting after me. It was a guy who had just walked into Jury’s a few minutes earlier with another guy and girl.

“I was hoping to talk to you! You left too soon,” he said.

“I work here… and I just finished my shift,” I said, still looking forward to the thought of sweats, chocolate, and celebrity gossip at the condo.

“I know, I know, but I was hoping you would just stay a little longer, and have a drink…”

Well, he was tall and fairly attractive, so I thought, what the heck. Celebrity gossip can wait, let’s give this guy a shot,  aaaand went back inside to have a drink.

Ok, BAD IDEA. On a scale of dumb, this man was dumber than a box of hair.

Unfortunately, this wasn’t immediately obvious, so we chatted for a few minutes, but it was very disjointed conversation. After biographical information was out of the way (I thought he was maybe 26, but he’s actually about to turn 30, and he thought I was about 24.. and I’m not), he proceeded to gaze at me intently for an awkward space of time, prompting classic shifty-eyes-look-anywhere-but-him-behavior.

“So, you have green eyes,” he stated.

“Yeah, mostly, I guess.” (my eyes are green and brown, but not mixed)

He peered closer.

“Ohhhh, you have hazel eyes!” he went on to extol the virtues of hazel eyes for several seconds. I didn’t even have to look at his to figure out he has hazel eyes, too.

He leaned forward, confidentially.

“Our children will definitely have hazel eyes.”

Um, WHAAAAT!??!!

It literally took several seconds for me to register that this stranger whom I had just met had just referenced the children we would one day have. That guarantees that we will not, in fact, ever even come close to having children. I mean, who does that? I feel like some girls might conceivably see a cute guy and think (THINK. as in, silently) that maybe, if they were to have kids, said kids would be cute.. or something vague. But for a guy to do that, and and be so..specific? Ah, weird.

Anyway, I think he realized that it’s socially … weird to say something like that, and he began maniacally laughing (I’m just going to put it out there that he had probably been drinking prior to coming to this restaurant) and then reached over to grab my hand and chortle about how we weren’t even engaged yet, and there he is talking about our children….. Ah yes, delightful!

No gracias.

I don’t think I even finished my g&t before sliding off the stool, refusing his offer of another drink, warding off his quest for my number with a “maybe next time,”  mumbling something about work the next morning, and finally making it safely to my car/chocolate/celebrity gossip/etc. So much for giving rando’s a chance..

Albany Park Encounters: Part 2

Today, I was going about my Saturday afternoon business, on my way to the library with a stack of books tucked in one arm. A man tooled up alongside me on his bicycle.

“Hi, Miss.”

I gave him the side eye, trying to divine his intentions.

“How are you, Miss? Do you like movies?”

I considered this question. Yes, I do like movies. But, I hate how answering this question in the affirmative often leads the asker into believing that I would like to see a movie with him, when in fact, most of the time, I would not.

“Umm.. sure?”

He pedaled next to me at a painstakingly slow pace as he launched into a spiel about how he gets new movies so if I was interested, or my friends, he could get me new movies, .. or something.

“So, you like movies?” he asked again.

I gestured toward my arm load of books, not wanting to encourage him it what was likely an illegal venture. “I like to read.”

“Ok. So, you want my number?”

“Um.” (awkard laugh) “No? Thanks?”

“Are you sure? I can give you my number, you can get new movies fast!”

“No, it’s ok, I’ll just..read.”

“Ok. Thanks Miss have a nice day!” his words trailed behind him as he pedaled off to his next customer.

This reminded me of a random mini-encounter that happened a few weeks ago when I was walking to my bank, which is a couple blocks away. A man was bicycling the opposite direction that I was walking, and as I looked about, we made what should have been meaningless, routine eye contact. Apparently, he read into it far more than I, as lo and behold Bicycle Man about-faced and was suddenly at my side, commenting on the weather and asking after my welfare. I responded politely until he asked me out, at which point I just said, “No. Cut it out.” Really. What makes a random bicyclist who had to have been at LEAST 40 think he has enough game to pick up a random chick walking down the street? Just no. It’s not going to happen.

Albany Park Encounters: Part 1A, B, and C

In honor of my imminent departure from the most diverse zipcode in the nation, I’m going to recount a couple of the funniest/weirdest encounters I’ve experienced in my 4+ years here.

I think top honors would have to go to a story I’ll call:

Motorboated in Albany Park: My experience with my Fat Friend Thomas

Part A

One day last fall, I was exiting the Press room office after putting in some quality time on the latest edition of the NPP. It was about dinner time, and as I began the short walk to my apartment, the setting sun cast a golden glint on the sidewalk… and on a particularly large boy who was walking toward me in the not-very-far distance.

Hmm, poor kid. He’s already that obese and so young. It’s too bad for him, I thought, as I began to cross the street. My thoughts returned to what else I had to do on the newspaper before it was finished, and so it was almost Twilight Zone-ish when, as I was just about reaching the corner, my FFT was simultaneously bursting through the hedge, triumphantly ending up right in front of me, and completely blocking my path.

“Hi, I’m Thomas,” he said, sticking out his left hand.

What the heck, I might as well shake his hand, I figured. I reached out my left hand, too, since my coat was draped over my right arm.

Moving faster than I would have thought possible, Thomas latched onto my hand, using it to propel himself face-first into my bosom, then expertly reached around and rested his right hand on my rear.

I don’t know what to say besides that I was in shock, and I don’t know if any thought passed through my head beyond WHAT THE HELL IS HAPPENING TO ME RIGHT NOW?! as I tried to push him off of me, while both arms were trapped in front of me in a me + Thomas sandwich.

At some point, his face left my chest and I wrested my hand away from his grip.

“Can I have another hug?”

“Um, NO! No, you can’t!” I informed him.

“Can we shake hands again, then?”

“No, Thomas, no you cannot shake my hand!”

I anticipated him just going for it again, so I took my chance to sqeeze past him and around the corner, where the entrance of my apartment was just yards away.

“Can I come home with you??” Thomas’s voice trailed after as he began following me.

Without a backward glance, I told Thomas in no uncertain terms that he could not come home with me and that it would be best if he returned to his own home.

The end, right? No. This is not the end. That was only the beginning (although definitely the most eventful encounter).

Part B

A few weeks later, my [college] roommate and I were walking down the same street on our way back to the apartment. In the distance, I saw a very large child walking toward us.

“Oh my gosh, K, that’s him. I think that’s Thomas.”

We both giggled in disbelief.

“Is it? Do you think that’s him?”

“Yes! I’m pretty sure it is. Oh my gosh. We have to cross the street!”

So, we crossed, but like a tanker, so did Thomas, as he steadily made his way right for me. K and I tried to huddle behind an unsuspecting North Park male who was walking a few paces in front of us, with K rationalizing that surely Thomas wouldn’t bother us if we were with a guy.

False. The kid made a beeline straight at me, not even blessing K with a glance, as he once again stuck out his hand and declared, “Hi, I’m Thomas!”

“I am not falling for that again,” I muttered as I scrambled after K, who had already dodged the Thomas bullet and had distanced herself with the NP male in between us.

“At least we can outrun him,” K pointed out as I caught up to her. (We did.)

Part C

No further motorboating ensued in Part B, but I had one last Thomas-encounter a couple weeks ago when I made the mistake of walking down the same street only to walk right past the lion’s den (aka Thomas’s abode), where he stood in the front yard and rushed (as well as he is able to do so) toward me, calling after me that his name is Thomas, and did I want to shake his hand?… I didn’t.

And, hopefully, that concludes my Thomas Encounters.