And This Is Why I Carry Pepper Spray on My Keychain

Pepper sprayI doubt many of you venture over to World Star Hip-Hop. It’s a classless website that posts homegrown clips of anything and everything — booty-shaking strippers, random fights caught on the street, C-list rappers’ latest videos. You can expect to say “oh my God” at least five times and shake your head profusely until you click off. It’s a mess.

Yesterday, someone posted a 3-minute, 51-second video of an old guy on a public bus stroking his man meat through his pants. Then, when the sensation apparently got too good for him to control himself, he whipped his piece out and commenced to masturbating. Again, on the bus. With people in front and beside him.

Hence the title of this post. He would’ve been down for the count as soon as I saw him reaching for that zipper. 


Now, I could pontificate all day about the trifling-ness of this man’s behavior and how he ought to thank his lucky stars someone didn’t knock him upside his perverted head for pulling such a nasty trick. And normally, I wouldn’t even give a clip like this the attention or the traffic.

But this right here is the very reason why I’m so hesitant to let Girl Child have the freedom she thinks she’s ready to enjoy. I don’t even know what I would do if a dude started pleasuring himself in the seat next to me and I like to think I’m pretty street smart. But despite my best efforts to prepare her for all kinds of distasteful encounters, I’m positive my 13-year-old would be devastated. I’ve just never prepped her for the what-to-do-in-case-a-man-pulls-out-his-penis-and-starts-going-in scenario.

I posted a few months ago about how her father seems to believe she’s old enough to ride the MegaBus or Greyhound by herself from DC to New York. I’ve always said no to that. I just wouldn’t be able to rest easy. So I’ve saddled up to ride the bus with her, drop her off, then hop immediately back on a return bus to head home to the District. It’s out of the way and my ticket is an unnecessary expense, but there are crazy people out there. And this man is proof positive.

I don’t know how old she’ll have to be before I feel comfortable with her traveling long distances by herself, but I know for a fact that 13 ain’t it. Next year, she’ll be a high school freshman and she’s already asking if she can take the subway and the city bus to school instead of me dropping her off. I’ve managed to dodge the decision with a tentative “we’ll see.” I don’t want to coddle or baby her. I want her to be able to think quick on her feet and respond to situations accordingly. But if I can protect her just a little while longer, I’m going to do just that.

Next time her dad rides my coattails about being too overprotective, I’m just going to send him this link. Not argue, not defend myself. Just send this link. Particularly since the interior of this bus bears an unsettling resemblance to the ones here in DC.  

It’s a wonder that anybody with kids and Internet access lets their children out of the backyard, much less go anywhere without the watchful eye of parental supervision. Before the world wide web, we used to have to just guess about the number of freaks and weirdos that lie in wait out there. Now with camera phones and the upload feature, it’s painful to see how many people are roaming free and uncaged that you hope your kids never, ever run up against.

I’m thinking self-defense classes would be a good idea. Thirteen seems like the ripe age for them. Wouldn’t hurt me to have a refresher, either. Kind of a mother-daughter bonding against the evils of the world outing. I’m adding that to my to-do list right now.

How have you prepared your kids to be out and about on their own?

Image via wstryder/Flickr

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