Friday, 9 October 2015

The Flasher

Funny how we forget things.

Was just chatting to a friend, and we've both had one glass of wine too many, so the conversation was very silly.

She reminded me about seeing my very first Flasher. You know the guys. They wear raincoats with nothing underneath and if there's nobody else about and they see a woman, they pull the raincoat open quickly, and smile like madmen.

Do they still exist? In this day of cameras on phone? Maybe not.

But in 1975 they did.

So I was walking home, in the dark, after a concert. Nobody else on the street, and I became aware of a guy in the requisite raincoat, trousers....walking in the same direction as me on the other side of the narrow road. But slightly faster and catching up.

So, I came up with a solution to this "problem". You get 10 points if you can guess what I did.

I'm a quick thinker. It has served me well. It has probably saved my life more than once, and on this occasion it probably saved my retinas. I knew what I was in great danger of seeing, and I didn't want to see it.

I'll tell you. I shoved my hands in my pockets, and changed the way I walked.

I pretended I was a boy.

In what I was wearing it wasn't difficult. In those days my age group were VERY unisex. Bell bottom jeans and a mid-length haircut. I was only little but when you stand up straight and look sure of yourself you grow quite a bit.

I got a couple more glances, then he decided I was male and fucked off. I ran home, sweating.

Some of you have far worse experiences than that, or many more. I'm well aware I got off lightly, but did any of us get off completely?

It wasn't my only Flasher, but the next one chose the wrong "victim". He chose somebody who had alread decided that that shit isn't acceptable and I walked right up to him and threatened to tell his family. I hadn't got a clue who they were, but all it takes is boldness. Never saw him again, anyway.

In those days we didn't report these things. I really have no idea why. Maybe we were told it was a waste of time, maybe we knew that was the truth. Maybe we just dealt with it and moved on.

But there you go.

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