My grandma has a thing for perverts.
She’s convinced they’re lurking everywhere on the internet, ready to grab hapless victims logging on to check the weather. Surprisingly, she doesn’t see pervert accessibility as a good thing. I tried to explain I’m counting heavily on perverts to boost the sale of my books, but she wasn't appeased.
I do grasp the distinction between fun perverts and creepy perverts, and I know firsthand both types hang out even in internet-free zones. My first exposure (pun intended) to a creepy pervert was at the mall when I was ten. A bald man in a trench coat approached me outside a toy store where I was giggling with a classmate.
“I have the best pantyhose money can buy,” said creepy pervert man. “Would you like to see?”
We actually did kind of want to see, but settled for declining politely and then scampering off to find my parents. To this day, I’m still curious about the pantyhose.
My next memorable pervert experience came in college when I worked as a housekeeper at a budget hotel. There were rules for entering a room if you weren't certain the occupant had left. First, you knocked loudly. After waiting a few seconds, you knocked again and yelled, "housekeeping!" As you knocked the third time, you opened the door, yelled "housekeeping!" one more time, and anchored the door open with a doorstop.
I did all this before marching into room 117 that memorable July morning. As I neared the bed, I froze.
There, in all his naked glory with his baloney pony hanging down his leg, was a middle-aged man with a pot belly and a beard.
I thought he was dead at first. I stood there and stared, blinking in case I’d somehow managed to hallucinate the whole thing. Nope, he was still there. And he was breathing.
Panicked, I backed out of the room, struggled to free the doorstop, and yanked the door closed behind me.
For the next two hours, I avoided the entire first floor. I cleaned rooms at a feverish pace, certain the manager was going to come yell at me for barging in on an embarrassed guest. In the break room at lunch, I finally broke down and confessed to another housekeeper.
“So he was just lying there naked with his eyes closed?” she asked.
“Was this room 117?”
I nodded, not liking the direction of the conversation.
“Yeah,” she said. “You're the third girl he's done that to this week.”
Part of me was tempted to run back down the hall and spray the creepy pervert with disinfectant. I settled for spitting on his toothbrush when he left the room to get breakfast.
I suppose I have to admire the creativity involved in both encounters. If you're going to be a pervert, you might as well do it with an imaginative flair. Lord knows plenty of writing careers have been built around that principle.
Have you had any interesting pervert experiences? Please share.
And please know that if you feel the need to flash me, I carry a camera at all times now.