Originally Posted May 26, 2011
Dear Jogger Guy:
I need to start by apologizing. My sincerest apologies for looking like a terrified deer-in-headlights when you jogged towards me the other night. I don't believe that an apology that blames the other person is a true apology, but in this case, I'm going to totally blame you and hope that it still counts as an apology of sorts.
Here's the deal: I'm not a total scaredy-cat. Really I'm not. But I do have an overactive imagination fueled by horrible novel selections by high school English teachers (who really should have known better) and poorly chosen television viewing habits in my university days. I am not a conspiracy theorist, but I do sort of expect that there could very well be danger lurking under every bush.
And you weren't under a bush: you were running straight down the sidewalk towards me: menacingly, with an air of malevolence and guilt. Or potential guilt. Maybe you hadn't committed a crime yet, but you sure could have.
You see, if clothes make the man, your clothes made you a bank robber. No word of a lie. You ought to consider things like that when you get dressed for a run. In May. On a warm night.
Why were you wearing a black skull cap covering all your hair? Why were you wearing a black shirt and black shorts and black socks? Why were you wearing a black balaclava?
Well, okay: that was my first mistake. Or maybe not my first, but certainly my biggest. It wasn't a balaclava, but it sure looked like one from a distance. Turns out that what I thought was a black, menacing ski mask was actually,...
...an inordinate amount of facial hair.
Seriously. Dude. What's with the pitch black, thick rimmed glasses, and bushy black eyebrows, and FULL.BLACK.BEARD that covers, essentially, everything but your nose and eyelids? From a distance, all I could see was the whites of your eyes, the tip of your nose and a sliver of your mouth: which wasn't smiling, and that would have helped, just so you know.
So as I walked off the sidewalk and onto the bike path to get out of the way of impeding mugging, please forgive me. I should have expected better of you. And as I, likely audibly, sighed with relief as you passed me, please forgive my prejudice.
But really, give a girl a helping hand and at least wear a t-shirt with a big, yellow smiley face. Or leave the black hat at home. Or trim your beard. Or carry a sign that says, "I am not a crook". Any of those small changes would be considered an act of community-mindedness, and would likely decrease the chances of you experiencing a false arrest sometime in your life.
On a positive note, you have a great stride. And if you had committed a crime, I bet you could have outrun your pursuers. Nicely done.