Tales From the Blue Line
Friday, November 10, 2006
In honor my departure this evening for Louisville (another competition), I wanted to do my part as a responsible citizen. I want to inform you of a new threat to our Chicago commuters...

The creepy old guy sneaking photos of young, redheaded women.

There I was, minding my own business in a jump seat on the train, on my way to O'Hare. At the Jefferson Park stop, a trio of older folks boarded, and an old man sat directly across from me. They were speaking in a Slavic language and appeared to be relatively harmless. I even thought to myself, "wow, that guy looks like the dad from Everybody Loves Raymond. How funny."

Then I realized that he was fidgeting and staring at me. The hairs on the back of my neck stood straight up -- I've had my share of uncomfortable experiences with inappropriate people (flashers, junkies, etc.) on the Blue Line. I also noticed that his hands were near his crotch. OLD MAN CROTCH. There, I said it.

Turns out, he was adjusting his digital camera and snapping photos of me from across the train. When I realized what was going on, I was indignant. I glared back at him - stared him straight in the face, and he quickly (read: clumsily) covered his camera with his hands and looked away. At which point, I gathered my luggage and moved to the opposite end of the train.

Full disclosure: I did the only logical thing prior to moving seats - I took the grainy pictures you see in this entry with my cell phone. Just in case he comes back to America to stalk me, I should have some timestamped documentation, right? Better safe than sorry, right? I only think of this blog, people. It's all for you. (and for me)

I try really hard not to figure out what EXACTLY his plans were for those photos. I never saw the camera angled up towards my face. WAS HE TAKING PICTURES OF MY CROTCH FROM HIS CROTCH? IS THIS KIND OF DISGUSTING BEHAVIOR EVEN POSSIBLE? It's not like I was sitting there naked. I could be a Playboy playmate, and that angle STILL wouldn't have been attractive.

WTF?! Who does that? It's JUST SO WEIRD.