THE WAR ON PERVS/DUD ALERT

August 17th, 2006

Oh, my goodness!

I got so much mail over my Look-out-for-Pervs blog!

Many of you seem to be wondering how I know so much about pervs. Well, those of you who read Michele Jaffe's brilliant BAD KITTY know about her theory that all of us are born with one (or more) superpower. It may not be a power that we want (such as, the ability to be ignored by bartenders). But it is a power nonetheless, and we have to learn to deal with it.

My superpower is that I am a perv magnet. I have been dealing with pervs since I was five years old, and had twin neighbor pervs, Larry and Jerry. If you have ever dealt with pervs before, you know how difficult it can be. Well, try TWINS!

From there it went on to Orval Lawhead in the second grade, who used to jump up on desks and drop trou without provocation (to be honest, he did it for the benefit of all the girls, not just me. But I was the object of his affections for at least a week, before he moved on to Kathy Haynes. Which, even though I didn't WANT to be his girlfriend, taught me a valuable lesson about the fickleness of pervs).

After that were the random “Do you want to see my puppy, little girl?” stranger pervs (fortunately I had learned a lesson from Larry and Jerry, and always said, “No,” followed by various pervs throughout my middle and high school years (for more on this, see the film PRETTY IN PINK, in which Molly Ringwald is stalked by a major perv played by James Spader, who could have come straight out of Bloomington High School South circa), then college pervs (those were one of the ones who used to cry, insisting that we were spiritually linked old souls who had been together in past lives).

And then finally, the Pervs of New York, who really brought the whole thing around full circle, as I realized the day a big homeless perv dropped trou in front of me on the A train. I remember thinking back to those happy days in second grade with Orval and his little Wranglers. So sweet.

Then I signaled the cop I saw in the next car.

Now, of course, we have a handy defense against trou-dropping pervs that didn't exist during the height of my perv-encounter days: Our cell phone cameras! 22 year old Thao Nguyen is credited with starting this trend, when a random perv in her subway car pulled an Orval, and she took his picture, then plastered it all over the Internet. The perv was soon identified and arrested (and turned out to be a fairly prominent foodie, but that's another story).

Sadly, even after his arrest, Thao's perv insisted he was misunderstood, and that if Thao would just go out with him, she'd see what a great guy he is.

These are the kind of things that go on in the twisted heads of pervs, and why we all need to be on the look-out for them (or B.O.L.O., in cop parlance. Speaking of which, my brother, the cop in Denver, knows ALL ABOUT the perv they are hauling in for killing JonBenet. But he has been sworn to secrecy).

Anyway, back in the nineties, I found my superpower very burdensome, because there is a fine line between a perv and a nice guy who is just asking you out (that line is, the guy who is just asking you out usually keeps his pants on while doing so, and is always willing to meet your parents/friends. Although even then, you can't be sure. Look what happened to Lacey Peterson).

I began to long for some kind of device I could use that would tell me instantly if the guy I was considering dating would turn out to be a psychopathic killer. That is how I came up with the following:

There used to be a product advertised on late night TV called Drug Alert. You were supposed to spray it on your kid's backpack, and if it turned green, that meant you kid was smoking pot. If it turned red, they were using cocaine. That kind of thing.

It was a totally bogus product that probably didn't work, but at the time, it inspired me to invent Dud Alert, a cartoon about this product which you spray on men to see whether or not they're worth dating. Check it out:

RIGHTEOUS!

You know who could use some Dud Alert? Kathy Griffin. Also, Britney Spears.

You can see here what being burdened with a superpower like my own has done to me:

Fortunately, I made it through the perv jungle, to find a non-perv I can call my own.

And meanwhile, I have the Key West police on speed dial, and call them often.

Because superpowers? Like the memory of Orval naked, they just don't go away.

More later.

Much love,

Meg