Acting Disabled Saved My LifePosted: February 26, 2011
One dingy, starless summer night, as I drunkenly stumbled the shady streets of Spanish Harlem after a wine-filled evening at a friend’s place, I turned a corner in pursuit of the subway.
Way down the street, I noticed something troubling. There was a group of guys sitting on a stoop, drinking.
Normally, I wouldn’t think twice but as it was around 4 a.m. in a notoriously bad area, and I’m a skinny little white kid (well, actually, blue kid) who’s most badass moment was when I stole some pop rocks from an FYE in the mall, I panicked a bit.
I knew they were going to mug me. It wasn’t racism, it was common sense. Even I would mug me if I were them.
With every step I grew more tense. I couldn’t cross the street; that would make it obvious that I was scared of being mugged and then I’d get mugged even harder.
As I grew closer, for some unknown reason, beyond my understanding, it wasn’t even voluntary, I, without thinking, suddenly cocked my jaw to the side, started drooling, crossed my eyes, convulsed my fingers to a tense claw, and began to drag my foot along the sidewalk in a limp.
There wasn’t a thought going through my brain. It was simply survival instinct like when a bear attacks and you’re supposed to play dead.
I approached the stoop and sure enough, one of the guys got up and stopped me on the sidewalk.
“Yo man.” he said with a deep mugging voice.
I silently soiled myself as I noticed the knife in his belt.
Now for an award-worthy performance:
“AUYOOO?” I eloquently queried.
He looked me up and down, glancing back at his business associates for a moment.
He then paused, pondering his next course of action.
After a couple more seconds thought, he shook his head and with a defeated tone of voice, said,
“Man, have a good night.”
He grimaced as he sat back down on the stoop.
As I passed them, I continued my drooling lurch. I walked all the way down to the end of the block still in character as a mentally handicapped person I had deemed Wendell in my method actor brain, knowing that their eyes were still on me.
As I turned the corner and dropped out of sight from my possible attackers; I immediately stood upright, wiped the spittle from my lips, and waltzed with confidence because I was Kaiser Soze all along. It was a truly ingenious stunt I had pulled off.
“Amazing” I thought. I had somehow come across a group of morally conscious muggers and had outwitted them by being incredibly politically incorrect.