Cleveland, Ohio: land of the Cavaliers, comedy, rock-n-roll, and high poverty rate. Maybe I should have ended on something happier. Uh, Melt Bar and Grilled. There, that's better.
I love Cleveland. I was born and raised here. (OK, I was born and raised in the suburbs, but who's counting?) Cleveland is the place that has given me so much opportunity for comedy and minimum-wage jobs (don't be fooled; the two do not go hand-in-hand). However, I do have a bone(r) or two to pick with this great city.
As a woman of great stature and well-developed breasts, I have had my fair share of catcalling and sexual harassment while strolling along East 4th Street on my way to work or sporting events and concerts at the Q.
"But it's a compliment!" "You were asking for it!" "Can you spare a dollar?"
Yes, all good arguments, but the truth of the matter is, I should be able to walk to work without drawing unwanted male—or female (#LoveWins)—attention. I already get enough of that attention from my uncle. Oops, that was supposed to be a secret.
For those of you who face the daily dread of walking the streets of Downtown Cleveland — or the suburbs: Harassment knows no bounds—let me be your mentor, your spirit guide, your Mr. Miyagi, and teach you how to thwart that ass-grabbing attention once and for all.
Let's start with something easy and work our way up.
If he's eyeing you up, don't look away. That shows weakness. Remember, the eyes are the window to the soul. You want to show him you have no soul. Instead of turning the other cheek and walking away, walk right over to him, plant your feet shoulder-length apart, place your hands on your stomach and say, "You're scaring the baby."
Remember, pregnant women are disgusting and a disgrace to society. You'll have this guy running for the hills faster than the Von Trapps in that one movie where everyone is singing with the sound of music.
If he asks how you're doing, followed by a wink and an aggressive grab of his Johnson, solemnly tell him about your mother's passing, and how things haven't been the same since she died ten years ago.
If he offers an "Aw, I'm sorry. Maybe I could cheer you up," tell him in full detail how you killed your mother. Don't leave anything out; the more gruesome, the better. I've found that a good poisoning story works best. As he stares at you in sheer horror, offer him the Snickers bar you had been saving for later, but make sure a piece of the wrapper has been torn, just to keep him on his toes.
If he's into the whole Murderous Mary thing, it looks like you have the next idea for a Lifetime screenplay. Congratulations. I'll be expecting my royalty check in the mail.
If he goes in for a slap and/or a squeeze, do not fight back. Remember, assault charges exist. Instead, drop to the ground and begin to seize. You don't have epilepsy, you say? No problem; that's what acting is for! The perpetrator will be alarmed at your poor state of health and will not dare touch you again for fear of paying your medical bills! After all, he doesn't have insurance. Nobody does—this is Cleveland!
After he has fled the scene, count to 20 before getting up. Not only will that ensure the perpetrator is gone for good, but you may even get a free ride to work from the ambulance a kind passerby called for you as you lie shaking in the street!
Are you ready for the final test? This is a hard one—pun intended.
If he has an erection and is stroking it for your viewing pleasure, as before, keep eye contact. Do not look down; do not flee in terror. This time, however, instead of walking towards the man, walk backwards, keeping full eye contact the entire time. Keep walking until you're in the middle of the street and get hit by a bus.
If you died instantly, I am sorry. And I hold no responsibility for your death (although I am open to accepting any gifts or large sums of money not yet assigned in your will).
If you did not die and are currently hospitalized with several broken bones, ribs, and missing teeth, I have both good and bad news for you. The bad news is, unfortunately, you did not win the sexual harassment case you were planning on to pay for that trip for two to Greece. The good news is, the sweet man from earlier stopped by to pay you a visit! He even brought you flowers! And left something special for you on your phone: a dick pic. Keep that one close; you might not get another chance now that your appearance has been shattered from the accident.
But keep your chin up. Even with busted and broken teeth, some nice man will make sure he tells you to smile.
If you take my advice, you'll have no problem getting through the commute to work without any distracting or embarrassing encounters from sleazy men. And just think, you get to do this all again tomorrow!
Sarah Vulpio apologizes to her parents who are most likely going to read this.
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