I know we talked at length yesterday about fake Craigslist posts — but although the one we're about to discuss right now would seemingly fall under the "definitely not real" heading, I'm choosing to believe it's real. A woman in San Francisco penned a Missed Connection seeking a guy she saw try to stop a mugger in action recently, and you guys? It's amazing — both for the writing and for the story it tells. Come on in, everyone. Sit down. Make yourselves comfortable. This one is definitely worth it.
The woman, who signed herself "Tiff" (short for Tiffany), described a scene she witnessed at a bus stop towards the beginning of January. "As I waited," she wrote, "suddenly I saw a man run up to an older woman sitting nearby, do a ninja-like cartwheel, and then grab her purse."
You heard me: "Ninja-like cartwheel." That's some advanced level purse-snatching right there.
Tiff continued, "She screamed and this is when you took note. You were walking right past me at this point and threw your coffee at the ground and tossed me your messenger bag. 'Not again,' you said. 'Not in my house, naw uh, no way.' Following this decree you then ran after the man and yelled at him to stop. 'STOP ASSHOLE RIGHT NOW!'"
For the curious, this is what's going on in my head right now:
Unfortunately it didn't end quite as we (and Tiff, and the older woman, and probably the would-be hero himself) would have hoped; I'll point you back to The Bold Italic to read the rest, but suffice to say it involves a failed roundhouse kick, a victorious mugger, and — most perplexing — a lost pair of trousers. Even so, though, Tiff concluded, "I think it's cool that you at least tried to do something. And for that you get a date with me. My name is Tiffany. I have a cat, some ambiguous student loan debt, and I drive a Kia. Let's get some sushi and talk about society together."
Not going to lie: I really hope he takes her up on the offer. And if I may wander off into the realm of fantasy for a moment, it would also be pretty incredible if, from that first sushi date, they embarked on a long and fulfilling relationship. I mean, how great an origin story is this? There are meetings, and there are meet-cutes... and then there's this. This trumps everything.
On a more serious note, though, Tiff is right: It is cool that this mysterious man tried to help in an awful situation. I'm fortunate that I've never been mugged; Jessica Saia at The Bold Italic, however, has. "I know some people might argue that it's incredibly stupid to confront a mugger, mid-mug, but it makes me so happy to read this kind of story," she wrote in response to the Missed Connection post. Her mugging occurred on her first day of work in San Francisco:
"Give guys beat me up and took off with my stuff (my poor mom was on the phone with me and heard the whole thing), and this incredible stranger/angel immediately dropped his dog's leash and ran after them in flip flops. They got away, and while I can't say I was quite as... aroused... as Tiffany here, I'm seriously forever grateful to that guy. (Thanks again, flip flop guy!)"
The fact that he did it in flip flops is all the more noteworthy. Have you ever tried to run in those things? It's not easy. I mean, I realize I'm a tad more accident-prone than most people, but still. All that flipping and flopping doesn't make it easy to sprint after a bunch of muggers. I, for example, would have looked something like this:
The dude Tiff describes gets the same sort of credit flip flop guy does: He's a reminder that we don't all live in isolated little bubbles. If I lived in San Francisco, I'd want to meet that guy, too — and possibly try to learn a few lessons from him. I make a lot of jokes about how much I hate people, but I don't really. People like this make me remember that, for all the awfulness out there in the world, everything isn't terrible all the time — and we're the ones in control of how awesome the world is. Let's make it as terrific as we can, shall we?
Head on over to The Bold Italic for the whole story.