One of the best parts of moving to a new town is finding new places to run.  Vegas is totally different in that, at least where we’ve explored so far, there are lots of gated areas and not a lot of trails, so you need to be willing to adjust the course as needed.  Sometimes I plot something out beforehand, but most of the time, it’s fun to just see where the road takes us. 

Perhaps I’m a bit more nomadic than I realized, I’ve made two major moves in as many years, after all.  But I was a believer far before that the best way to see a city is on foot and that has not changed even with the peculiar turn our run took this past Sunday morning. 

Apologies to my friends who work to change the perceptions of folks with addictions and please know that I still work to change that perception in my daily conversations and life, but the stereotypes do come from somewhere and if we didn’t have a run-in with a criddler, I simply don’t know what one is.

We were heading north on Rancho, in an area we’ve probably done at least four times since we arrived.  I noticed the man riding his bike towards us over a block away and to be noticeably spun from that distance requires a habit of decent proportions.  He was a meth proto-type: younger white male, poor hygiene, and ratty black t-shirt.

My first thought was, “Why is the criddler dude riding his bike on the sidewalk?”

As he got closer, I prepped myself for a potential stink and then remembered that I was running and probably stunk, too, so I should quit being a snob.

My next thought was, “Dude’s probably in a bad situation.  Just ignore him” 

And as he closed in on us, he looked me right in the eye and yelled, “I WILL KILL YOUR F#CKING DOG, BITCH!” as he sped by.

Must not be a fan of the blog. 

I saw red. 

My second apologies of this blog are to the nice folks sitting outside the Starbucks who witnessed the momma bear explosion that included an explicative.  Steve yelled something less offensive. 

I still saw red as the coward sped off before we had actual words.  If you’re gonna talk to me like that, at least have the guts to say it to my face and allow a rebuttal. 

Of course a confrontation with someone high on meth who had threatened my family would have been unpredictable.  It’s a good thing that Steve was along because he talked me out of going after the guy.  Old Me would have done that.

Instead, Steve got to listen to a mile of my ranting about misogyny, male fragility, addiction suffers who project their issues outward, mansplaining, and catcalling in a fury of cursing and rage. 

“Welcome to being a woman,” I said.

“I don’t think that had anything to do with your being a woman,” he replied.

“But he aimed it at me, not you, and because I am a woman, he felt he could get away with it.”

Steve either had something new to chew in that moment, was smart enough to understand that since he didn’t have the life experience as a woman, he really couldn’t reply to that, or just couldn't get a word in edgewise.  I was already on to female runners being told not to run alone and it was, “8:30 in the morning, for Christ’s sake!”  He stayed quiet until the next stoplight, where he gave me a hug and we decided to walk it the half mile back home.

I couldn’t help but wonder if the criddler would have kept his mouth shut if it had just been Steve and Joey.  We’ll probably never see the dude again and I hope he gets some help because yelling at people like that is just asking for trouble. 

The headlines with the Weinstein harassment allegations are everywhere.  It’s just another example of powerful, connection men who think they can treat women however they want.  Pussy Grabber, anyone?  The powerful ones get away with it because they can withhold connections, money, employment, whatever.  But there are ones who probably don’t have 10 bucks in their pockets who also treat women terribly and being high certainly doesn’t excuse that.  Maybe threatening random women and animals was the last exercise of power this guy thought he had. 

There’s something to chew on.