Stranger Things


Surprisingly, in the past, I have written for other publications on this fine platform. Now that everything is stuffed and up in the air I have decided to reclaim my work and post it on my own blog.

Note the lack of swearing. It's hilarious being tied to rules...

Let the story begin...

Forgive the misleading header. This post is not to talk about the latest Netflix sensation where some photogenic young teens save the fictional town of Hawkins from an encroaching supernatural menace hailing from an alternate dimension. (Enough of my toilet habits.)

No, instead I would like to discuss our attitude to strangers. As in, people we have not yet met and not long-limbed monsters from the upside-down.

Today, I was returning from my lunch break when I was stopped by a wild-eyed fellow on the street clutching some manner of map.

My first thought was that he was out of luck if he was looking for Black Beard's hidden treasure as it was most surely not buried in the City Centre of Glasgow, Scotland.


My second thought was to be on high alert. Scotland is known for many things, one of which the Scottish tourist board always tries to play down is the savage predatory nature of the urban Scots upon their fellow man.

I bounced around on my toes, readying myself for things to get a bit leery.

The chap gestured at me with his map and pleaded,

Excuse me, would you happen to know where this building is located?

Despite the fact that he had an accent as civilized as my own and was wearing a suit so sharp it was in danger of slicing a hole into another dimension, I was not so readily fooled.

I beg your pardon?

Was my wicked riposte whilst I watched his hands for weapons or movements that suggested an innate knowledge of Krav Maga.

This building old fellow, I can't seem to place it. I have an urgent appointment at two o'clock.


He seemed genuine enough but this wasn't my first invite to a sexy party. I leant in a little so I could see the map more clearly but far enough back that a swung sock full of coins couldn't catch me on the chin.

Ah yes. I know that one. It's down the bottom of the street there and to the right... Oops, sorry, I mean left.

I waved a brawny arm in the general direction of the place in an ape-like display of masculinity. Just to emphasise I was not to be trifled with.


You mean the left then don't you?

Oho! Well, well, well my little pirate treasure hunter. If you bloody well know where it is then why are you asking? I stepped back, readying myself to unleash a bag of testosterone-fueled punchy-kicky-fight mayhem.

He stared at me. Eyes wide.

I stared back like a fox would at a casually discarded kebab.

Thanks then.

He muttered before skirting around me nervously.

I watched him go. My eyes like demented gerbils.

Soon he was out of sight. I continued my walk back to the office. On the way, I had time to reflect.

Should I be more trusting of strangers? Should I have been nicer, perhaps invited him to tea? Maybe I should have shared a joke about the time I got lost in Venezuela and ended up trapped in a bin for many hours?

Whilst I thought of these questions, I was reminded of one of my colleagues who always had time for strangers and general deeds of goodness.

Right enough he has been robbed more times than I can count.

What is your attitude to approaches from strangers? Do you think we should all attempt to be more friendly and make the world a better place? Or is the Scottish way of open hostility the only sensible response in this age of modernity?

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  • @revisesociology

    @tipu curate

  • @dappcoder

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  • @cornavirus

    Interesting story. There is a kind of dark humor in there. I personally believe that you should be more trusting of strangers. After all the saying is, "Strangers are friends you haven't met." Even so, I agree, one cannot be too trusting of stranger, but after reading your story, your actions were a little bit too harsh don't you think?

  • @ddschteinn

    Ah, the old stranger on the street conundrum. I've had my own kicky-fighty mental battles over time immemorial about this. So nice to trust folks and be helpful, but as you say, sometimes it backfires. I tend to take the Boom Meister approach, and try to be nice, but remain full-on ready to uncoil like a dangerous viper-snake, even though, truth be told, I'm about as dangerous as a angleworm on a chill day...but THEY don't need to know that! Just puff up big like a cat's tail when bothered.

    And it's all definitely situation and time of day dependent. When taking the train cross country, I always gather up my best "don't f(mess) with me" face, when entering the scary looking loo...and when biking at night, I NEVER stop to help anyone by the bike path. Bugs me to be unhelpful, but then again I've been invited to "bring your bike light and head on down through the bushes with us to the river, to look for this or that we've lost in the dark",. Yeah, GREAT idea. And then there was the guy who walked by one night with a jungle machete. That one gave me the willies as I pedaled extra fast. So, I agree, it is a real conundrum. (I must like that word.)

    Anyways, great to say hello, and I shall check out your blog, when I return on here more. I still need to figure out the Hive stuff, but guess that name snafu is the newest thing. I'll wait till that gets settled.
    Cheers on a Tuesday, and hope you and the family are all well and keeping your head down during the times of today. I liked your comment on someone else's post: just because you aren't old, or don't have other pre-existing conditions, respect those that are/do. And the full-on overload of the healthcare system REALLY scares the living hooey out of me. Cheerio(s), once more.

  • @ryivhnn

    I'm nice to everyone unless they look dodgy. Person lost, I'll either point them where they want to go or sometimes take them at least part way if I'm either feeling nice or going that way anyway.

    On the other hand there was a guy who asked if he could borrow my phone to make a call and I was like nope. But then again it depends as I unlocked and handed my phone to a young girl whose little sister had been hit by a car so she could call her parents.

    Think everyone could generally be nicer (or at the very least basically polite) to everyone else as hostility and greed causes pretty much all problems xD
    just buzzing around here for a bit more as I miss some of you ;D

  • @por500bolos

    I could see the map more clearly but far enough back that a swung sock full of coins couldn't catch me on the chin.

    LoL, does this mean that there is still so much cash flowing in Scotland to fill a sock?

    Haha, I thought you, most of the Scottish were already living in a cashless society long time ago. };)