Saturday, June 15, 2013

Stranger Danger!

"No Rimpys Allowed"

A minor incident at the pool/park today with Lil RC and the Grandrimpyettes which should have been just an amusing and slightly embarassing anecdote turned into the socially mortifying experience of being questioned by the police.

I went to the restroom to change into my swim trunks, and accidentally entered the women's. I wasn't familiar with this particular restroom, and the only sign was on the outside of the propped-open door, so I couldn't see it. No one was in there, and I was changing in a closed and locked stall when I heard
female voices starting to gather outside the stall. I had finished changing, so I sheepishly stuck my head out and said, "I'm in the wrong bathroom, aren't I?"  I apologized heartily as I dashed out.

When I got down to the pool, I told the girls what had happened. And that should have been the end of it. However, there was a kind of weird-looking guy within earshot, but I paid him no mind. Then the girls started moving toward the middle of the pool. I called after them that maybe we should move our stuff from the nearby bench. They didn't hear me, so I got out and gathered up all the towels and flip-flops and whatnots and moved them down to the other bench. I noticed the weird-looking guy was kind of looking at me funny, but still I paid him no more attention than one normally would a random oddball with a staring problem.

A short while later I noticed a police officer strolling along the side of the pool. He came over to where I was loafing in the water and asked me if I could talk with them for a few minutes. He asked me to step out of the pool so we could speak away from the kids. I figured this must have something to do with the bathroom incident, but I couldn't believe anyone would have called the cops about such a trivial thing. I certainly wasn't guilty of any other indiscretions of which I was aware.

The officer started off by asking about what happened at the restroom. I explained it to him - what there was to tell of it. He then asked me if the kids I was with were mine. I gave the simple and mainly true explanation of "adopted daughter and granddaughters", instead of the more exacting and complex details of the relationships (adopted in our hearts if not legally, and step-granddaughters). There was a little boy playing near them, and the officer asked if he was also mine, but of course I had never seen him before. I ended up identifying my "kids" once more for that officer, and again for another cop while the first one ran my ID. No less than four policemen had appeared. Things were starting to feel a little weird, to say the least, especially their interest in my relationship to my accompanying family members. I also had the discomfort of having several dozen people watching and wondering why the police were questioning the dripping wet middle-aged man in the tie-dye tank top and Hunter S. Thompson hat.

The first officer finally explained that it was kind of an odd call, but the caller said that they thought that I was harassing the girls. Eventually they seemed satisfied with my story, and after they determined that I didn't have any outstanding warrants or wasn't a registered sex offender of whatever.

While I was talking with the police, the wierdo from earlier walked past us. After the police left, I figured that the weirdo had heard me telling the girls about the restroom incident, and then when I was calling and chasing after them, he somehow construed that I was hassling some strange girls. Admittedly, I probably don't look like I'm related to any of them: a Hispanic girl (with blue hair, no less), a blonde 10-year-old, and a Hmong six-year-old, but really now - did any of them look like they were being bothered by me?

So I don't know if this guy (or whoever it was) just thought he was doing the right thing (better safe than sorry and all that, right?) or if he was just a fucking idiot with an itchy cell phone finger. Either way, a nice day at the park with the kids turned into an extremely uncomfortable experience for me. I hate people sometimes.

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