I was standing on a street corner tanning— because that’s how I like to spend my lunch break as a dark-skinned black woman—when this guy decides to hit on me. His opening line: “Hi, you’re beautiful. What’s your name?”
I know what you’re thinking, “Aw, that’s nice and respectful.” Wrong! My guy was unwashed and in my face with the hot breaths talkin’ ’bout “wHOTs yoAHHr nHAME?” Gah! Someone get me some Listerine, stat!
Worse than being unwashed was the fact that his pickup line was weak. If I wanted to entrust my life into weak lines I’d be wearing thongs from the dollar store—one fart and dem things be—POOF!—gone with the wind.
When he asked for my name, immediately my stalker, no stalking reflexes kicked in and I gave him my burner name.
What’s a burner name, you ask? Gather round ye simple folks and I’ll share with you my strategies for surviving rape culture. A burner name is an alias used to prevent potential stalkers from knowing anything about you. It comes in clutch for situations other than de-escalating potential abduction scenarios.
For example, I’m so paranoid about protecting my identity that I created a whole persona for security questions. Mother’s maiden name? Nice try, Bub. Never gonna be my mother’s actual name. Cause I’m like a CIA agent with multiple Spydentities™. #TinFoilHatGang
Kids, here’s why reading is fundamental. When he returned to selling his papers, I realized that I was wearing this oversized name tag with my actual name. Had he read, he would have known my real name and come up with a more clever opening line.
Speaking of best pickup lines.
One time in high school, I crossed paths with four boys, none older than eight—tiny lil things. One asked for a dollar. Obviously, I was like nah, lil homies. Then, my very polite lil friend switched the script and shouted: “Ah she’s just like a squirrel, always begging for nuts.”
Friends, that’s a pickup line!
On top of all that, the flirtatious homeless guy who was allergic to reading was also a known cheater. That’s right, he was supposed to be on da clock selling magazines but instead he was trying to holla at me, a Good Christian Woman™. I don’t know ’bout you but if a guy cheats on his job I know he will cheat on me! Big Fax!
You know what? Scrap all dat. I ain’t trying to date no man in sales, especially not the top sales rep for HSN, Home(less) Shopping Network. And even if he was in a store selling Cartier watches, I’d still want to speak with his manager.
Shout out to all those who switch aliases without blinking. I salute your spy-rific talents.
Award-winning Caribbean comedian, Onicia Muller’s weekly humour column, Just Being Funny is chicken soup for the naive sceptic’s soul. You can hire her to write anything from blogs and newsletters to bathroom poetry funny greeting cards. Join her newsletter for funny stories and stand-up comedy. OniciaMuller.com
Photo by Onicia Muller