Gelf Magazine - Looking over the overlooked

Reflections

February 6, 2006

Are You Being Stalked?

Here's how to tell.

Erin Schulte

Ah, the local news. "Reporters" have to spend so much time in the make-up chair that there's no time left for real journalism. Or maybe all the Pan-Cake addles the brain. If it's not "exclusive stories" on the dangers of thong underwear, it's how you, too, can lose weight on the chicken 'n' ribs diet (with the ubiquitous headless videos of fatties). Or how you can combat that belly bloat by rubbing onions on your elbows. Or maybe how acupuncture can put a halt to your divorce proceedings.

But the worst—the WORST—is the Culture of Fear reports. It makes for such annoying TV. Walking into the gym the other day, I caught a glimpse of the tube in the lobby. The headline: "Tonight at 10: Are You Being STALKED?"

I don't know, am I? I hadn't given it much thought lately—I've been too busy wondering what they don't want me to know about my tap water, and whether my cellphone is giving me a tumor. Also, it's 10 p.m., so I need to know where my children are and I simply can't find them. Are they behind the couch? (Wait, whew, I don't have any!).

But, now that you mention it, determining whether you're being stalked or not involves some clear-cut guidelines. If I had stuck around to watch the program, it might have gone a little something like this:

Stalked
Eric Lister
You are being stalked if: Your neighbor Roger comes over and says, "You remember that ex-boyfriend of yours, George, the one who used to wear the Rangers jacket? I saw a guy like that 'round here last night, looking in your window, but I turned the floodlights on, and he ran away. Darnedest thing!"

You are not being stalked if: Your neighbor Roger comes over to ask whatever happened to George, and by the way, can he borrow your lawnmower?

You are being stalked if: You come home to find your pet goldfish, Harold and Maude, filleted atop a bed of vinegared rice, on one of the sushi plates your ex-boyfriend George gave you. And there's a note: "We used to be two fish in the sea/but now you say it's all over for me/SCREW YOU BITCH I FOUND YOUR SPARE KEY!"

You are not being stalked if: Harold, in a typically bleak mood, cleared the rim of the bowl and is found lying on top of the ottoman where George used to clip his toenails.

You are being stalked if: You open your newspaper and find the restraining order you took out against your ex-boyfriend George last week, with a picture of you and him, ripped in half and glued on top of it.

You are not being stalked if: You open your newspaper and find, folded inside, a Best Buy circular for the flat-panel TV George once talked about during a bout of particularly unsatisfying sex.

You are being stalked if: You go out with the girls and, sitting in the bar—uncomfortably close but still outside the 200-foot required perimeter—is your ex-boyfriend George, who is sending you plaintive pleas for reconciliation on folded cocktail napkins via the waitress. Signed in his own blood.

You are not being stalked if: You go out with the girls and, sitting in the bar—uncomfortably close but still outside a 200-foot perimeter—is George, staring over his moustache into a brown drink with a cherry.

You are being stalked if: You Google yourself and find a webpage called my-ex-sucks.com, detailing the first time you told your ex-boyfriend George that you loved him and the first time you told him you didn't, and everything in between that proved you were lying in the first place. The contact email is George's.

You are not being stalked if: You Google yourself and see your picture still up on George's MySpace page. You also learn that an Iowa State Butter Queen shares your name, as does a small child in Wisconsin who appears to like playing with camping lanterns.

Not Stalked
Eric Lister
You are being stalked if: You go to the drugstore to pick up your birth-control pills, only to discover that your "doctor" has called in to cancel your prescription, and you see your ex-boyfriend George staring at you from behind the reading-glasses kiosk.

You are not being stalked if: You go to the drugstore and see George down the aisle, buying a bottle of Jergens and a bag of Cheetos.

You are being stalked if: You find your ex-boyfriend George on your front steps, frothing at the mouth and wearing a note around his neck reading, "I've taken pills. Don't call 911. All the drugs in the world couldn't fill up the emptiness I feel after losing you."

You are not being stalked if: You find George at a party, taking gravity-bong hits and expounding on his recent epiphany about ponies.

You are being stalked if: You get a letter in the mail from your ex-boyfriend George, asking you, over the course of 20 handwritten pages, for his sanity, his soul, his ability to love, and his dignity back.

You are not being stalked if: You get an email from George asking for his Built to Spill bootlegs back.

You are being stalked if: You catch your ex-boyfriend George in your bed, caressing a blow-up doll dressed in your yoga pants and watching a video of your vacation together to a private island in Belize.

You are not being stalked if: You catch George in the Adults Only section of the local video shop, caressing the behind of a girl from Belize in yoga pants.

Erin Schulte is a freelance writer looking over her shoulder in Brooklyn. She was a frequent contributor to The Black Table before its boozy demise. Eric Lister is a full-time artist when he's not editing gay pornography and snowboarding. He can be reached at lister.eric@gmail.com.







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Comments

- Reflections
- posted on Dec 07, 08
macielter

macielter stop googling the term "macielter" when you type macielter it lets me know that you are searching macielter i am trying to fill the term macielter on the SERPs. So yeah macielter

- Reflections
- posted on Jul 08, 09

WTF


Article by Erin Schulte

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