Humor with Richard Bleil
Several years ago (circa 1992 I guess) I found myself living in New York City doing a stint as a post-doctoral research assistant. New York is just a different world. I remember a news story when I was living there of a man who had decided to mug a woman in a park by stealing her necklace. She resisted. Someone saw her struggling with a man, and the thief took off running. The good Samaritan took off after him. In the next block, somebody else began chasing him. And then another. And another. Within a couple of blocks were about seven of these people chasing this guy, who eventually turned into a building and was cornered at the elevator.
Nobody was hurt, except one of the good Samaritan’s who chased for about half a block before running out of breath and giving up. I keep thinking about this poor slob, and how difficult a job it must be to be a mugger. What if he had actually escaped and gotten home that night to his wife? “Did you get me my necklace?” she would ask in a coarse and husky smoker’s voice. “No, I didn’t get you your necklace,” he would respond dejectedly. “Why not?” she would ask angrily. “You have no idea the day I’ve had…” And they would fight. And she would kick him out. And he’d have to sleep on the streets where he would be mugged.
Work as a mugger is, if you think about it, completely commission based. I mean, if you don’t make a sale, you don’t get paid, but when you do make a sale it’s a real steal. Literally. And it’s not like there are benefits. They don’t have life insurance as a perk, or dental, or a retirement account unless they pay for it out of pocket. Well, somebody else’s pocket, I guess, but still. I mean, steal.
And how does one fall into work like that? Do they go to school? Do they have to get a license to steal like James Bond has a license to kill? What do they say at parties? “My name is Tom, I’m an electrician. And you are?” “GIVE ME YOUR WALLET!” Then his wife would snap at him and publicly shame him with her raspy smoker’s voice, “Stop talking shop!”
Then there’s career day at the school. “And this is, well, he won’t tell me his name. He’s Jamie’s father and he’s a…mugger?” “Hi, I’m here to talk to you about my life as a ‘mugger’. Can you all say, ‘mugger’? Good job, NOW GIVE ME YOUR WALLETS!”
“Gee, I’d like to go out with you again, but you’re a mugger.”
I wonder if muggers got to collect unemployment during the Covid pandemic? I mean, nobody had any money, so it’s not like muggers could find anybody with anything worth stealing, right? “GIVE ME YOUR MONEY?” “What are you, insane?”
Were the muggers required to wear masks during the pandemic? Did they wear their masks under their masks? How would we know?
If a mugger mugs a mugger, who would win? I mean, would it go to the better mugger, or would there be some professional courtesy there. “GIVE ME YOUR WA…Fred? Is that you?” “Hey, Phil, great to see you. No, GIVE ME YOUR WALLET!” And then they would laugh. And Phil would take Fred’s wallet. And Fred would get home to his wife with the grating smoker’s voice. “Why didn’t you bring me my bucket of fried chicken and pastries?” “You wouldn’t believe the day I had.” “I don’t want to hear it, you’re sleeping outside tonight.”
And he would be mugged again.
And why do all of my muggers have names that start with the “f” sound? Is it because when I was mugged the first word that went through my head started with the “f” sound?
You know, I really didn’t mean for this entire blog post to be about muggers. It’s almost like the theme I was going to write about was taken from me. Damned muggers.
Do muggers like muggy days? Or is every day a muggy day for them? Like, because it’s their career. They’re out mugging, so it’s muggy?
And just how long will his wife with the gross smoker’s voice put up with his shenanigans? I mean, it’s not like he’s a very good mugger attracting all of that attention for a lousy necklace just because his wife wanted one? Where would she ever find a new mugger to date? Would another mugger steal her away from him?
Honestly, I’m kind of feeling sorry for this poor guy.