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Worthless Heroes

I've got an amazing collection of interpersonal interactions that I could have handled better, but I'm usually the only victim of my social blunders. Feeling foolish, being ridiculed, missing opportunities to make new friends, etc. However, one incident recently resurfaced in my memory where others were potentially harmed due to my social shortcomings.

This story takes place half my lifetime ago. I was 18 or 19, in or around my first or second year in college. It was 1996, so few people had cell phones to bail themselves out of trouble. Anyway, Scott, Todd, and I were joking, laughing, and having fun around my car in front of Todd's place on Bluff Street. I was still extremely shy and nearly incapable of speaking to girls, so, of course, some girls appeared and started talking to us. Damsels in distress it turned out.

"Hi, you guys seem cool," followed by introductions.

"A couple guys brought us to the house over there, but they're refusing to bring us home and they're being total assholes."

"How are they being assholes?"

"They... they're just being assholes. They're crazy!"

"They're taking their clothes off and chasing us around the house."

"We had to get out of there."

Instead of asking the obvious question, I froze up while Todd made some throwaway remarks. The girls uncomfortably shifted about looking anxious. I eventually came to my senses, looked at Scott, looked at the car, and looked back at Scott. We nodded to each other. I reached into my pocket and nervously jingled my keys while trying to formulate the essential inquiry: May we offer you a ride?

"Do... um... would...?"

"Hey! What are you doing over there," yelled two shirtless hulking brutes fast approaching.

"Sorry, we have to go back before you guys get hurt," said one girl as they turned and ran.

"What did you tell them about us?"

"Nothing, we were just saying hi," assured the more talkative of the girls as she placed a hand on him to halt the advance.

"Come on, let's go back inside."

The two guys scowled at us for a moment, then slowly turned back.

I looked from my car keys to the two girls reluctantly walking into the house with those animals and felt pretty terrible. We discussed the event. Todd's attitude was basically, "Who gives a fuck?" Scott and I agreed that we screwed up. We had an opportunity to speak up and offer a ride to safety, but could not find our wits in time.



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