Prison would actually be pretty great if you were in there with a bunch of your friends. That’s why every now and then you run into a guy who was in there, then got out, but doesn’t mind going back. He’ll take a decent risk, like mugging some rich guy, with the goal of getting some of the rich guy’s resources. But, if he gets caught, he goes back to his buddies on the inside, the ones who aren’t always looking down on them like the phonies on the outside.
It’s not only rich folks. We’re all a lot more muggable now. Everyone has their headphones in. Nobody’s paying attention to their surroundings. We all carry around thousand dollar phones. Mine is a fairly lazy generation, one that’s scared of everything, especially confrontation. When getting mugged, there’s a split second of assuming insurance will deal with it or someone nearby will help, someone with life experience for situations like this. But no one else will help. Because we’re all the same. Well, except the muggers. They’re God’s people. Strong, daring, a real belief in disestablishmentarianism. To muggers!
Now that I’ve had a solid between-paragraph break, I see we’re also a lot less muggable overall. Nobody carries cash anymore. It’s easier to trace and find those stolen phones. And half the cities have cameras or Google Earths watching what you’re up to at all time, for jesus sake.
I just got a new camera. People, especially old women, are usually afraid of me, always on their guard, but they’re friendlier when I’m wearing my camera. It makes it a lot easier to mug them. And then I can take pictures of it for my scrapbook.
Imagine being a mugger, like your first time doing it. Muggers can only hang out with other muggers probably, so they can tell stories about past muggings without getting weirded out by the other person. Then again, only hanging out with other people willing to commit that crime could lead to an endless string of muggings probably. So maybe there should just be one mugger in each friend group.
Do you think anyone’s ever pretended to be a mugger? Maybe some twenty-one year-old kid is trying to get this girl to like him, and he happens to see her mugging someone. He’s a little shocked, sure, but it’s not that big of a deal. So he pretends he’s a mugger too, just to be around her. He obviously doesn’t care what she does when she’s not sleeping with him, as long as she sleeps with him. He makes up elaborate stories about his past muggings, trying to come off as cool and relatable. And eventually he’s hanging out with her and a few of her mugger friends, and there’s this easy target, some seventy-year-old blind woman or a rich guy with no arms, and his new hot mugger girlfriend tells him to go do this one – her head hurts right now or something. So he’s walking up to this – we’ll go with seventy year-old blind woman – and on the way he’s trying to figure out just how flexible his moral code is. Will he go through with it and mug her? He won’t full-on rob her, he knows that. But a cute little mugging? What’s the harm, really? He’s done stranger things for less of a reason, like he time he licked a tree because he saw a child do it, even though he watched the kid bawl his eyes out right after. He might even be able to explain the situation to the old woman when he’s close enough that only she can hear him. He’ll tell her how he’s been feeling lonely lately and he yearned to experience some social contact, a real connection with another, any other human being, and that person happened to be this female mugger. The old blind woman would understand his predicament, and she’d sympathize – she’s old and wise and blind and all that, for she’s seen it all – and she would, almost dutifully, hand him her purse. And they’d both smile, in a display of mutual affection or at least commensalistic admiration. The blind woman could even sense him smiling – the connection they were sharing was real. And it’s at that very moment, the moment him and the old woman each have one hand on the purse on its way to his possession, that he realizes he doesn’t need to impress that sexy mugger girl after all. He doesn’t need to pretend he was someone he’s not. He had everything he needed right in front of him. And that almost-mugger today? That’s right – William H. Macy.