07 August 2006

Alpha-Male Games

Friday, I close up the office and go down to the mall movie theater to watch a movie. I make the mistake of not checking the times before going and the only flick which hasn't started by the time I get there is "John Tucker Must Die." And, yes, I did watch it. Total teenage chick flick. Tucker's a high school force of nature who every girl wants and every guy wants to be - and he knows it. The three most powerful girls on campus (all of whom he was simultaneously cheating on the others with) decide to destroy him. The running joke is that no matter what they do Tucker proves to be absolutely bulletproof. Cute, but don't waste your money.

Anyway, the movie ends and I walk thru the food court on my way to a place where I can buy a phone which will work in Wise County. As I walk thru I spot a girl who catches my eye. At first, I can't figure out what it is. She's not bad looking, but she's too skinny and, while I can't place it, I'm pretty sure her age was within either the too young legally or too young mentally stage. Then I catch it. Her hair looks white-blonde - like it's bleached or colored. But her (rather bushy) eyebrows are exactly the same color as her hair and there ain't a root in sight. Her skin was really pale too. I think she might have been an Caucasian albino, but I couldn't see her eyes.

At this exact moment the smart-ass high school guy at the table I'm walking past on my right decides to mess with the fat, short, bespectacled, suspenders wearing old guy walking past. I'm sure I looked the perfect target and most the time I would just ignored him, but something - maybe testosterone kicked in because I was looking at a girl or that I had just watched a movie about an indestructible guy (who knows?) - had me in a mood to mess back.

The kid sticks his hand up in the air from where he's sitting at the table. I give him a curious look and note that he's sitting at a table with another high school guy and two girls. I keep walking and he leans toward me and sticks the hand up kind of in front of me. "C'mon, gimme five."

So I reach my hand out at about waist level and we do the half-handshake, half-finger slap which I'm sure all those of you who practice criminal law have done with your clients. Only, I don't let go. Holding his hand and looking him straight in the eye I ask: "Man, I know you?"

He's still got that screw-with-the-old-guy gleam in his eye: "I don't know man. Do you know me?"

Me: "I don't know. I'm a criminal defense attorney. You spend a lot of time in court?"

The two girls at the table actually flinch and look down. The kid snatches his hand back, breaks eye contact, and turns away from me back to the table. He's mumbling something like, "yeah, yeah, that's it." I glance around and none of the kids will even make eye contact. I turn and walk away.

It wasn't really a fair match. Army Intel trained me to play mind games and the kid was a rank amateur at messing with people compared to your average client. And I should probably feel guilty for messing with the kid in front of a girl he was trying to impress. Still, I gotta admit walking away from an adolescent, childish, immature chest-thumping contest decades after graduating high school as the winner still feels kinda good.

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