“Uuhh good luck in America try not to get shot.” Many of my friends and relatives left me with this departing phrase before my year abroad. I laughed along too, and internally thought, fuck. I guess coming from the UK where guns are illegal verses spending the year in the US where they are legal, the issue was on our minds. Weirdly my only experience with a weapon on my year abroad was with a boring old knife. God. I was really trying to get the full American experience. I thought it was a bizarre way to wish me luck on my year abroad. People’s comments in jest did make me begin to consider and question the stark realities of gun violence in the US and the amount of lives it has destroyed. This is for another article however. Back to how I was saved by a movie quote.
My experience was a lucky one and when I reflect back on my actions I didn’t behave as I would have sober and maybe this saved me. Or maybe I was just very lucky with who I was speaking to. The guy with the knife seemed to appreciate my ignorance to threat. Who knows, but I am grateful now to have walked away unscathed. I am lucky to be able to write this article, using satire and such to discuss serious subjects. Please be aware that beneath my light-hearted jokes and sarcasm I understand the realities of violent situations and I am not ignorant to lives that have been destroyed due to violence. This is just one of the many tales in my life that I wanted to tell, to make fun of myself and open up the possibility for serious conversation and reflection upon gun and knife violence and crimes. And how a movie quote saved my life.
“Saturdays are for the boys” is potentially mine and my roommates favourite excuse to open a bud light at any time of day on a Saturday. Technically we aren’t boys but we definitely thought ourselves “boiz” a few cans in blasting Jordan Belfort by Wes Walker. This exact Saturday we had got together with some of our closest friends and had been enjoying the day in such a manner. It got to the evening and we ended up deciding to head to a bar.
Lemme take a selfie
Having taken up our favourite seats, which were right up at the bar, we proceeded to order beers and a cookie skillet. Let me tell you there is nothing better than hot melted cookie dough mid-way through a sesh, in the bar too. Unreal. The bar was filled with a mix of locals and students, but it was mostly dominated by students. I happened to be sitting on the end of our group and next to me sat two local guys, who I’d estimate were around thirty to forty years old. We hadn’t interacted at all during the evening. Until, quite near the end of the night I get a tap on the shoulder. I turn around and this guy is brandishing his phone in my face. He asked if I would take a picture. I thought sure. They were both wearing some kind of hunting / camo sweaters and I remember making a joke in my head about camo clothing, classic. I went to take a picture of them and the guy stopped me.
“No I want you to take a picture, of yourself.”
It’s a no from me
I thought my blurry beer’y, cookie coma brain had misheard. I said I wasn’t going to take a selfie of myself on some random thirty-year-old guys Snapchat. He said oh okay. So I turned thinking that was it. Then he said, “so take one with us in it too.” I turned back and said I think you’re missing the point, I don’t want to have a photo of myself on your phone dude. Again, I went to turn around and he asked me if I was sure. I turned back and said I was sure. That’s when I noticed what he was gesturing to.
I mean thankfully it wasn’t his bare dick in my face. But it was a rather lengthy hunting knife which had been attached to his belt. And without even thinking in my best and worst Australian accent, I went full Crocodile Dundee and said “that’s not a knife” before turning back around for the last time. Minutes later, upon realising the reality of what just happened I expected a knife to be coming straight through my back. But the men had swiftly left. This was possibly one of the stupidest instinctive reactions to danger that I have ever experienced.
Thinking through all the possible scenarios, this could have ended up very badly. I honestly don’t know how my shite imitation didn’t end up getting me into even more trouble. Perhaps he thought I was going to follow up with the next line “this is a knife” and pull out a machete. Perhaps the guy was a Paul Hogan fan, who knows. Being saved by a movie quote was not a situation I’d ever expect to be in. I mean that is just in movies right? The next day I reflected on the situation and thought, who the fuck gets threatened for refusing to take a selfie. Sadly, worse has been done to people for much less. I am very lucky to have been “saved” by a movie quote. Hopefully this story will put to bed people who refuse to accept that often women get threatened for doing something you would regard as so insignificant. I also hope it opens up discussing about knife and gun crime that can always benefit from reform.