Throwback Thursday: "Are You a Gawker?" 4/6/2011

gawker-261x300Have you ever had an experience with a gawker? Ever seen one in action? Or perhaps your guilty of gawking at one time or other. I’m sure you know, a gawker is a spectator or observer who sticks out like a sore thumb because he stares stupidly at something or someone without a hint of intelligent awareness. He’s so focused on the object of his attention that he doesn’t realize how obvious he looks to others. My wife has occasionally accused me of gawking particularly in situations where a beautiful, ample breasted woman crosses our path. I confess, I may be guilty of looking, but gawking, never! When I was a younger man I used to tell her that I was merely admiring, and explained to her that God had given me the gift of sight so that I might appreciate his beautiful creations. What a load of crap!

The world is full of gawkers, they come in all ages, shapes and sizes. Although women can gawk, gawkers are primarily men. Sometimes gawkers look totally foolish and have this ‘shit eating grin’ on their faces. Sometimes they can appear sinister and dangerous like a predator sizing up its prey. Other times they look demented or even perversive as they ogle their target  and can be quite unnerving. I happened upon one of the former last week at our local Starbucks.

On my way home last Thursday I stopped in for a little guilty pleasure, a vanilla bean frappuccino with a shot of caramel. Starbucks is conveniently located adjacent to Azusa Pacific Universities housing units and was packed. As I approached the door I saw a well dressed, middle aged man staring idly out the window facing the street. He was practically licking his lips. I assumed he was simply enjoying his coffee drink and proceeded to get in line. After ordering I waited for my drink and soon my attention was drawn back to the middle aged man. He was still staring outside, but from my new location I could easily see what he was looking at. Running down the sidewalk were three college coeds dressed in high cut running shorts and sports bras! He was tracking them as they ran by the store. I won’t swear to it, but I think he was making little gasping sounds as they passed, maybe not.

A few minutes later two more girls similarly dressed, ran by. This time he actually leaned towards the glass as they passed. I thought he was going to lick the glass! Talk about being obvious! The guy waiting next to me had also taken notice of this idiot. We looked at each other and simply shook our heads. A few other patrons sitting near him also noticed. After the next group of runners went by the gawker picked up his coffee and headed towards the door. I thought he was leaving, but once outside he sat down at a table near the sidewalk, where he continued his antics.

Once my drink was ready I headed to my car where I continued to watch him for awhile longer. He was definitely spooking me. He paid little attention to the girls who ran by in gym shorts and tee shirts, but those in sports bras and short shorts got his full admiration. I began to worry about these girls, what if he was more than a gawker? what if he was a rapist or worse? Hell in this day and age you never know. One of these girls could be in real danger. You hear about it all the time.

Then, just as I thought about alerting someone a strange thing happened. The man received a phone call. He was on the phone for only a few seconds, got up and started walking across the parking lot towards Stater Brothers. He soon met up with a women pushing a cart full of groceries and walked with her to a nearby Honda. He loaded up the groceries and they drove off together laughing. I can only assume they were husband and wife. Dummy me! He was just a hubby killing a little time while his wife did the shopping. Well, you can never be too sure. I guess my fears were totally unwarranted –                        or were they?

Just a Thought,

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