2008-03-18

How to be a superhero

I just thought of a little occurence that happened to me a few of weeks ago, while I was on my way to the indoor track meet I did here in Vienna.

I was standing on the sidewalk waiting for the straßenbahn (tram, streetcar) when I heard a yell coming from my left, further down the sidewalk. What I saw was a cliché Viennese dude (white pants, black coat, mullet-hawk) sprinting down the sidewalk with a sweatshirt-around-her-waist in pursuit. She called him a dirty word and he didn't look back, just kept sprinting, all out, as she gave up.

The first thing I did when I looked over was look to see if he had stolen her purse or something. I was preparing myself for the Hero Day of my life. I could have stopped this guy, at least temporarily, because he ran past about ten feet in front of me. I had about one second to decide if I was going to take a few steps forward and stick my foot out, straight up spear him onto the tram tracks and pin him down, or do absolutely nothing. I saw no stolen purse, and as a matter of fact I saw nothing indicating a crime other than the aforementioned not-cheaply-dressed dude sprinting silently from a girl who was yelling names. In my one second of thought, I either decided that the evidence was not there, or I ran out of time, because the guy sprinted away and around the corner.

But, I still had time to think because I had my running shoes on, and fewer than ten people in this whole country can get away from me over 3000m. So, I looked back at the girl, who had stopped, and was silent except for her heavy breathing. She wasn't close enough for me to immediately ask her if the guy stole something, and she was walking the other way. So, I stood there like every other person waiting for the tram, like nothing happened. I didn't like that. I assume that the guy had something in his hand, maybe money. I don't know. It could be that she was trying to buy drugs from him and gave him the money, at which point he turned and ran. Who knows? All I know is that this sort of thing doesn't happen often to me, and I don't like the thought of letting a crime happen right in front of me and not doing anything. Part of me wishes I would have tackled him, because I doubt anyone would have died because of it, and then I would have known.

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German word of the day: "Vorversicherungsdatenauszug." That's what I'm supposed to bring with me to pick up my renewed residence permit this week. It's a statement of all of my uses of the insurance plan that I have. But, according to my insurance company, I don't actually need that (it's takes a while to get one), but a Versicherungsbestätigung should be fine. That's a MUCH shorter word.

1 comment:

Andy G said...

It would have been great if you had stopped the guy who was actually the "good guy" and the chick was actually trying to take him out or somehting. Then you would have had to stop the chick from beating up the dude, and you could have been a hero like 1.5 times that day.