I’ve had a number of requests for more people watching posts, so I thought I’d give it a go. A huge spider crawling around the front step reminded me of a people watching episode many years ago.
I had gone to the local mall to do a bit of shopping. Having finished my treasure hunt, I bought an ice cream cone and sat on a bench to people watch for a while. I was near a pet shop, and enjoyed watching the children drag reluctant parents inside. I also made note of different shoppers hurrying about on errands of their own.
I was nearly finished my treat when I first saw her. She was a big woman, not tall, but big. I’d guess her to be in her late forties or early fifties. I took her for a farm wife, as she was dressed for the barn, not the mall. Her plaid shirt and mud splattered jeans had seen better days, as had the turned down rubber boots she wore on her feet.
The woman looked tired, for her shoulders sagged and her step was slow and ponderous. A face that had been quite beautiful at one time looked out at the world through sad eyes. I smiled as she passed my bench, and she gave me a wan smile in return.
Now, as so often happens in life, things can change in an instant, and so they did for this girl. She was not far from my bench when a panicked young woman bolted from the pet shop. “Nobody move, the tarantula has escaped.” Everyone instantly froze, except our farm girl.
With a scream of mixed fear and rage, she took to the air like Hulk Hogan about to land on King Kong Bundy. She gained an impressive amount of air before descending with full fury to the tiles below, a small black object disappearing beneath her boot. Still roaring her battle challenge, she continued to pound that thing with a beat that would have sent Disney’s Thumper slinking away in shame.
By the time the young clerk reached her, the tarantula was dead on the floor, no longer a tall spider, but now thinner than a sheet of paper and bigger around than a dinner plate. The woman was gasping for air, her hand over her breast.
“You’re going to pay for that,” declared the clerk as she pointed angrily at the splattered spider on the floor.
With her hand still on her breast, and drawing in long ragged breaths, the woman laid her other hand on the girl’s shoulder. “I already did, Honey. I already did.” With that she turned away, her back straighter now, and her stride firm and strong. Yep, adrenalin is a great thing, takes years off your shoulders.
Until next time folks, happy people watching.