Today’s Scintilla Project prompt that inspired my story is “Tell the story about something interesting (anything!) that happened to you, but tell it in the form of an instruction manual (Step 1, Step 2, Step 3….)”. Here goes!
I have so many wonderful stories from my 5 years as an undergraduate student in a girls’ hostel in Chennai, India. There was hardly ever a dreary moment. Gossip abounded because some women were always trying to steal other women’s money, or books, or food… or sometimes underwear. Sometimes they were just trying to get in another person’s underwear. There were women of every kind in my hostel: different shapes, sizes, colors. You didn’t have to do much to watch drama unfold over something as trivial as a misplaced toothbrush.
But some of the best stories I have are of perverts hiding in the bushes trying to sneak a peek of the ladies through their window. It didn’t take much to get the female student body to unite over a matter as ‘serious’ as this.
Here’s what to do when on a perv-alert in the dormitory:
STEP 1: Determine the distance between yourself and said pervert. Continue to Step 2 if the lecherous bastard is at least 20 feet away from your window on the other side of the fence or compound wall. If, however, the monster is right outside your window, call the warden. If, God forbid, he’s knocking on your door, stay calm and CALL THE POLICE.
STEP 2: If you have ascertained a safe enough distance between yourself and the pervert, keep a watchful, but discreet, eye on the creep. You may skip to Step 8 if he walks away within five minutes. In the event that he stays put, move on the Step 3. If he comes back again, or begins to issue projectiles (not the kind explained in Step 2a below), skip to Step 4.
STEP 2a: If, while keeping any eye on above-mentioned pervert, his hands begin to stray to unmentionable regions, do not panic. STARE HARDER. If it doesn’t shame the bastard into stopping, and you think you may be seconds away from watching him spurt his sap, call out to friends at the top of your voice until Pervy Numbnuts gets the message. You may even point and laugh if it so pleases you. If he walks off with his shame tucked in his pants and his tail between his legs, skip to Step 8. If you, and your out-of-breath friends, have just witnessed the gut-churning scene of his ugly climax, say a quick prayer for the wasted sperm, and you may proceed to Step 3. NOTE: Remember to always keep puke receptacles handy.
STEP 3: Turn off the lights. This is usually the most effective step to drive away unwanted perverts. You know what they say: out of sight, out of mind. Also, it is highly likely the jerk thinks you’ve been enjoying the show until now. You really don’t want that.
Now, if all goes well and Creepy Boy doesn’t come back to his point of surveillance, go ahead and skip to Step 8. But if he comes back within the space of 24 hours, or tries to bombard your room with projectiles like stones, mud, foreign objects, etc., continue to Step 4.
STEP 4: If you’ve come as far as this step, you’re pretty much at war with Horny Man now. Get a good glimpse of your perpetrator, run to the intercom and call out to your homeys to join you in battle. Get the Warden involved too, even if it’s 2am in the morning. Chances are this is the most action she’s seen in a long, long time.
STEP 5: Split your army into teams: Frontline assaults, surveillance, yell team and runners are a few good examples. Instruct frontline assaults team to arm themselves with the heaviest and sharpest objects they can find, Surveillance to position themselves on the terrace watches, Yell team to convey the message the old fashioned way, and Runners to… well… run. Because the chances are Douchebag wasn’t thinking too clearly before arriving without reinforcements.
STEP 6: Do whatever it takes to nail the bastard, even if it means jumping the gate. Oh, and yes, if you live in a ‘gated community’, you may need to use the choicest words to wake the watchman up. In all probability, his blissful snoring is the only thing lying between you and your visions of kicking Mr. Perverson in his nuts. If after all this you manage to nab him, continue to Step 7, and if not, skip to Step 8.
STEP 7: If you’ve come this far… congratulations! Now leave your perpetrator’s fate to the Executive Warden or the Vice Chancellor. But it is always better to forgive. Only, memorize his face like a road map before you do that, and watch him whimper every time you bump into him on campus.
STEP 8: Now go to sleep. If he comes back within the space of 24 hours… lather, rinse, repeat. But don’t sacrifice your sleep.
At the end of the day, this exercise is futile because somebody in the future will probably accuse you of having enticed him… like the boy who genuinely cried wolf, but nobody cared because the boy who cried wolf when there was none ruined it for him… only the second boy is fictional.
But I digress. Just have fun, and treasure the mental image of hockey stick-wielding women rolling up their sleeves and crying out slogans, because maybe you’ll never see quite something like that again.