In my travels around the world as an internationally beloved speaker I’ve seen some terrible things: The ugly face of racism in the South, anti-American hatred in Europe, light rain & fog in San Francisco. But nothing (NOTHING!) compares to the horror I witnessed in Denver, specifically their airport. After a long flight & while waiting for my connecting flight back to beautiful California, I was literally inches away from being raped…possibly gang raped.
With 30 minutes between flights I headed over to a stall in the airport restroom. Checking Facebook from the stall, I suddenly became a victim of Larry Craig Syndrome.
As you recall, Larry is a former Senator from Idaho who was busted for trying to get his “congressional polling” in an airport restroom. The only, and I’ll take this excuse to my grave, way I knew the meaning of what was about to happen is because of the reports of his exploits.
As I’m sitting there, updating my status. I look down & see the shoe of the patron in the stall next to me. Then I see it, the international sign of “meet me in my stall for 7 minutes of glory”, the foot tap. The foot tap is the signal that the person is ready & eager for some dirty, dirty stall activities. At first I ignored it thinking he had his iPod in, tapping to the tune.
20 seconds go by, and again I get the double tap. Tap, tap.
Now I understand. I’m about to be exposed to the exciting world of airport bathroom raping. So I slide my feet as close together as humanly possible, hoping, praying, that the tapping will just stop.
No prayers were answered that day.
Tap, tap. Tap, tap.
Now I’m confused. Do I ignore it? Do I thank him for his interest but politely decline? What’s the etiquette here? So I sit perfectly still, deadly quiet….hoping the horror ends.
I finally breathed easy as there was no more tapping, but then suffered a minor cardiac episode as my stall buddy took it up a notch. I saw hand. He made his intentions very clear by reaching down and stroking his shoelaces, the sign of “NOW it’s time!”
That act snapped something in me, something primal, something so deep that I think I may have blacked out. I yelled with all my strength, “If I see that hand again I’ll snap it off & flush it!!!” Now there’s TOTAL silence throughout the restroom. He shoe slides away from me, back to his own stall. I rush to leave my stall & run for my plane. Feeling a bit like Job’s wife, I look back at what I was leaving behind and I see that his stall is not even fully closed, but wedged slightly open by his suitcase. Clearly, he was ready for action!
As I look back upon my bathroom adventures I ponder whether I was too quick to judge my lonely fellow traveler, perhaps there was a Senator in there I could have blackmailed for millions. But most of all I’m just glad I escaped with my innocence intact….and to this day tap dancing still gives me night terrors.
Since selling his production company, Digital Imagery Productions, in 2007 Chris spends his days kayaking, enjoying the beaches of California, searching for the perfect snowcone, & traveling the globe inspiring both young & old not to spend their lives being a waste of skin. There’s no doubt that his life is better than yours.