(Lotharios on the Prowl)
Sylvia T. Rubio
am referring to no other than the Casanovas-in-training, the wannabe
philanderers, and the wannabe adulterers'
I would understand, really, if I were even just remotely good-looking.
But the thing is, I'm not even the slightest bit pretty. So it stupefies
me immeasurably how, lately, I seem to have morphed into some kind of
femme fatale. I am of course being sarcastic. You are not about to read
another first-hand account of how a klutzy duckling has, by some quirk
of fortune, metamorphosed into a graceful swan. I am still as klutzy as
the day I slipped and plunged headlong into a puddle of rainwater near
the Philcoa overpass, or the day I stumbled and fell flat on my face in
front of the U.P. College of Law. Neither are you about to read another
story of how a gawky geek has been transformed overnight into a sophisticated
seductress. I have long resigned myself to "My Undeniable and Indubitable
Three-fold Truths" one, that geekiness is the very essence of me;
two, that I am the concept's very epitome; and three, that elan is a quality
I can only hope to have either when I'm in deep slumber and my imagination
has run totally amok, or possibly when I'm intoxicated with liquor (which
is never the case) and my senses have all but slipped my grip.
What you are about to glimpse is a sneak-peek of my steadily growing dossier
of LOPs (lotharios on the prowl) a.k.a. Icky Idiots a.k.a Lecherous Scumbags
-- those Don Juan Wannabes who have obviously not taken a good "beyond-the-mirror"
look at themselves (or else they would have died of shame a long time
ago). Stripped of the fanciful labels, I am referring to no other than
the Casanovas-in-training, the wannabe philanderers, and the wannabe adulterers,
furtively lurking -- nay scandalously hovering -- in our midst. I swear
I do not resemble carrion in any way, nor do I smell like decaying flesh
I hope. But the vultures keep on coming, and what enormous faith I once
reposed in the male gender has been replaced with cynicism and foreboding.
I have been "approached" by a handful of creepy cretins over
the past twelve months within the premises of the U.P. Diliman Campus
of all places. For a person who is as indictaby introverted as I am, who
rarely speaks unless first spoken to, and who often doesn't speak at all
even when spoken to (I cannot count with the fingers on both my palms
and the toes on both my feet - possibly not even with the aid of an abacus
- the sheer number of people who have, through the years, commented on
my alleged "shyness" and/or "quietness".), that is
quite an amazing feat. (I am operating on the assumption that the more
quiet you are, the less conspicuous you ought to be.)
Even granting that seven years in a school run by nuns may have made me
more squeamish than most, I wager that alarm bells would start ringing
in any reasonable-minded individual's mind once a total stranger who initiates
a "conversation" under the pretense of inquiring about the U.P.
College of Law curriculum begins telling her the story of his life, how
dreadfully unhappy his "gun-shot" marriage is, and then later
on in the course of the one-sided "conversation" (a monologue
really) asks for her number and address, and proceeds to offer to drive
her home. Or when a complete stranger more than twice her age initiates
a "conversation" (a soliloquy verily) under the pretense that
she bears a striking resemblance to somebody he once met and then when
he has pretendedly determined that she's not the same person, rattles
off one question after another (increasing incrementally in intrusiveness)
which anyone with even just the slightest bit of common sense would not
give the right answers to: "What time do you go to home?", "What
route do you take?", "Can I have your schedule from Mondays
to Saturdays?". Or when an absolute stranger after tailing her from
one building to another in the U.P. Diliman campus, musters enough chutzpah
to "spring out from the bushes", introduce himself, ask her
where shes headed, and not content with all that crass impropriety,
has the gall to volunteer to accompany her wherever shes headed
-- thereafter nonchalantly and from out of the blue showing her his wedding
ring as if shed give a hoot as to his marital status.
I will spare you the grimy and soot-ridden specifics of my brushes with
LOPs a.k.a. Vulpine Vermins a.k.a. Morally-decrepit Miscreants, but as
I have their modus operandi down pat, I will spread the word to forewarn
others of them.
1. LOPs look
for women who are solitary - i.e, unaccompanied or unescorted. While I
prefer going about my day-to-day agenda (or lack of it) by myself, I have
a bottle of hairspray and a lot of sharp objects in my bag to wield in
the event someone tries anything ugly.
LOPs look for women who appear "approachable and friendly" -
to use the words a LOP used to describe me when I asked him why he zeroed
in on me of all people. I still have not quite mastered The Menacing Leer
thatll keep LOPs at bay, but I am proud to say that thanks to the
traumatic unfolding saga that is law school, I now have a perpetual scowl
plastered on my face thatll make LOPs think twice before they attempt
to strike up a chat with me.
3. LOPs will
leave you alone once you make it clear that youre more than immune
to - and are in fact antagonized by -- their vomit-inducing advances.
While I do not have it in me to be as brutally frank as to say "Leave
me alone", I compensate by giving curt responses.
Well, there you have it. Forget about the Cyclops - they exist only in
Greek mythology. Its the
crotch-itchy LOPs that you have to be wary of.
© Dannah Sylvia T. Rubio December 2002
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