True Crimes: The Prague Foot Fiddler
by Kat Arnsby
“We will take that little kit, but we will have to do it very gently,
because we are in the Me Too Generation.”
– Donald Trump: Leader of The Free Fuckin World, July 6th 2018
Genetic heritage and sexual assault are too closely linked in that man’s mind.
Anyway, I’m not popping up to write my first blog here in nearly three years about Donald Trump, I write about me, because I mainly only care about me.
I have that in common with Trump at least.
I have a dilemma.
I was half asleep at Prague Airport this week. I was watching some nonsense on my laptop, occasionally looking at my phone, and probably snoring.
There were five of us in total. A hetero couple, two lone male travellers and me; everyone was snoozing on and off. It was about 4am and it was pretty quiet.
A cleaning lady came round and was massively annoyed by every single one of us and all our luggage. If you looked in a Northern English dictionary, there would be a picture of her in there under the phrase “face like a slapped arse”.
She was muttering what were clearly swears, and generally presented as one not to be fucked with. I kept my head down.
Around 04:30 I was dozing, with my headphones in when I felt a weird sensation on my feet, cat owners will probably recognise it.
I opened my eyes and saw a large, smiling man touching my feet and ankles.
I sat up, pushed his hands away with my left hand, and swung at his head with my right.
He stood up, and I caught him on his arm. I very much doubt it hurt him. He was at least 6’4” and large with it; I would say mid-forties, and not in terrible shape.
He looked shocked, and said something I didn’t understand. I asked him what the fuck he thought he was doing, and he scarpered pretty quickly.
There was an old t-shirt on my feet- not mine I might add, could have been from anywhere.
I think he had been trying to cover up my bare feet to keep them warm.
What a nice gesture! Women getting upset about things like this is what’s wrong with the world. It’s political correctness gone mad.
I was grossed out though.
What is this minky t-shirt on me? And the skin on my feet felt like it wanted to peel off. Burn off, scrape off, just somehow come off my body.
I looked around. Hetero-boyfriend was awake and looking at me, he shrugged like “that was weird”, and we watched through glass walls as the FootMan went down the escalator, looking back at us guiltily.
What does this incident matter? It’s absolutely nothing.
But why me?
I mean, there were two other adult humans lying alone on sofas there. Both had headphones in, both had bare feet.
If it was really just a nice gesture, then how come I was the recipient? Did he really have a 33% likelihood of doing that to any of the three of us lying alone?
I suspect if there had not been a woman lying alone, no-one would have been treated to an impromptu little foot rub.
I can’t prove that, but I’m happy with the assertion regardless.
It just pisses me off that I have a disproportionately high chance of getting my space interrupted by a weird twat because I look feminine.
And I’m not trying to say this guy represents “the norm”, but he wasn’t worried about his behaviour, he’s confident in his environment, it was not his first rodeo.
He did look shocked when I tried to crack him.
I wish I hadn’t been so sleepy.
I wish I’d landed my fist right on his massive head.
I wish I’d hurt him.
It seems a bit unfair, I mean, I’m sure he was just being nice, keeping my little tootsies warm for me. He was just being a nice guy and I wanted to see blood come out of his nose. I wanted to grab his surprisingly hirsute head, given his age, and slam it into the metal corner of that lift shaft.
I wanted to kick him so hard in his saggy little scrotum that he tasted his own sperm.
Seems a bit excessive.
Maybe I’m a psycho and maybe you shouldn’t intrude my space uninvited.
Maybe I’m just a bit fat and middle aged, and couldn’t even land a punch on a head two foot from me. I’m honestly not sure what humiliated me more. Him touching me, or him walking away from touching me.
Not that I could have taken him, as previously stated, he was massive. The second he fights back, I’m down.
And why would I even try, over nothing more than a caring, tender footrub? I’m not some two-brain-celled giant male.
I was left feeling humiliated and somehow cheated out of a fight. He was too much bigger than me and so I automatically lose or surrender to deep stupidity and then lose anyway.
That’s not exclusive to women, the guy was big; lots of men lose straight away there too.
Just less often men are put in the situation of feeling cheated out of a pointless fight by a massive bloke touching them intimately without invitation.
Is there anyone out there, of any gender, sex, age or race that would enjoy a footrub, out of nowhere, from a complete stranger, when you’re lying quietly with your headphones in?
We are in the generation that’s finally talked about it being Me Too.
We can safely assume it’s always been Me Too, since a single cell organism smoothed up to a smaller single celled organism in the primordial swamp, but now we’re talking about it, and what good is it doing if people still think it’s cool just to touch strangers when they are asleep?
I just look like an easy target, I suppose.
I’ve got a cute face, giving the false impression that I’m nice, and I’m clearly too chubby to run anywhere; easy game.
What am I supposed to do there?
Smile? Laugh at it?
Take the gamble that he won’t beat a woman in front of other people, at his place of work, and just leap on him, smashing at his face like a rabid monkey?
Both ends of the spectrum sound too extreme to me. What’s the middle ground?
And so back to the dilemma.
I’m sitting in front of the complaints form for Prague Airport, where this guy worked. He was in uniform, with tags, and I think I remember his first name, and plus I assume there are cameras in the lounge anyway.
Do I send it?
Will they do anything? Maybe at the very least watch him a bit more closely to make sure he doesn’t continue or escalate?
What if they take a really hard line and sack him? It’s obviously weird behaviour, and in this Me Too generation you can’t be too gentle on potential offenders. Nip it in the bud!
Do I really feel like a man should be sacked for fiddling my feet?
I just want him to feel as humiliated and frustrated as me. I want his boss to bollock him and he automatically loses because you can’t argue too hard with your boss, not when your only possible argument is “I should be allowed to touch all the customers”.
I want his life to be delicately invaded when he didn’t ask for it from a complete stranger.
I don’t want to send the email, because I am scared I will be the trigger for what may well be justified given previous and potential future behaviour, but cannot be said to be a fair response to the specific incident with me in isolation.
I do want to send the email because I feel lucky enough to not have much to contribute to #MeToo, but I’m worried that silence on the tiny problems, from women as loud and confident as I am, is an open and endless contribution to #YouNext.