We are going hypothetical today:

The scene: A fast food chain, 12:30 on a Monday afternoon, COVID era

The players: Three employees behind the counter, five people waiting for their food, two people on line waiting to order, one ordering

Person A is the next person on the food line waiting to order. There is one person behind Person A.

Person A is looking at their phone trying to recall what their family wants from this establishment

Person A feels a medium sized tug on their pocketbook which is cross shoulder on their body. The small bag is slightly open because Person A just took out their phone.

Person A jumps with a start because someone is close enough to have their hands on the personal belongings of A. This is covid time and their is a person standing within one foot of Person A even though there are clear designations as to where everyone should be standing and everyone else in the store is observing these protocols.

If you are Person A how do you react?


Hit the person?

Make a scene?

Call the police?

What would you do if you were on line in a store and someone tried to pick your pocket?

Real life- this happens to you- what do you do?

Ok- now let’s play with this scenario:

What if Person A was a person of color, and everyone else in the store was not? Are your reactions different than what you said before?

What if Person A was not a person of color, but everyone else in the store was? Do your reactions differ?

Does the gender of Person A and the pickpocket matter? They’re one of each? They’re both the same gender? Does gender affect your thoughts on this?

How about age? Say the pickpocket is a teen? Or, Person A is a teen? Does that change your reaction?

Now for the final talking point:

If this situation were to happen in real life, and someone was to film it, the only thing that would be recorded is the what happened after. Person A makes some sort of reaction, someone else films it. Do you take this possibility into consideration in the split second it takes to realize that you are being pickpocketed? Is your first thought- “Oh- everyone has phones and will record how I act?” or do you just protect yourself and your property?


If you are going to play the drinking game to my podcast from last night, the word is “interesting”.

44 thoughts on “What Have You Got There

  1. Good follow up post, after your personal space thoughts. And no, I don’t think I would have the time to take every thing into account before I jumped. I imagine I would be quite vocal in my objection to someone being thisclose to my business. Not sure as to the particulars since it hasn’t happened lately, thank goodness.

    Quick little story this post brought to mind. About fifteen years ago I was leaving work, walking to the parking garage with my laptop bag slung over my shoulder. Being quite mindful of my surroundings all the time, I could hear bike coming up fast. Next thing I know, my arm is being pushed, along with my body as the guy attempts to take my bag. It didn’t work and he goes flying off his bike. When he jumped up, I knew he was fine and I was relieved. Because it would have been really awkward if he’d hurt himself and I had to call for assistance after he tried to take my laptop. So I said a few choice words as I stood there holding his bike- a dirt bike that was two sizes too small for him. He took off, I took the bike, put it in in the back of my truck.

    I mugged the mugger.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It seems like every day, our thoughts and actions are being micro managed. What are the expectations that we are supposed to experience on the day to day?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think the scenarios are so relevant, because that’s where we are at. Social media , of course, having something to do with this dynamic. I think we are all conditioned to understand how close we always are to going viral in the event of any kind of incident.


      1. I should..but I’m too old and covid-cranky to care right now..after 2020, my patience for social media generated nonsense is zero. Then again, the thought of having a bunch of activists banging tambourines (or worse) in my driveway should give me pause..

        Liked by 1 person

  2. That scenario is a lot to take in and as you’ve described it makes me feel frenzied and thrown off balance to begin with. I see myself reacting by pulling away, both my bag and myself and turning to the person to confront them in some way. Do I immediately suspect pickpocket? Probably not, as the emotions I feel writing this are frustration and disbelief that in Covid someone is that close to me when they should be on their own little socially distanced circle! I’m so not a social media person so I bet that I wouldn’t even realize that people were recording, but I would be pissed off because the person who “bumped” me was likely buried in their phone and not paying attention to there space.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I completely get every one of these feelings. To have your personal space violated…first of all…plus the other things. It just adds a layer to what we go through


  3. Unfortunately, social media and the threat of backlash seems to be dictating a lot of responses to situations. For me, I really wouldn’t care if they were a purple spotted three-eye alien. If they were stealing out of my handbag they would be called out for their actions…..in a completely loving and understanding tone, of course………..😆

    Liked by 2 people

  4. 😮 So now after all these years I’m able to put an actual voice to your narrated voice swirling around my head! I have to say you don’t sound quite how I imagined but in a pleasant to listen to way. Lol I had expected a stronger New Yorker accent like you’ll hear in a Woody Allen movie…………..now all I have to do is figure out how to find your Podcast 🙂 .

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Assuming I caught someone with their arm in my “man-bag”♥ – I would probably react with loudly to draw attention. If the thief had something I would grab him. I don’t think it would matter much the age, gender or race – well actually writing that I would careful grabbing a young person or a female. They would be brazen to try such an act in a shop – and I would undoubtedly be quite surprised. Not something I would expect but I have heard of similar situations in Europe with pickpockets especially in Paris.


  6. It’s always interesting to play with how we would react in this kind, any kind, really, of situation. However, it is really impossible to know. I want to believe that I would say something like, can I help you? Though, as you write, it depends on the context. Meaning, who’s in the restaurant, where is the restaurant located, how often do I go there, do I know the staff, etc. And, though people may not want to admit they have biases, both those that are known and unknown, they also play a part in how we react. Interesting question, LA.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I really don’t know what I would do now, many years ago when I was around 18, someone tried to snatch my bag. Before I had put my head into gear I had screamed and punch him in the face. It happen in seconds. Apparently I was told after by the police that bystanders had told them they saw the young man run up behind me, grab the bag and I turned Screamed no and punched him in the face and he had run off with a bloody nose. He was caught by a group of football fans. Times were different then, people would just stand by and film it now. Point is at the time I don’t think you have time to think is this person tying to take my property male/female/old/young/black/white. You just reacted with fight or flight

    Liked by 2 people

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