If a person ran up to you in a panic and asked you what year it was, you’d respond, right? If you answered, “No,” you are one of the curmudgeons I was afraid of running into with my most recent dare. My mission this month? Run into businesses, ask someone for the year and then when (if?) someone replied, yell, “It worked!” and then run out. People do this sort of thing all the time in movies and receive casual responses. But life is never like the movies.
I went into three different places and even though I am a bit of an eccentric, I had a panic attack at every single shop I went into. I video recorded my dare by sticking my phone in my bra with the lens sticking out in a new form of cinematography I call the jiggle cam. Moans and groans can be heard on camera before I walk into each place and once you hear me whimper, “I hate my job.” I love pushing myself to do crazy things, but I struggle with anxiety. I do things that have shock value every day, but for some reason, this dare made me particularly nervous and you can bet your bottom that I had a shot of tequila before I proceeded to make a fool of myself. My biggest fear about this dare was that people were not going to answer me, that they would just stare at me blankly and the joke would fall flat. Then what was I supposed to do? Just walk out?
I wondered what this dare would show about people. Would I catch someone lost in a moment of thought who dared to believe that magic and time travel is a possibility? Or would people not even entertain the impossible and be on to my gag immediately without allowing their imaginations to wander?
My first stop was a hotel with just two men behind the counter. I ran in in a panic and having nearly no control over the volume of my voice yelled, “What year is it?” The man was silent for a couple of seconds that felt like an eternity before he answered. Anxiety throbbing through my body, I slammed my hands on the counter and yelled, “Yes! It worked!” and then ran out the sliding glass doors. I’m sure that man is still very confused and if you’re reading this, I’m sorry for yelling at you.
The second place I went into was a bar in Pawtuxet Village. I was slightly less nervous to go in here because it was around 11pm and I hoped people were drunk enough not to notice one more crazy person among them. I readied my jiggle cam, sprinted through the doors, ran up to the bar and asked the bartender and everyone within earshot for the year. The bartender stuttered out, “2014,” while staring at my breasts, still rippling from the bound over. Turns out my chest was more interesting than the possibility of time travel.
The third place was my favorite. I chose a pharmacy because I needed to pick something up anyway. I ran in in a panic and asked my question. The lady looked slightly startled, but without skipping a beat replied, “2014.” I thanked her and ran out. Then I ran back in, headed up aisle two, grabbed a box of tampons and threw them on the check-out counter. “You can’t get these in the future,” I explained. She gave me a nod and a smirk; I paid and was on my merry way.
Everyone picked up on my joke and found it more confusing than funny. Maybe I should have worn a costume. But some day, time travel could be possible so keep your mind open. Life is so boring if you think you know everything. And nobody like a know-it-all … or a jokester, apparently.