You can't prove anything, but...

… you’re pretty sure something fishy went on. Share those events. I’ll start.

About 25 years ago, I was going to Pensacola, FL for temporary duty. It was January, and I was driving south through a snowy Alabama - on I-65, I think. My poor little Datsun B210 was covered with road salt and general nastiness, so I decided to make a brief detour for a car wash.

Picture it - Sicily, 1924… no wait!! I mean, picture it - I was 25 years old, out of state tags, car full of stuff - obviously traveling alone. As I came out of the drive-thru carwash, the attendent helpfully pointed out that I had a flat tire and that I could just pull into their garage and they’d take care of me. Such a deal.

Well, I’m usually a very trusting person, but something wasn’t right here, so I pulled into a vacant parking lot across the street. I emptied my trunk, pulled out the spare, found my owners manual, and changed my tire myself, then got back on the road. Once I got to my duty station, I got the flat tire plugged for all of $3. No doubt, the “helpful” garage guy would have charged me more…

Yeah, I’m pretty sure they were responsible for the hole. I expect they must have taken me for an easy mark. Little did they suspect. :smiley:

So, what’s your story?

You’re lucky you stayed on the interstate! If you had strayed onto the blue roads, well, most out of state females traveling alone through an Alabama snow storm simply, you know, VANISH! :eek:

In my lifetime I’ve been exposed to a number of “fishy” things similar to what you described. Problem is, I haven’t been as smart as you were and I got taken nearly every time.
The worst was buying a mail-order computer for my son from a bogus company. $700 lost on that one.

And then there was the time…, oh never mind! :smack:

I’m still not convinced that one of my former companies wasn’t a front to scam money from venture capital investors. When I interviewed, I was told “our beta release is scheduled for next month.” When I was laid off eight months later, the beta release was still scheduled for “next month.” Three years later, they still don’t seem to have produced a single product.

Oh well, I made some good money off them.

Mine is sufficiently more creepy, and I need to tread lightly to try and keep things confidential.

One of my teachers in high school, we’ll call him Mr. Yuck, may have been…um…inappropriately involved with some of the young boys in my classes. I had Mr. Yuck for 4 years (he taught a favored subject, damn my luck), so I watched his pattern in blind naivete. He would take a boy under his wing each year or so. This boy ALWAYS came from a family undergoing significant personal turmoil (a nasty divorce, a parent’s death, etc.). I don’t know many details, but I do know he’d do things like take them to baseball games–alone–and then repeatedly tell them not to tell anyone else about it (one of them told me that years later–but never revealed anything more).

Mr. Yuck was never married, never dated, lived alone, and never really socialized, as far as I can remember. He was also an awful teacher, incidentally. Lucky me, again. Students who wanted to take this subject were stuck with him. He was forced into retirement some time ago, thankfully.

Years later the exgirlfriend of a friend of mine–a male friend who’d been tucked under Mr. Yuck’s wing for a period of time–told me accidentally that said ex had been molested by a man. My stunned reaction horrified her–she thought I knew–and nothing more was revealed in her alarm (and mine, too, for that matter).

In hindsight, Mr. Yuck matched a very disturbing profile. He’d be pretty advanced in his years now. I hope if I’m right in my uneasy assumptions, he’s gone. :shudder:

I had looong hair from the time I was about 14 through 34. Back in the late 80’s I sported the whole “tease your hair eight inches off your head and lock it in place with a ton of hair spray” look.

One day I ran into a guy I had been friends with years before. Now, he and I had once had a bit of a falling out over the way I was dressing at the time. Apparently, my look was “totally gay”. Never mind that fact that 90% of the reason I was dressing like that was to pick up chicks.

Anyway, I needed a lift back home. He gave me a ride, and when we got there he asked if he could use my bathroom. I obliged him, and then he left.

A few minutes later, it just hit me, out of the blue…“That bastard pissed in my bottle of hair spray”. I went into the bathroom, unscrewed the top of my bottle of Stiff Stuff, and sure enough, it was pungent from piss. Still have no clue how I knew it, but I just knew. I could never prove it was him, but…

Just like he could never prove who poured a bottle of piss-laden Stiff Stuff through his cracked-open car window two years later. :smiley:
Why yes, it is best served cold, actually.

When I was in college, I had a small poster that a particular friend of mine admired. It was just taped to the back of a door in a very out of the way spot, it wasn’t expensive or anything, but it was one of a kind (in this town) because I’d bought it in Europe.

One night I had a huge drunk-fest party, the kind where people end up sleeping on the lawn in their underwear, and sometime during it the poster disappeared. My friend was present, of course, and I was very busy (making sure people weren’t puking in the closets, etc., this was about the time I realized it’s a drag to host the college drunk-fests), and, whoops!, it just disappeared.

It was no big deal, really, except I knew, I knew, that she had taken it. But I couldn’t prove it, and it wasn’t worth wrecking a friendship over. I hope she at least felt too guilty to enjoy it, anyway.

I don’t know which I find more disturbing. You keeping the original bottle that he pissed in two years ago or you pissing into a new bottle of hairspray. :eek:

Here’s my story: I was into my 3rd month into my freshman year in college and a guy called me and said he had met me a few weeks earlier through my friend Kathy. The only Kathy I knew was a girl from high school who was also going to the same college. But, I had forgotten about Kathy, the casual acquaintence through my previous roommate.

This guy proceeded to tell me that he works for a detective magazine and would love to have me model for him…in a tight dress and high heels. He said I have a lovely neck and would I mind being in some pictures, depicting strangulations. He also said his nickname was “The Strangler” and wanted me to audition for him over the phone, pretending I was being strangled.

Okay, now I may have come from a small town and been very naive and impressionable, but I knew something wasn’t right with that scenario!

Early in the morning, I was out walking my dog. He was on the other side of the guard rail on the side of the road, invisible from the street; the leash wasn’t readily apparent from the street either.

A car loaded with young guys pulled up. There were five of them. The driver asked me if he could bum a cigarette. Before I could answer him, my dog (a fierce-looking but somewhat candy-assed pitbull) leapt over the guardrail and stood beside me, ears and tail up, a ridge of hair standing on end from his neck to his tail. Everyone in the car looked at the dog, the driver said, “Uh…never mind, man…” and they roared off.

I’d never seen the car in my neighborhood before. Got the plate number as they drove away.

Many years ago I watched Stevie Ray Vaughn at the Miller Concert at the pier in New York. It was outside on a pier (no shit) on the Hudson. Since it was sponsored by Miller they served beer at baseball stadium prices. Since my brother was paying I was drinking. We were parked at the Port Authority Bus Terminal and by the time we got back there after the concert I was in great need of a restroom. The one on the first floor was filled with cops and dogs (don’t ask). I finally found one to my great relief. When I left the bathroom one of the denizens of the terminal started a conversation with me asking me where I was from and so forth. Even in my drunken state I was able to make it clear that I was not a yokel and I broke it off and found my friends and brother. It wasn’t for a little while that I put it together. I was drunk. In the Port Authority Bus Terminal. Wearing a SRV Texas Flood shirt with the map of Texas on it. I was young and alone. Holy shit I was being recruited by a pimp! He thought I was fresh off the bus from Texas looking to make it in the Big Apple. No it doesn’t just happen to young girls. Luckily I had been in the city enough to have good instincts.

This one crosses over into “I can prove something”, but…
A car had been parked near my parents’ house for a few days. It hadn’t been seen around there before, and this did make some notice, as they live at the far end of a -end neighborhood in the hills. You have to drive over a mile to the other end to get out of the neighborhood and to the rest of town.

My mom picked up my brother and his bike when she passed him on the way home. He took the bike around the front of the house. She went up the back stairs, which is more direct from the driveway. She found two guys standing at the back door.

“Uh, is Billy here?”

“There’s no Billy here at all.”

“Uhhhh…” [Slash out with screwdriver]

She got a small cut on her head, screamed y , my brother dropped the bike and tore around the house, but they were piling down the stairs in the opposite direction (not toward him). He did catch up to them, and one of them punched at him. He says he can’t remember if it missed, or if he was so adrenalized that he didn’t feel the amount that did land. They jumped in a car that conveniently had no plates. There wasn’t a decent rock to throw through their window to mark the car, so they just got away.

That’s the last they were heard from. It must be about 14 years ago now.

Heh…after I discovered it, I dropped it in a very large Ziploc bag, sealed it up, marked it with a Warning: Do NOT Use sign, and stuck it deep in the back of a closet.

Now for the incredibly freaky follow-up: I haven’t seen this guy in well over 10 years, and then I bumped into him last night. :eek: I stopped off for gas on my way home from work, and he was the attendant. I recognized him right off, but I look quite a bit different than I did 10 years ago, so I don’t think he recognized me. He just got this funny kind of “do I know you from somewhere” look for a second, but that was it.

Just to be on the safe side, I stayed close by while he filled up the tank. :slight_smile:

When I was in maybe 2nd grade, living in New Orleans, I was taking a letter around the corner to put in the mailbox. I’m sure my mother sent me. So this guy drives up near me, leans over and opens the passenger door, and asks me where I’m going. I pointed and told him I was going to the mailbox. He said he’d give me a ride. I said I didn’t need a ride, the mailbox was right on the corner. Then he drove away.

I never though much of it until years later when my friends and I were relating such tales to my mother. When I told my tale she was moritified!


My wife and I were driving up I-5 from Los Angeles to San Francisco (about a 6 hour trip), with our daughter (18 months old at the time) in the car seat. Approximately 3 hours into the trip, at about 9pm, we noticed a disturbing odor emanating from my daughter’s diaper. We pulled over at the next exit, which led to a deserted country road in the middle of nowhere – no buildings, no services, no lights, nothing but farm land and scrub brush as far as the eye could see (which wasn’t far, as it was dark). I left the hazards flashing, and as my wife changed the diaper, I climbed down an embankment to relieve myself. While down there in the dark, I noticed that a car had pulled off the freeway, and was slowly making its way up the off-ramp to our car, lighting up the car, and my wife and child, in its headlights. The car had began to pull in behind ours when I emerged from the gloom of the embankment. (I’m a tall guy – 6’4", and I was wearing a big coat which disguised my wimpy build. I was also carrying a folding shovel that I keep in the trunk on long trips, for use on nature calls in the middle of nowhere.) As soon as I stepped into the headlights, the car gunned the engine and squealed away, onto the on ramp, and off down the freeway. The two seedy looking characters didn’t even glance at me as they drove by.

I’m sure the guys had stopped to offer their assistance, and were relieved to see that my wife was not all alone in the middle of nowhere.

Ooh, here’s a fresh one. I have an ad running for “shared accomodations.”

Last night at around 9:00pm, a guy called and asked if he could see it. The first thing that I noticed is that he had Caller ID blocked. Odd, but not terribly worrisome on it’s own. He wanted to come over after nine o’clock, which is a little unusual, too. The thing is, he sounded sketchy. He sounded like a guy in his twenties and like someone who did plenty of drinking or crap drugs, or huffed paint fumes, or something. I told him that it was too late to come over, that the room was still occupied until the end of the month, and I didn’t want to bother the person who’s in there now with people coming over so late. “When can I come see it?” “Well, is there anything you’d like to know about the place before you come over?” “No. The ad says you want a student. I’m a student.”

Well, the ad did say that, but apart from the price and what’s covered, it doesn’t say anything else about the situation. Everyone asks something about the house, or the people who live here, before they make a trip out to look. Something. I started to feel a little uneasy and suspicious, but he’s wanting to know when is a good time to come by. If I’d been thinking clearly, I would have told him to call back the next day, and then blown him off. Instead, I just stressed that there is always somebody here, and told him to come by at 1:00 today. Gave him the address. (Which he could have gotten by reverse-lookup, anyway, if he wanted it.)

After I hung up the phone, I got more and more creeped out by the exchange. Petty burglar looking to case the place? Someone using an “open house” as a foot in the door for a home invasion? Me being a total paranoid in response to some guy with no social skills who’s desperate enough for housing not to be picky at all?

Anyway, as one o’clock approached, I just made sure that I had something by the door that could be used defensively, without looking like it was there for the purpose. (Claw hammer within reach.) A little awl in my back pocket. I was pretty sure it would be nothing, and I’d being able to chide myself about my paranoid precautions after the sad-sack left… but just in case, you know?

A little after one o’clock, I heard a bit of noise in the back. I go out and look, and I see big old boatish convertable pulling out of the back driveway, driven by a young shirtless guy wearing a baseball hat. No back license plate. :dubious:

Not so sure it’s just paranoia now-- the guy’s look matched the voice on the phone pretty well. It’s not a look that screams “student.” No plate? Assuming it is him, that means he went to the front (to check the address,) ignored the convenient street parking, drove around to the alley, and backed in to my driveway.

If he peered into the windows that are viewable, (especially on the ground floor,) he’d get the impression that there’s not a lot of high-value swag here for the taking. I suppose he might have just decided that the place didn’t meet his standards, but I’m not sure that someone who shows up bare-chested and baseball-capped is liable to have terribly high standards, you know?

On the other hand, it was just one guy. Wouldn’t you come with backup if you knew someone else was going to be there?

Anyway, that was two hours ago. I have some running around to do, but don’t feel great about leaving the house vacant.

18 years ago, I was in the Phillipines for several days. My compatriots and I were waiting for a ship to take us south on, literally, a secret mission (we were in the military). Since we had some time to kill, we decided to hit the local strip, and visit some of the bars we’d only heard rumors about back in the states.

It was early afternoon, so things weren’t too rowdy, but we were having a good time anyway. Along the way we met another group of servicemen, one of whom was from the same state as one of our group (Texas. What a coincidence :rolleyes: ). Naturally, we joined forces. This one guy from that group insisted that we go to a particular bar. After a few false starts, we found the place. It actually appeared to be a nicer place than some of the others. I noticed there was a stage at one end of the room, but there wasn’t much happening. We ordered some pitchers of spiked punch, and started drinking and chatting with the ‘hostesses’.

It was fairly obvious that the ‘hostesses’ were available, for a price, and we’d encountered them everywhere, so this was nothing new or surprising. I noticed the one guy who’d recommended this particular place speaking earnestly with the older lady who was obviously in charge of the girls. I thought maybe he was negotiating with her for one of the girls, and didn’t think much about it at the time.

A few minutes later, the lights dimmed, and a strange procession began on the stage. Girls in skimpy outfits began parading around, and every so often one would come forward and kind of curtsy. It seemed really weird to us, because most of these girls were pretty young – way too young to be in a bar.

One of the guys in my original group said that it was time to go. We had finished our pitchers, and we wanted to hit some more places. The other group wanted to stay put, so we left without them. We went into a bar across the street, and were enjoying ourselves there, when we heard a ruckus outside. One of our group peeked out the door, and saw several members of the local constabulatory going into the place we’d just left. Carrying machine guns.

We stayed put for a long time, discussing what could have been, and decided to keep to ourselves for the rest of our journey. We were, after all, on a secret mission. :slight_smile:

A few years ago when I was getting my masters, I would model on the weekends for a wedding dress vendor for whom I also did seamstress work. At one of the modeling events, I had changed from the gown I was wearing and was preparing to go home when some guy gave me his number. He said he had worked for Playboy and was putting together some photos for his portfolio - he wanted to get back into photography. We talked about meeting for a shoot. Then he told me what I should bring - black lace panties and bra, tight skirt, white shirt, fishnets, black pumps. And, well, maybe if I relaxed, we could “make it a little hotter,” you know, “have a little fun.” Yeah…riiiight. Needless to say, I didn’t make it to that one. I don’t even know why the hell I talked to the guy in the first place, but you just don’t see all that many creeps hanging out at a wedding show.

D’oh! I forgot to include the actual point of the story. I could never prove what the hell the guy was doing (i.e., if he was a legitimate photographer, had really worked for Playboy, etc.), though I did occasionally see him lurking outside the wedding shows again after that, camera in hand. He seemed more like a dirty man just getting his kicks.

Some years ago, I was walking by myself in a local park. This is one of those suburban-paths-wind-through-the-woods kind of parks. I’d stopped by after work to have a bit of a walk before I went home. I’ve walked alone in the woods for years and never had a problem, so it doesn’t occur to me to worry in those situations.

As I was walking around the path, a guy comes out of the woods and starts walking along with me. I don’t encourage him, but I do respond to his questions. Then he starts saying things like “I bet you could push someone off in the bushes here.” I’d say things like, “I suppose you could, yes.” I’m steadfastly refusing to look at him, but out of the corner of my eye I can see something in the area of his waist is kinda out in front and flopping around. I honestly thought it was the tongue of his belt, that he’d undone his belt, and the loose end was just flopping loose.

It still hadn’t occured to me to be frightened yet. It was a short path, and I knew I’d be back where people were shortly. And not long after that, he took off, and I didn’t see him again. I did, however, see another woman who asked me “Did you see that guy exposing himself while you were walking???”

I honestly don’t know. I believe in the Power of Denial, and I was exerting every bit of my will to pretend that he wasn’t there, and that nothing weird was happening. I dunno, maybe Not Knowing and thus Not Freaking Out helped me there.

Or maybe I was just lucky.

A few years ago when I was still living in Arizona, me and my husband had just finished up a nice meal at a fantastic Mexican restaurant and wanted to go home. Because we had met at the restaurant after work, we had taken separate cars. Before we left, Mr. E mentioned that we needed some groceries and told me that he’d meet me at the local Safeway.

I took off first, and because of some favorable stoplights, made it to Safeway before he did. As I was pulling into the empty and dark parking lot, I noticed a lowrider pull in behind me. I drove my car up to the entrance and got out.

The coupons were in my trunk, from a former foray to Safeway. I went around to the back of the car and opened the trunk, and on my way I saw this:

The lowrider that had pulled into the parking lot hadn’t gone to the building and hadn’t parked in any of the spaces. Instead, it stopped halfway to the building. It was dark, and the parking lot was empty, so I saw one guy get out of the car. The car then took off, and the man started walking toward the building, and then stopped some distance away and started watching me.

I saw this out of the corner of my eye as I was shuffling things around in the trunk. As I closed the lid, the man started walking toward me, quickly. My hair stood on end. Thoughts raced through my mind. One, why did those people drop him off, and didn’t park and come in? Two, why did they drop him off near the rear of the dark and empty parking lot? Three, I am the only one out here in the parking lot and he’s coming closer.

I started walking toward the building, but he was moving quickly enough that he would overtake me. My husband turned into the parking lot at this point, and his headlights lit us up. I noticed that the man was a young hispanic man, with gangster clothing – real gangster clothing. If you have ever driven through the Tucson ghetto, you know what this type of clothing means on a young hispanic man.

Mr. E parked right in front of me, between me and the hispanic man. He got out. I would have ran inside, but I didn’t want to leave him alone with the gangster, so I waited for him and hustled him inside.

The man followed us after a few minutes. I watched him when I could. He started following us around the store, but he stopped when he noticed I was looking at him. He then went into the magazine section and stayed there. Everytime we passed that aisle I would glare at him. Back off!

The whole time I was in the store I was trying to come up with some legitimate justification for him to be perusing the magazine section of Safeway at nine o’clock. I tried to think of reasons why he would have tried to intercept me on the way to the building. I tried to justify why he would have stopped trying when he saw my husband, and why he would have followed us around the store, and why he acted guilty when he caught me looking at him. I just couldn’t think of a rational excuse.

When we left, I made sure me and my husband left at the same time. I followed him, and kept an eye on my rear view mirror – I wanted to make sure his friends weren’t following me. They weren’t, but that didn’t make me feel any safer. I didn’t get any sleep that night.

I didn’t tell my husband my suspicions until later. My husband is the kind of guy who will yell at someone for scaring me and not think twice, and if I turned out to be wrong, or the guy turned out to have a gun and be very dangerous…well, it was better all around not to tell him until later. I also wanted the whole thing to be a figment of my imagination, that the young hispanic gangster-apparrel-wearing man was harmless – not only because I wanted to feel safe, but also because I didn’t want to think I was fitting him into a convenient stereotype.

Nevertheless, I couldn’t shake the feeling that the man had meant to harm me, that if my huband hadn’t shown up at that exact moment I may have been mugged or worse. I was almost completely certain at that time.

I was looking through the internet later, and it seems that your hindbrain or whatever little part of you left over from caveman days that says “oh shit that’s a LION” is still there. Maybe a little weaker, but still there. So when your hair stands up and adrenaline shoots through your body, listen and get out of the situation! Better to look like an idiot, running in a dark Safeway parking lot, than be knifed!

About three years ago, I was doing in a rotation in a microbiology lab. The lab had a small attached room where the microscopes were. One afternoon, I was working all alone in the microscope room when an unfamiliar girl opened the door to the lab. Even though I was new to the research group, I knew the girl was a stranger.

“Can I help you?” I asked, being friendly but cautious.

The girl whirled around and hesitantly asked for Professor Hill. The professor I was working for had a name that started with an “H” but it wasn’t anything close to “Hill”. I asked if she meant Professor So-and-So and she nodded yes. I told her he was teaching his microbiology class and that he’d be back in an hour.

“Oh. I’ll just wait for him!”

I thought she meant wait in the hall, outside of his office, but she continued to linger in the lab. I watched as she went through all the pipettes and other expensive doodads on the counters, touching stuff like she was browsing around in a store. I swear she remarked about how expensive they all were. As I watched her, it occurred to me that if she was a student of the professor’s, she would have been in class. I also found her “mispronunciation” of the professor’s name kinda troubling…as if she had just glanced at the name on the door before she came in.

Also, students are usually too afraid to knock on their professor’s doors, let alone opening the doors of their laboratories uninvited.

So…in my toughest voice…I asked if I could help her. By that time, she had been going through the stuff in my lab space. Contaminating my work area with her damn RNAses and everything. She mumbled something and then left.

I didn’t think anything of it until later that day, a colleague from upstairs said a purse had been stolen from a lab. The description of the suspect matched the Uninvited Guest’s.