Saturday, May 7, 2011

The Creeper

A few weekends ago, my wife and I attended a Pete Yorn concert at the New Daisy Theater on Beale Street. While we were waiting for the opening band’s gear to be cleared off the stage, I noticed a young girl (I guessed her to be late teens) in a black cocktail dress followed closely by a man who looked to be in his late 50’s. As the two traversed the room, he warily eyed the other attendees while maintaining a rather defensive posture around his female companion.

I gestured toward the man and commented to my wife how refreshing it was to see a parent concerned enough about his daughter’s safety to accompany her to a concert. Perhaps a friend had planned to attend with her and had to back out at the last minute so her father had graciously stepped in to ensure that his daughter could safely enjoy the show. I even hypothesized that I would have been uncomfortable allowing our “future” teenage daughter to attend a late-night concert on Beale Street un-chaperoned.
The Original "Creeper"

Content in the knowledge that parental responsibility and sound judgment were not relics of a bygone era, I turned my attention to my cell phone until the house lights indicated Pete was about to take the stage. Glancing around I located the daddy / daughter duo to my left, who had moved closer to the stage in anticipation of the headlining act. Then I noticed something troubling: papa’s hand was slowly descending down the back of the young woman’s dress and before I knew what was happening he was “squeezing her Charmin.”   

I began to suspect that either my initial assessment of the couple’s relationship was inaccurate or my instincts had been dead on and this show was just the closest Pete Yorn was going to Mississippi on this particular tour. As the concert progressed, so did the geographical area covered by the gentleman’s hands. Had his physical examination been any more thorough, I believe state law would have required her to sign a HIPAA form.

As the silver fox settled in at second base, the young woman had begun conversing with a nearby concertgoer while her left hand vigilantly prevented the creeper from stealing third. Undeterred, he left her side momentarily to retrieve a beverage and that was when I noticed that the black button-up shirt he was wearing featured the outline of a dragon on the back. The design was subtle enough that the outfit could pass for business casual from a distance but distinct enough to let interested females know that he would not rule out attending an after-party.

Their delicate dance of his increasingly-emboldened hand placement and her gently-enforced physical boundaries continued throughout the show and became such a distraction to my wife and myself that we began speculating on how they met. I was of the opinion that he was a recently divorced real-estate mogul and they had met after she acquired an internship at his firm. My wife’s explanation was somewhat more straight-forward: “He’s a creeper.”

Having heard the word used in a similar context by other young women, I did a little research to clarify exactly what behavior qualifies someone as a “creeper.” contained multiple user-submitted definitions, so I took a sampling of the top five:

Creeper  -   an offensively unimaginative word devised by tacky, braindead college students to describe people they deem sinister, indecorous, uncouth, or otherwise unpleasant.
In context: "omg, i was gettin wasteyface at bennigan's, and some creeper was totally creepin on my bestiessss!!!1!!

This particular definition was submitted by some guy named Sherman but I was somewhat weary as the bitter tone wreaked of a recently-spurned advance. I decided that Sherman might be a bit of a creeper himself so I continued down the list:

Creeper - Typically a nice guy, but is called a creep because girl's can be ruthless jerks.
In Context  -"Hi Sandy"
                                    -"Get away from me you creeper!"

This definition also seemed to have been submitted by a man with an apparent axe to grind. I began to wonder how these one-sided definitions had been voted into the top five out of hundreds of submissions. Perhaps the easiest way to spot a creeper was to gauge how much time they spent on…..

Worried that tarrying much longer on the site would label me as a creeper, I quickly located a submission from “Bridget” that described the qualifications thusly:

Creeper -  Older men who hang out in college clubs and bars and stare at girls half their age and occasionally make obscene gestures and comments.

In Context - Look at that creeper over in the corner staring at you. He is wearing gold chains and his shirt is unbuttoned to show off his chest hair, gross.

These characteristics seemed to fit our fellow concert-goer like a Hot Topic gift card so it appears that my wife’s assessment was accurate. I have also been told that creeper sightings are a frequent occurrence at local gyms and health clubs, a place that some believe is the creeper’s natural habitat. As I have never witnessed this firsthand, I understand that one minute a young woman will be enjoying a few reps on the leg-press machine when she notices an older gym-member has finished his set and is leering disconcertingly at said young woman.

I thought about submitting this as a definition to Urban Dictionary but was concerned that after a few more page visits I would be labeled as a creeper.

1 comment:

  1. Great observation.

    I nominate a "Creeper of the Century" who is still working the streets - Mr Hugh Hefner !


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