Whenever the Lukens family – my family of origin – gets together, there is always a bout of storytelling. The following is a story that my sister Rita loves to tell on herself. She really gets into it, complete with a re-enactment, using props and audience members. It’s more like watching an episode of Seinfeld than an actual event. So I’ll retell it here in her words but without the visuals, know you are missing out on the best part.
Story: Several years ago, [back in the 1990s] we – my husband, Ron, my son, also named Ron, and I – went to the theater to see this Steven Seagal action flick. We arrived a little late, and the movie trailers had already started. We made our way down the aisle looking for a seat in the darkened theater. Ron and Jr. moved into an empty row and I followed, plopping down in the second seat from the end. But then I realized that they had moved and sat at the other end, so I stood, clutching my purse to my chest – I never like to carry my purse by the strap or let it hang from my shoulder for fear of purse snatchers – and began inching sideways toward my family. But I was stopped short; something or someone had a hold of my purse strap and was pulling it from me. Fear rose in my belly as I tugged hard, trying to retrieve my purse from the hands of this would be thief. As I pulled, the thief pulled back harder. I was ready to scream for help. I was not going to give up my purse easily. This guy was going to be sorry he messed with me. But then I heard a muffled sob coming from the heads in front of me. I stopped my insistent jerking and followed the leather strap to its captor.
To my horror I found that I had hooked the long shoulder strap around the neck of a young girl who was crying as she struggled to be free of her attacker. Her boyfriend lifted the purse strap over the head of his frightened date. I was humiliated and bent forward, apologizing profusely, saying that I thought someone was trying to steal my purse and was only trying to save it.
The girl, who looked barely 16, tearfully explained that she thought she was being attacked from behind by a madman, bent on strangling the life from her.
We all roar with laughter at this comedy of errors, which was not funny at all to a young girl and her date. But, as we all know, fact is much stranger than fiction, and real life is full of happenings that one would never dream could take place outside of a TV sitcom.