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Synthesis - Columns

From 2008 to 2015 I wrote a weekly column for Synthesis Weekly under the name Zooey Mae. What started as an outlet to review graphic novels and comic books evolved over the years to cover everything from pop culture to whatever menial event was happening in my life. Looking back, I think I spent much too much time regaling Chico with tales of my allergies. 

Ride-By Grabbing

Originally published in Synthesis Weekly: March 2013

Greetings, nerds. This week I’d like to direct your attention to the streets of Chico, where there seems to be a disturbing trend emerging. I’m not talking about the recent fires and rampant degenerate activity in the area of West 5th and Ivy, although that is troubling as well.

For longtime readers, I’d like to revisit a column I wrote a little over a year ago describing my encounter with a ride-by grabber. During this incident, I was walking down 3rd street downtown at night with a friend, when a guy on a dark-colored cruiser came riding toward us on the sidewalk. When he was parallel with us, he reached out and fumbled at my chest area like a nervous 13-year-old, then rode away on his bike. At the time, I thought that he’d started to fall, and reached out to steady himself, which is a stupid thing to think but, in my defense, I’m not used to being publicly molested.

I had all but forgotten about this unfortunate incident when I found out a friend experienced something recently that reminded me of my brush (or fumble) with the ride-by grabber. Early one morning, she was jogging through Bidwell park when she saw a guy with a cruiser crouching behind some bushes ahead. Understandably wary, she gave him a wide berth as she passed that spot and continued on. When she had nearly reached her destination downtown, she saw the same guy following her on his bike. Before she knew what was happening, he rode up, slapped her ass, and sped away. The only description she could glean was that he was on a dark cruiser and wore a sweatshirt with his hood up.

Even though time has passed, I feel confident it’s the same dickless piece of human trash that also grabbed me. So, if any of you Chico ladies have experienced something close to what I’ve described, please email me here at zooeymae@synthesis.net, because I’d really like to get a better description of the shit bucket that’s been doing this; not because I want to get the police involved – I think we can all agree they won’t do anything – instead, I’d like to make an effort to get the word out, maybe organize a posse, get a lead on some pitchforks and torches, and then, who knows? We’ll just see where it snowballs from there. But seriously, email me if you have any information because I can’t believe this guy is still out there.

Lastly, if you’re concerned about being safe, then I have just the product for you. The Spraytech Self-Defense iPhone Case includes a detachable pepper spray cartridge. You can pick one up at www.spraytect.com. Just be careful not to spray yourself in the face while you Instagram your food. Just kidding, there are multiple safety features that would prevent that.

Arielle Mullen