OK, I’ve run into my fair share of sociopathic trolls in cruisy areas like saunas or public restrooms back in the day, when that was a thing.
But nothing takes the cake like “Sun Hat Guy” (not his real name).
I worked at a video rental store in college — back when that was a thing. Sun Hat Guy was a wrinkled, mid-60s, weather-beaten, pudgy short man with thick glasses and a slurred lisp. He literally looked and sounded like a troll. He was always exposing his overtanned limbs in cutoff shorts and sleeveless tees. He always wore a straw sun hat like some sort of Panamanian.
Anywho, he always came into the video store to rent the gay titles and hit on guys. He always tried to talk to me about the gay movies and find out what was in them. Then he’d try to “get to know me.” He would attach himself to the cute, straight clerks who worked there and ask them a million questions about the gay titles just to suss oit their sexuality. Then he’d try to “get to know them.”
“What about ‘Queer As Folk, Episode 4?’ Is this any good?”
What’s scary is that he followed me when I went on break once. I went down the block to get some lunch in a grocery store and he followed me! He came up to me AT THE CHECKOUT REGISTER and asked, “Where you headed after work?” etc. There was clearly some mental illness / boundary issues.
So I get talking with the cute gay boys who worked at the sex/novelty shop nextdoor and discovered them warning each other about “Sun Hat Guy” (their nickname for him). Turns out he tries to cruise them forever, too and asks as many sexual questions as he can about their products.
“Do your balls turn really blue in this choker?l or whatever.
So, one day, after Sun Hat Guy gave a cute, straight co-worker the Third Degree about Al Pacino’s nudity in “Cruising” or whatever, then rents his video and leaves, my dear coworker Maggie decided to look him up.
Maggie never got pestered, of course. But she did get the pervy vibes. And, as a video rental store, we had Sun Hat Guy’s REAL name and all his details.
So Maggie types his name into our state’s Sex Offender Database, and LO AND BEHOLD, Sun Hat Guy had two convictions for sexual assault of a minor and one for lewdness with a minor! He had been in prison!!!!
OMG we still laugh for days. We told the people who worked at the sex shop and they were horrified/laughing hysterically.
Luckily, “Sun Hat Guy” never got anyone we knew.