Friday, March 31, 2006

The New York Heckle Index

Anyone who’s read this site for awhile knows that one of my greatest pet peeves is being harassed about my looks by random, horny assholes on the streets of New York. On bad days when the hooting seems ceaseless, it sends me into tailspins of fury that prompt detailed revenge fantasies in which I slowly carve out the offending hecklers’ testicles with a spoon. On good days when I’m left more or less alone, I still walk around wishing persistent and grueling bouts of priaprism on these obnoxious cretins.

My first instinct when heckled is to plant my knee firmly into the offender’s groin, but that just seems like asking for more trouble and possibly a trip to the pokey on assault charges. Others have suggested that I wear a sign to scare away potential hecklers, something like “I have gonorrhea,” (which I don’t), or, “Actually, I’m a man!” (which, I’m not).

But from now on I’m going to try something new: channeling my frustration into mathematics via the newly christened New York Heckle Index.

Now, I’m no John Nash so you’re going to have to cut me some slack if the algebra behind the index is simplistic. I haven’t given five seconds of thought to math since I necessarily cheated my way through eleventh grade pre-calc. However, on days when the index approaches the “red zone” – i.e., the number of heckles is high – it will serve as a warning to my fellow female New Yorkers that they may want to lengthen the hemline a bit or possibly carry a tazer gun. I think I serve as a pretty decent stand-in for measuring the number of heckles an average New York woman has to endure on any given day, since I think I fall in a fairly average attractiveness range for New York women. That is, I am not one of those giraffe-necked models who teeter around on stilettos and hang out at Bungalow, but neither am I someone who has ever been asked to wear a bag over her head whilst hooking up.

So here’s how it works:

(relative perceived hotness)(number of heckles a day) – hours spent on the streets = New York Heckle Index

For those of you who haven’t taken math in awhile, that means my relative hotness times the number of heckles a day, minus hours spent on the streets, equals the Heckle Number.

The index goes from 1-10; 1 is a day that’s relatively heckle-free, while 10 is a day during which I’m compelled to remove testicles with a spoon.

Relative hotness levels range from one to three. One is a day where I’m hungover, unshowered, sporting chipped-up toenails and may be seen eating sausage McGriddles in an attempt to soak up the booze-induced bile volcano in my stomach. A two is a normal day – jeans, cute top maybe -- although nothing special. Three is the apex of hotness – my hair is silky, the fishnets have no snags, and I’m in a gown headed to the opera. The number of heckles explains itself – each laughable “Yo, MAMI, come get a taste of THIS!” every peeving “You’re too beautiful not to smile!” and all the insufferable “Did anyone ever tell you you look like Julianne Moore?s” each count as one. Any day where more than three heckles are endured, regardless of relative hotness, the index will automatically be adjusted to 10.

How did I come to this equation you ask? Well, relative hotness and the number of heckles a day can be inversely proportional (at least I think that’s how you describe it – any math wizards out there care to contribute?). Meaning, if my relative hotness is a one but I get heckled three times, it’s just as bad of a heckle day as if my relative hotness is a three but I only get heckled once. The more time you spend on the street, the likelier you are to get heckled, so that must be subtracted from the equation. Other vagaries such as locations heckled (it’s less surprising to be heckled near a construction site in Midtown than it is at a Dunkin’ Donuts in Carroll Gardens) could somehow be factored in, I suppose, but frankly that kind of math is just too sophisticated for this girl.

So, as an example, today’s heckle index: My relative perceived hotness stands at a 2.4 – my hair turned out, I’m wearing cute new open-toed heels, and showing a little cleavage, but I’m not showing any leg. Number of heckles so far: 1 (“MMMmmmmm, hey beautiful!” – man with a hand truck). Hours on street: .5. Currently, the heckle index stands at a 1.9, but that could exponentially increase when I go for a 20-minute walk at lunch.

I’ll keep you posted. And catcallers of New York beware: The Heckle Index is tracking you.


Blogger Mike said...

Now, if you could just factor in the sketchy sitemeter results...

2:03 PM  

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