PSA: Know your audience

SteveKarstensenSteveKarstensen Website User Posts: 336

So... this happened to me yesterday and I'm still kinda freaked out.  I'm hoping that if I talk about it here with my fellow filmmakers, I'll somehow find enough humor in the situation to laugh it off.


I know it's hard to believe, but I'm single. (Ladies...)  I use a bunch of mobile dating apps like Tinder, Hinge, and the one where this went down, Coffee Meets Bagel.  I matched with a seemingly-nice Chinese girl whose English wasn't the best, but my ex was from the PRC so I'm used to that.  We chatted for a few days and then I mentioned that I build stuff, specifically Harry Potter and Star Wars-themed props.  She wanted to see pictures, so I asked her for her mobile # since CMB doesn't let you send photos to other users.

I texted her several pictures of my HP wands and lightsaber builds, including a couple of repainted Nerf guns and in-progress saber hilts.  I told her exactly what they were; "Star Wars lightsabers built with a variety of parts."

She sent back a response: "Wtf?????" - I had no idea what that was supposed to mean, so I simply replied "What?  Too awesome?"... and that was the last I heard from her.  I didn't pay that any mind, because it was in the middle of the workday and hey, we can't waste our entire day flirting when there's dollars to earn.

Anyway, a few hours later as I was getting ready to leave the office, a couple of guys walked in and asked for for "Steve".  Our office is a fishbowl, and there's three guys named Steve; we figured they were solicitors (which we get fairly often despite the "No Solicitors" sign on the door) and asked which Steve they meant.

They wanted me, and showed me their badges, identifying themselves as being from my local PD.  Having no idea what was going on, I confirmed that it was me and we went into the conference room.  One of them pulled out a piece of paper with a printout of one of the pictures I'd texted, then explained to me that someone had called 911 after getting this picture on her phone... and from where he stood, it looked like a weapon and multiple pipe bombs.

After I got done turning completely white, I told them the entire story, ending with "They're lightsabers, if you're familiar with Star Wars.  That 'weapon' is a Nerf gun I'm in the middle of painting to look like a laser blaster."

I guess one of the detectives was a nerd, because he smiled and said, "Called it.  I said on the way over that they looked like lightsabers."  The conversation got a bit lighter at that point, but they were definitely playing Good Cop/Bad Cop because one of them asked me a few more pointed questions about whether or not I was sure that if "they raided my address that they wouldn't find anything illegal".

They left shortly after, satisfied that I wasn't a threat.  But you can be sure I will not be attempting to impress any hotties with my mad prop skillz in the future unless she's already assured me of her devotion to the Light Side of the Force.

I swear, I was shaking for the rest of the night.  That could have gone so much worse.


  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator Moderator, Website User, Ambassador, Imerge Beta Tester, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 18,216 Ambassador

    In a few months, it'll be funny to you. It's hysterical to me. 

  • BobDiMarzioBobDiMarzio Website User Posts: 632 Just Starting Out
    edited August 2016


    Unless you meet her at Comic con or someplace like that, I would shy away from initially sharing photos or descriptions of SciFy weapons or props.  Just a thought 

  • BobDiMarzioBobDiMarzio Website User Posts: 632 Just Starting Out
    edited August 2016

    I agree with Triem,  I did Laugh out loud.   Wait until tomorrow when you have to convince ALL your coworkers (at least twice) that you are indeed not a criminal.

  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator Moderator, Website User, Ambassador, Imerge Beta Tester, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 18,216 Ambassador

    Besides, if she doesn't recognize a lightsaber, you can do better. 

  • SteveKarstensenSteveKarstensen Website User Posts: 336

    @BobDiMarzio up until now, everyone I've shown them to thought they were awesome and asked me if "they worked".

    The thing that gets me the most (other than them tracking me down via my cell phone's GPS signal - I mean, I get why they did it but ****, that's the world we live in now) is that if I'd left the office when I originally planned, they'd have missed me.  And then gone to my apartment.  At which point I would have refused to let them in without a warrant.  Which they'd have gotten.  And then potentially trashed my place, confiscated my computers, and done who knows what else.  I dodged a very large bullet.

  • BobDiMarzioBobDiMarzio Website User Posts: 632 Just Starting Out

    @SteveKarsten  I Completely understand.   Several years ago,  I had a full size almost claymore type sword on the top shelf of my custom built in wall unit.  It was horizontal, suspended by fishing line  and tastefully lit by several halogen lights.  on either end were 3/4 size skull replicas.    Well, I brought a new date over for drinks after a dinner date. I flipped on the wall unit lighting and she let out a shriek.  Apparently she had a strong phobia about weapons (including replicas) and skulls (including foam props).   The relationship did survive our differences in decor. Well for about a year, but that's another story. 

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