Discussion in 'Preparedness' started by woodsranger, Aug 14, 2019.
Yup, sorta got him located as well.
Florence Alabama? You probably got good exposure to middle Tennessee accents, and some north Mississippi accents there.
I had relatives in Red Bay but they've all passed away or moved away. My B-i-L and his family live in the Huntsville area.
In a specific environment, yes, Not one I would want to be inhabiting, mind you...
Skinny jeans that cost $200 and never see the washing machine, just the freezer (?), leather "work" boots that cost $500 and looked beat up when you first opened the box ("perfect!", you say...), gas company embroidered work shirt you scored at the resale shop, "ironical" old fedora to top it all off.
I almost forgot the scrappy, pathetic not-even-close-to-a-beard face stubble.
Grab a $10 frap-a-soymilk-latte and blend in with the crowd.
I'm not sure when I became a grumpy old curmudgeon, but I'm embracing it. And here where I live that's about as grey as it gets.
I like how you did that, I took me more than a second though.
Hey now. I drive truck and don't have a mullet. Anymore...
I travel abroad once or twice a year. I'm a big white American and there's no way I'm going to blend in, even in Europe. I'm a tourist, and there's no way I'm going to pass for a local. The best I can do is not make a spectacle of myself. Simple nondescript clothing and luggage. Nothing political or religious on me. No bright colors. No expensive watch on my arm or camera around my neck. I'm quiet. I don't walk around messing with my phone. If I need to mess with my phone I stop and get out of the way in a place where I can see what's going on around me. Who do I NOT want to pay attention to me? Thieves and cops. So I don't wear jewelry, or flash money around. I don't talk loud. I pay attention to everything around myself. I am watchful. I watch other people (well, ok, especially pretty women), and I watch who is watching me. And nobody should be watching me. If they are it's because I'm drawing attention to myself. What do thieves watch for? They watch for people who aren't paying attention. People who are digging around for their phone or camera or wallet or sunglasses. People who are texting or doing Facebook while walking around. People who are engrossed in themselves and their companions, taking selfies, women with purses and jewelry dangling, people who look rich. One time I watched some gypsies in Italy stalking tourists. Who did they hit on? The well dressed people who just got off the tour bus, messing their phones and guide books, and hunting thru their bags looking for sunglasses, not paying attention.
What do cops look for? I don't know for sure, since I've never been hassled by foreign cops. But I would think they are doing what I'm doing, and watching for thieves and people who the thieves might be stalking. Looking for anybody who is loud or looks drunk and could cause trouble. Noticing people whose appearance and behavior make them stand out.
Why not be gray? Why try to impress strangers with your appearance? The likelihood of anything positive coming from it is tiny compared to the bad stuff you could attract to yourself.
I honestly couldn't have said it better, myself.
There in lies the rub.
The potential positive may be significant. Or not. It depends on who you are and where you are.
My buddies took me golfing at a nice country club.
I didn't have the proper attire, so one lent me some clothes...
Green corduroy pants and a purple button down with a funny camel hair hat! I thought it was ridiculous.... but the folks at the club said "glad to see you again sir" even tho I had never been.
Gray to one might be somebody else's clown suit.
Well, that's for sure. If you're applying for a job, selling something, trying to hustle up business, or trying to meet people, yes. Look your best. But when out around strangers, why look like a butterfly? Some bird may eat you. Same as putting political or religious bumper stickers on your car. I admit, my life has mostly been spent in places where drawing attention to yourself is not such a good idea.
Ive always subscribed to:
Walk softly and carry a big stick.
I always try to fly under the radar. It gives you both offensive and defensive advantages. There is no advantage that I can think of to drawing attention to yourself, unless you're intentionally using yourself as a decoy or a distraction for some reason. And even then, you're doing it because you believe it will give you a strategic advantage.
Be quiet....calm....move the same speed as others....don't look at anyone for too long...be aware of where exits and entrances are...be alert to your surroundings and to those around you...think before you speak...be slow to anger but quick to react...be prepared...
You know, the usual stuff.
That too. But keep the stick hidden.
That critter isn't hiding, same philosophy as the blue ringed octopus. Perhaps I'm being the dumb one and that was your point.
Americans don't blend anywhere.
I figure the old saying "in black and white" means definite , cut and dry. Either victim or nobody to mess with. Gray is like gray matter. You just can't tell anything about the gray man. He's blended in with the crowd, unseen and unknown
Circling back because I had an instructive "gray man" experience yesterday.
There's a gas station/liquor store combo up the road from me that is run by beer nerds and always has good, new stuff in the cold case. I buy beer there all the time, and my son and I stop for snacks there before we go fishing. These people know me by sight, know where I work, compare beer notes with me and joke around with my son.
I picked up a .380 a couple of weeks ago and have started carrying it in a pocket holster. I'm not used to carrying this particular gun yet, and I've been fighting with holsters trying to find one that works.
I stopped in after work to pick up a sixer and after exchanging hellos I got a second glance that I wasn't supposed to see from the dudes at the counter. I was mildly uneasy in that "is this thing printing?" way, even though I knew it wasn't, and that was enough. I didn't get a second glance because anybody saw my gun - I've pocket-carried my old J-frame there plenty of times in suboptimal pockets and holsters, everybody is oblivious - I got a second glance because I was more distracted than usual and they picked up on it.
Great way to get made is to not be chilled out.
As a former one, we/I actually do not look so much for the loud, drunken ones, but for the ones who do not look straight, those who avoid eyecontact, scan their surroundings, hide their eyes, face or hands. Those with a tense posture, ready to pounce, strike or run.
They can be buttnaked or wrapped up in wool, but one very fast learns to pick those characters out.
Bodylanguage is everything!
Left of Bang discusses this at length...we can manipulate our appearance, but aspects of body language can be much harder to turn off. They also mention that many of us notice these cues intuitively, but we may not have a well-defined idea of what exactly stands out to us or a vocabulary to explain it.
Until they've received training on how to blend.
After the fact, no one who was there could identify you as being there...or even that they had ever seen you...anywhere.
I worked in WV for a good while and did an experiment. Went to town in business casual, leather shoes, tie, haircut, and no facial hair. Went to a few different sores and restaurant. Manager always came over to chat. "Can I help you sir?"Fast forward a few weeks with facial hair, ballcap, jeans, workboots, short sleeve shirt with a flannel on top unbuttoned - move along buddy.
Once you open your piehole and you're not from around there your accent will blow your cover. Mouth shit, cheap earbuds in with the cord going into a pocket / junk phone that doesn't work or similar combo and you'll look like alot of other people.
Another thing a funny look could tell you, in that place, is that there might be a bad guy in there and they are trying to warn you. Maybe telling you to go call 911. It's good that you noticed their look.
I never considered that... gonna file that one away.
It's largely the shoes and clothing that do that. Oh, and a loud & boisterous but clueless demeanor fairly screams "American here!"
That'll work, right up to the point that some other predator decides to remove you from said apex. He'll know exactly where you are, but you may not see him coming...
Dress like the folks that walk through the local Walmart in the location you are in.
Get some cheap sport gear with the local team logos on it, and if your accent might give you away, say "I'm from xxx and my cousin invited me to visit for the game, but he got drunk, and left me here."
Lots of ways to blend in with the locals.
I take it you haven't visited www.peopleofwalmart.com
Last trip to Walmart was 2pm on a weekday.
I went in through auto service and grabbed a mower battery, then straight to sporting goods to pick up some .22 ammo.
There were 3 of us standing there. 2 white and 1 black, and all strangers to one another.
Just standing there patiently waiting for our turn ....... and OPEN CARRYING, (jeans & tshirt)
So YES, I do dress “like everyone else” to an extent.
Never had a problem being “singled out”, don’t ever expect to.
There has NEVER EVER been an instance VERIFIED where a OC’er was “singled out”, except for one guy in northwest a few years ago that was robbed specifically for his gun under some very strange circumstances of his own creation..... and one other somewhere in the midwest I think.
Since I first posted on a forum and did research on this over 5 years ago, those stats are still standing/true.
With over a million citizens OC’ing every day, 365 days a year, across many States...... IF the wild theory of being “singled out” was true, then there would be thousands (or more) reports and accounts of incidents readily available and hyped up to heck and back by anti’s.
But.... they don’t exist.
Because the “singled out” theory is a MYTH that has been propagated by instructors and CC equipment makers.... then parroted by ill-informed gun owners.
...... just like the “carry your autoloader with an empty chamber” crapola taught and touted by some self appointed “experts” out there.
(which is EXACTLY like saying you carry a dull knife and sharpen it when you actually need to use it)
I will again invite anyone who disagrees with what I am saying about Open Carry to seek out and post links to VERIFIED reports of the “singled out” theory and post them in answer to my FACTS presented here.
I welcome the data because I will use it in the future for sure.
Interesting topic. I look at it this way, while wearing clothes that blend or fit in you're judging a book by its cover. Being disabled and not being able to do much at all...my father taught me how to people watch. You can spot situational aware people a mile away..as well as ex military and everyone else..it's how you carry yourself..what you're wearing not so much.
I know this is a gray man post but it seems to have morphed into a accent issue. Knew a guy from the South who moved to Wisconsin, owned an excavating business. Had to hire a local to bid jobs because no one would hire him because of his accent, was viewed as not intelligent because how he sounded. He then moved to Wyoming for a time, was once asked where he was from he told them Southern Wyoming.
There are other things, like how Americans hold their cigarettes, and eat with their utensils in the right hand. Only Americans will cut their food with a knife in their right hand and then switch the fork to their right hand to eat.
I'm sure there is other stuff, but the cigarette hold and utensil use is a dead giveaway.
You mean like how we count with our fingers first and then thumb last, the Europeans I’ve been around start with the thumb then fingers.
This is a very important point. Behaving as if you belong somewhere gets you into all sorts of places and let’s you move through places without really being “noticed”. I have been able to access all sorts of “secure” areas doing security/safety audits over the years.
Carry yourself confidently. Always look like you know where you’re going and why you’re there. People will smile and nod and leave you alone.
I lettered tradesman uniform will get you far as long as you move with purpose.
Lordy-Mercy, what an ATTITUDE! Which was exactly my point. Thanks for helping me to demonstrate it.
Open-carry isn't, and never was, the issue. The issue is your expressed - and now demonstrated - attitude that is almost certain to attract the attention, and loving ministrations, of other "apex predators". After all, as that television show so often reminds us, "there can be only one."
Follow-On: I think Teddy Roosevelt nailed it: "Speak softly, but carry a big stick."
One need not (and probably should not) advertise the fact that said big stick is in one's possession....
I've never noticed Americans abroad. Unless they introduce themselves as such I am utterly clueless. I suppose I am one of those clueless ones.
As for open carry, I often nod my head to people who open carry as a sign of respect and approval.
No offense intended, Glenn, but your reply has left me wondering about something, so I'll ask a question for clarification...
If someone has confidence, and looks you straight in the eyes when they talk to you, are they expressing an apex predator attitude that is almost certain to attract attention?
I've noticed that many people these days just don't seem to be able to maintain direct eye contact during a conversation, or have to shield their eyes behind a pair of" shades", and I have to wonder if I'm now required to constantly avert my gaze and drop my head to be able to blend in and be a gray man.
This reminds me of the time I had finished my first mug of beer in a crowded noisy bar in Heidelberg, Germany, and the bartender was down towards the other end of the bar. I lifted my empty mug with one hand, and held up my forefinger in the air with the other, and shortly received two fresh full mugs of beer. Now, this was a delightful surprise, since the beer was really good, but I also learned the lesson that if I wanted just one beer, to just hold up my thumb.
Good question! Here comes the ever-so-typical techno nerd response -- "It depends."
It depends on a lot of things. As you know, "eye contact" is only moments away from "stare." The difference between "confidence" and "challenge" is also only a matter of moments, and of degree. As you also know, these differences defy description in such a venue as this.
Here are two examples:
If someone comes walking "hard-heeled" (you know exactly what I mean) into a room, that person is sending a message without saying a word. If that person locks eyes with anyone who looks their way, that's a message.
On the other hand, someone who enters the room softly-quietly-along-the-wall-so-as-not-to-attract-attention is sending a completely different message, again without saying a word. If that person shies away from making eye contact with anyone, that's another message.
My friend @DixiePreparedness probably overstated his intentions a bit (at least, I hope he did), and I capitalized on it to make my point. The "Gray Man" does not stand out in either direction. He doesn't behave as a victim/target, and he certainly does not announce/advertise his presence because that would be a challenge for dominance.
Add-On: Many don't realize that the whole "eye-contact" thing is culturally specific. In the American (usually WASP or WASC) culture, avoiding eye contact often signifies 'hiding something', aka dishonesty. In many other cultures, avoiding eye contact is a gesture of respect, an acknowledgement of status, and/or of subservience.
Like it or not, the good old US of A is now a multicultural society. Do NOT automatically assume that the behavior of "avoiding eye contact" means what you think it means.
Bingo on the eye contact cultural aspect.
I was taught to look in the person's eyes when answering a question or speaking, but then to look slightly away.
And people would be surprised at how easily eye contact, used intentionally, can either escalate or de-escalate a potential situation.
You have to learn to read your audience.
But acting at ease and natural makes a huge difference, especially when dealing with those who are or could become predatory.
Thank you, Glenn.
So, carrying that thought further forward, someone with their Get-Home-Bag moving on foot through the multiple cultural subdivisions of a major urban area is likely going to have a difficult time attempting to be the Gray Man within each respective area that they have to pass through in order to finally reach their home.
How realistic is actually being the Gray Man going to be?
I'm pretty sure that "Gray-Man-ness" isn't a binary, light-is-off/light-is-on sort of thing; it's more of a journey than a destination. The Gray Man must constantly pay attention to what's going on around him and act accordingly. (Simple to say; not so simple to do.)
It's beginning to dawn on me that, perhaps, you simply don't believe the Gray Man concept is possible, feasible, workable. If true, then for you it certainly is not possible/feasible/workable. No harm, no foul.
Yes and no. Or should I say "It depends." Ha!
I previously posted that if I accumulated all the possible "outfits" to appear to be average and Gray everywhere, I couldn't pack it all with me in a SHTF situation anyway.
I'm not saying making the attempt to be Gray isn't worth an effort, but I also fully recognize that true chameleons go through the natural selection process, and don't always survive it.