Stephen Matney: Once, I bought pizza for a small group of gutter punks. They were fun kids. For some reason, though, the gutter punks always advise that I should get some homemade tattoos. I just tell them that I’m avoiding The Hep.
Chelsie Booker: I often find myself not only talking to strangers, but giving them a good, ol’-fashioned high five as well. Some don’t respond to this interaction as well as others. I say, “Keep the high five alive!”
Brandon Burt: A stranger is just a friend you haven’t met. Or a stalker. Either way, fun!
Nick Clark: Only strangers with candy. (Tip: I find that the candy tastes best when it comes from the back of a van with tinted windows.)
Scott Renshaw: My general approach to strangers is to close my eyes, put my fingers in my ears and pretend they’re not there. If that doesn’t work, I put my fingers in their ears. Now who’s got the upper hand, eh?
Susan Kruithof: Only those who end up at my doorstep. You know, the “I’m helping inner-city kids by selling magazine subscriptions” types of strangers.
Derek Jones: Like the time that homeless woman outside City Weekly told me she would do anything for a burger? And I do mean “anything.”
Jackie Briggs: Um, yes, I live for it. Strangers have said the best things to me. “Yo, girl, keep it rockin’,” and, “Do you like mustard?” (shouted from across the street—seriously). I was, like, “Yeah, man. I like mustard. How’d you know?”
Lia Pretorius: I don’t know any strangers.
Annie Quan: Strangers never want to talk to me. My roommate told me I was unapproachable. Is that good or bad?
Kathy Mueller: How does the saying go? Practice random acts of groping and senseless conversation. I do what I can.
Jamie Gadette: Of course, unless they begin the conversation by simply grunting at me. Not the best way to get my attention, much less win my favor.