It's a dangerous world out there, watch yourself, watch your shoe

We here at City Pages found the University of Minnesota's video on student safety so compelling that a mention in our print blotter just didn’t suffice. After all, lives, and apparently shoes, are at risk even in broad daylight on the U's campus. This is problem we cannot ignore.

In the first sketch on the five-minute video that thankfully cost nothing to make, viewers are introduced to Katie, a studious brunette who is leaving her friend’s apartment after a day of hitting the books. That afternoon, Katie encounters something so dangerous and unusual to the college scene she’s forced to turn around… three drunken college boys shooting lame pickup lines her way.

Katie must not get out much.

“Hey, hey, hey girl, I have an anatomy final tomorrow and I’d absolutely love to study up on you,” says the group’s ringleader, a jester looking fool wearing wacky neon colored hat.

“Hey sweet mama,” says his buddy. “Do you rent or do you own?”

“Own what?” inquires Katie innocently. (She’s just asking for it now.)

“Those wings you angel,” answers drunken boy number two. (And to think, he had us at hello.)

“She must be an angel, but I think she needs a slice of the devil,” responds drunken boy number 3. And, with that, Katie runs for help.

She flips open her pink cell phone and calls 624-WALK for an escort. Sexy mop headed boy in power red jacket to the rescue! With Red at her side, Katie is able to breeze past the inebriated clowns and make it safely home.

“Remember,” says Red as seriously as these words actually can be uttered. “A safe U is a safe you.”

Don’t worry beloved readers, there’s more quality storytelling to come. This is the University News Service we’re talking about here. They spent all winter break filming and writing these clips.

Suddenly, viewers find themselves in the company of a male, bundled up for the winter, his face hidden behind a black scarf and sunglasses. Despite having a Blue Tooth earpiece, this guy, that we’ve named Hercules, holds a cell phone by his ear.

He’s making plans to attend a party that requires “sleep over stuff.”

“What? A toothbrush, too. Oh man, it’s gonna be wild,” he says into the receiver.

As if that exchange wasn’t odd enough to pique your interest, suddenly, from out of nowhere, Hercules is pushed to the ground. A campus mugger has seized the opportunity to prey on the vulnerable cell phone talker/walker stealing his … boot. Then, as if in a moment of after thought, the robber grabs the man’s cell phone and takes off, running into oncoming traffic. (It's too bad he didn't get hit by that truck. Now that would have been good footage!)

Poor Hercules is left to stand in the cold, bootless and with no cell phone to call for help.

Don’t worry, we didn’t name him Hercules for nothing, this guy has magical powers and can relive the last 10 minutes of his life.

Hercules is a back wearing both shoes, walking down the same street as before and this time there’s no talk of toothbrush parties, no cell phone or Blue Tooth ear piece. Alert and attentive, Hercules is able to fend off the “boot bandit” who then runs like a coward into the distance.

Afterwards, the film's director, college employee, Justin Ware, reminds viewers that campus is getting safer and safer everyday, but that doesn't mean bad things don't happen. The hundreds of security cameras dotting campuses in Saint Paul and Minneapolis just aren’t enough, says Ware. Watch where you are going, utilize campus services and call 911 in an emergency. This is how we see that conversation going:

"Hello, 911, someone just stole my shoe!"