Road Rage ~ I Dodged a Bullet | Cigar Reviews by the Katman

I woke up old man stiff this morning.

Yesterday’s adrenaline took a toll on me last night with every muscle in the lock down position. Today, I feel like I over did it by dead lifting 500lbs.

I was the target of a road rage incident yesterday around mid-day. As things progressed in the very short time of 10 minutes, I went from completely annoyed to wondering if I was going to survive.

As adrenaline is so apt to do…time slowed down for me during the incident and yet things seemed to occur at lightning speed.

It ruined my afternoon. But it gave me time to really dissect the details of what happened. Evening arrived and I had a long discussion with my wife Charlotte about what I thought was in play.

For those of you who don’t normally read me, Charlotte is a German national. Born and raised there.

She started college at age 16. By 20, she had a master’s degree in psychology. Obviously, I married up. The woman has an incredible talent for analytical thinking when it comes to human behavior.

I will start with what happened.

I was driving out of a mall exit that required me to turn right and then scoot into the two left hand turn lanes. A very busy intersection with lots of businesses on all corners and people walking everywhere.

The light was red, and the left-hand lanes were filling up. I made sure things were clear and a nice older woman, in an old and faded GM car, stopped and left a car space open so I could wiggle my way through two forward lanes and into the left hand turn lanes.

I checked to make sure no one was coming and gently moved into the street.

I was just about to get through the opening when out of nowhere, a giant black pickup truck pulled out of his lane and wanted to get two cars closer to the red light in the adjacent lane.

He stomped the accelerator and in half a moment, I heard a 5 second blast of his horn as he headed straight towards me at a high rate of speed. He stopped no more than 2 feet away from the driver’s side of my Ford Fusion in a screeching halt. I thought I was a goner as he seemed to be in the mood to T bone me. Scared the living shit out of me.

I moved into the far-left turn lane.

The truck kept honking at me. I ignored him.

He was in the far-right lane and as the light turned green, he weaseled his way left through 3 lanes til he was now turning left to follow me.

He got right behind me and I swear the front of his vehicle couldn’t have been more than a couple feet from my back bumper.

I swore like a long shoreman. And I did lift the middle finger.

Next thing I knew, he swerved to get on my right side.

A quarter mile away was another red light. I had one car in front of me. He had none. But he stopped right next to my car…maybe 3 feet back so he had the tactical advantage.

He started screaming.

“Did you make the gun sign at me? Did you? Huh? Did you?”

I hadn’t. Just the middle finger. But he was convinced that was not the case.

The man was around 35; at the oldest. He looked like military to me. The haircut. And then the anger.

I was blocked on all sides by cars. I couldn’t move to escape.

Instead of ignoring this weirdo, I lowered my passenger window down just enough so I could hear what he was saying.

I listened to this: “I saw the sticker on your back window. Iknow what it is. I got your plates.” He kept repeating this over and over while he smiled and snickered.

I went proactive and called him out on what he did. He said he didn’t see me. I yelled back that if he can’t see, he shouldn’t be driving.

His demeanor was beginning to freak me out. Something was not right about this guy.

He leaned into his open window, so his face was half out of the vehicle. His left arm rested on the windowsill. But his right arm was cocked and bent, and his right hand seemed to be against the inside of his door.

Holy shit. He’s pointing a gun at me and is just waiting for the excuse to pop me. I was in a really bad tactical disadvantage.

I have a CCW license to carry and I was carrying. But a gun is only a tool to defend one’s life; not to wave around thinking you are going to scare someone.

The chuckles and snickering and lopsided smile never disappeared from his face.

He kept repeating his mantra of “I know what the black sticker is and I got your plates.”

The black sticker was an End of Watch memorial sticker for my son in law’s partner who was murdered in 2018 while serving a dangerous warrant with the tactical team. He was 35.

But the sticker is only 2” in diameter and there is a lot of writing on it. There is no way he could have known what it was from behind me. You literally have to be standing right next to the sticker to know what it says.

I thought he might be law enforcement…but not once in this skirmish, did he pull out a badge, identify himself as an officer, or ask me to pull over.

This is my hypothesis of who he was…a vet with serious PTSD. And maybe very drunk.

Maybe something happened to him an hour earlier and I was in the wrong place at the wrong time…nothing more.

He could see I was an old man. It had no effect on him…I’m guessing.

Horns were honking as he blocked the road.

A couple minutes passed, and he never stopped the inane patter of a paranoid individual.

I immediately knew that if I made any motion with my arms or hands that looked like I might be reaching for something, he might use that as an excuse to take me out.

I did the Denzel Washington thing from the film, “The Equalizer.” Time slowed down even more. I made a survey of my surroundings in the car and outside of my car.

Then he lifted his gun to the window. Just high enough so I could see it while the entire time he was still chuckling and repeating his mantra.

My only option was to unbuckle my seat belt on my right and open the door and roll out on to the pavement. My car may have slowly moved forward and bumped into the car in front of me; but the maneuver might save my life. It was cover.

I carry a Glock 30 with an extended magazine. .45 caliber with hollow points…13+1.

My civilian training kicked into gear. Watch your background. There were cars, businesses, and people everywhere. No way I could fire my weapon in self defense in that situation. Could have been a nightmare.

But I didn’t roll out.

I knew that in the time it would take for me to unbuckle, he could have put three in my head.

I cursed at him at the top of my lungs. My sunroof window was open so I knew he heard every foul word I could think of. A slew of fuck yous came from my mouth. He kept on smiling. Never changed his facial expression.

Maybe screaming at him wasn’t a good idea but I’m 70 fucking years old. And I wasn’t planning on going out as a timid old man afraid to go on the offense. Whether is made sense or not in this high adrenanline moment, I wasn’t going to take his shit and my cursing at him made me feel I’d rather go out fighting than being intimidated and a shaking bowl of Jello.

My throat is a bit raw today from my screaming.

The gun was still being pointed at me.

For minutes, he never stopped saying the same thing over and over.

The light turned green.

I moved with the traffic and he stayed right next to me with the gun pointed at me.

And then the Cosmic Muffin stepped in and he just moved to the outside of the far lane and turned right at the intersection while I continued forward towards home.

I couldn’t catch my breath. My adrenaline was sky high.

I had all afternoon to have an anxiety attack.

When Charlotte came home hours later, I discussed everything with her.

I thought the guy was mentally ill, drunk, and maybe I was right about the PTSD.

Charlotte concurred as it might explain one reason for the incident.

This whole thing could have gone south on me in a nano second.

I’ve been on a torturous diet and lost 45lbs and then get whacked by a crazy man. What a way to go out.

I never got his plate number. It was impossible. I don’t know if it was coincidence or he knew how to position his truck so I couldn’t see it. When he was on my bumper, all I saw was his grill. When he was next to me, my mirrors did not provide a look at those plates.

Once home, I was expecting a visit from the cops that never came. He wasn’t law enforcement; and even if he was, his behavior would have been caught on surveillance cameras dotting the intersection and stores.

If he had my plates, for $15, he could find out my name and where I live. Was he so nuts that he would continue the harassment?

I parked the car in the garage overnight. I didn’t want to wake up this morning with slashed tires, broken windows, and paint thrown all over the vehicle. So, for the next few days, the garage is the new living space for my car.

I truly envisioned I’d be a two-minute blurb on the evening news.

Probably the luckiest day in my life.

But I’m not out of the woods yet. I now have to act like a gangster in protection. Except I have no protection…other than my firearms.

If the guy carries a grudge and remains drunk all the time…I wanted to post this story just in case I become dead.

But I slept well for the first time in a while. And the only aftereffects are sore muscles throughout my body.

Apparently, road rage only needs one person to go bat shit crazy. No scenario needed for it to be a confrontation over a parking place.

I know a lot of guys with PTSD. Some Viet Nam vets, some 21st Century vets, and ex-cops. And current cops as well.

This was a great example of carrying a gun may have no impact on a serious situation.

And I certainly did not want to get in a fire fight. Running away is always the best solution for confrontations or attacks. It’s happened to me several times before and I never showed my gun or reached for it. I asked my son in law; how do you know when it’s time to present your weapon? His reply: “You’ll know.”

Hopefully, it’s over. And I can continue to write my drivel about cigars and rock n roll.

But from now on, I’m wearing a Claymore attached to my chest when I go out.

I re-learned an old lesson…your comfort zone in life can be eradicated in just a few seconds.

It is a gorgeous day. More so than usual.



Categories: CIGAR REVIEWS

24 replies

  1. oh man, sorry about that. Better to stay calm at all times and err on the side of overcautious. Happy it didn’t escalate, Stay safe brother!

    • Yeah, I may have played it wrong but my gut told me to show I was not intimidated. I have no scientific proof of this working but I didn’t care. I’m not a trained law enforcement officer. I’m not ex-military. I played it based on his bizarre behavior. I will never argue I might have handled it better. But in just those few minutes of my life, I felt I was as calm as my brain allowed.
      Like I said, it was the luckiest day of my life.
      And you gotta take into account that I was trapped like a rat. I had no escape once that gun was pointed at me from less than 8 feet away. Being trapped colors the experience differently.
      And there was no way I was going to beg for my life like a simp. If he didn’t kill me right away, I would have attempted to use my gun anyway possible. If I had to go out, I wasn’t going to go freely.

      • You played it smart—glad you’re ok

        • I don’t know if I’d go that far…but thanks for your support, Adrian.
          Phil

        • You carry, GET TRAINING.
          Tech School in Appleton has civilian classes in a facility that rivals FLETC!!
          Vedio camera in vehicle maybe would have caught plates. He pointed weapon at you. THAT IS A CRIME. Maybe he has weapon illegally. Maybe he has warrants, maybe he’s on parole and is in violation. Maybe he’s a double the authorities need/should be aware of…next guy might not be so lucky.

          Box breathing will help with adrenaline dump.

          You got home safe….good on you

          • I know you meant this to be a response to Adrian but I gotta put my two cents in here.
            I’ve been seriously training for 40 years.
            I cannot count the number of professional classes I’ve taken; or trained in artificial real world scenarios out there.
            I’ve had some incredible mentors.
            If I hadn’t had any training, I might have tried to go for my gun and either I, or people around me, could have been killed or wounded.
            I was an armed security guard for a synagogue in 2019. Full tactical.
            I was always astounded when members of the congregation would say that they train. To them, training was going once a month to the indoor range and shoot at a paper target.
            I had plenty of confrontations with unsavory characters that seemed to be scoping out the synagogue.
            Again, I know I’m not law enforcement or have years of intense training…but I have always been diligent about the seriousness of carrying a firearm.
            If I had gotten the guy’s plates, I would have called the cops. But if I had reached for the phone on my dashboard, this guy could have killed me.
            I’m really hoping I don’t see him on the news after he flips out on someone else.
            High adrenaline dumps fuck you up. I’m not a pro. I did the best I could falling back on the training I did have.
            I got home and did some heavy meditation to get my breathing back.
            I’m fine now.
            Thanks for your support, Brad.

  2. Hey brother. I am so glad you survived this incident. A scary situation to be in. Seems nowadays there are more and more people acting out – mostly the younger generation ( no offense to others).

    Regardless, damn happy you’re good.

    Pease be with you, brother. Stay frosty!

    Jeff – aka, Crosby.

    • Thank you, Jeff.
      As a civilian, it is hard to compare this to any pattern in my life.
      My guess that he was military because of the haircut is strictly speculatory.
      He could be a rabid covid denier. He could have just been a drunk working stiff that had an argument with his wife.
      Maybe I look like Biden? I sure as hell don’t look like Trump.
      The one thing I’ve learned from my law enforcement friends is to follow your gut. While situations can be similar, no two are the same.
      I expect a call from my daughter soon so she can yell at me.
      Take care brother,
      Phil

  3. Scary stuff, sir. A lot of instability out there in all forms. You stayed cool and thats what de escalated everything. Just a thought. I’m in Canada and here there is an address suppression program for law enforcement where your vehicles’ registration address is a police station. Not sure if your family would be able to help facilitate that should the program exist.
    Glad it ended safely, save for a discarded pair of gitch, anyhow.
    Take care
    Ps. I recently stumbled onto your reviews and thoroughly enjoy your style. All the info, unfiltered thoughts and no starchy snobbery👍🏻

    • I’m not aware of any program like that here.
      In 1998, my family underwent a terrible attack of violence.
      We refused relocation. I would never have been able to work as as structural engineer again.
      The authorities that were concerned for us, took me under their wings and spent serious time and resources training me.
      I can never repay them.
      We left Dodge with no forwarding address. And I have since, always carried; regardless of the state we lived in.
      Be well, Ted…and thanks for reading an old man’s ramblings.
      Phil

  4. I finally got smart. I looked at all the fancy schmancy holster rigs that are made to attach to your car’s front seat, or on the side of the seat, or underneath the dash. Not thrilled about any of them.
    I have boxes of tossed paraphernalia I’ve collected for years. (How many holsters do you have generating dust?)
    I grabbed a leather Yaqui holster with a Kydex paddle…made some adjustments…installed it underneath my steering column with no interference…and it’s snugger than a jelly doughnut.
    And totally invisible from the outside.
    No more need to reach for a hip gun.
    I’d show a photo but some anti gun person will probably report me.

  5. Glad you are OK, Phil! This story took me back to my younger years – early twenties. Busy road at night time, didn’t even know I had done something wrong but the guy behind me put on his brights to blind me and and proceeded to follow me home. Waited until I parked and rolled down his window to scream at me. He looked like a perfectly normal guy who apparently had had a bad day. He eventually drove off, but it scared the living daylight out of me and I never forgot.

  6. Hey Cousin Phil, thank G-d you’re OK. There are some real whackos out there, but you clearly know how to handle yourself in a challenging situation.

    Thank you for doing a mitzvah for your synagogue. You’re a real mensch – especially for such a schmendrick. 😃

    Too bad that monster wasn’t a Louis CK fan. It would have been so much more fun if he did what this guy did to Louis:

    • Petey
      Schmendrik describes me to the tee. I grew up this way. Experimental vaccines failed on me.
      I know that Louis CK shtick almost by heart.
      It was an honor to be Robocop for the synagogue. It was not secured well and just a sitting target. And I was it. No one else. No one else had the access to the tactical gear and weapons like me. Nor wanted to. I considered over watch of the children my most important and intense job. I love kids. The grounds of the temple were right on a major street intersection in upscale around here somewhere. Parking lot out front. Kids sneaking away to play out front. Thank goodness most kids wanted to hang around me because I had the whole megillah on me and they were always fascinated and wanted to touch. (No. You may not hold my handcuffs. No. You may not hold one of my magazines.) I started the gig in April of 2019. The same month of the Poway synagogue mass killings. A sister Chabad synagogue. It was a long and tense year. I can still pick up a grain of rice with my asshole because of that experience. Despite the fear and anxiety, it was another positive opportunity that added to my life experience.
      I know I go on endlessly about my age…but no fucking shit…mortality is right in your face at 70. Statistically, I have only 8 years left. It’s time to really live life while it is still available in the large sized format.
      I’m glad I could help.

  7. Katman, your life is more interesting by accident than most of ours on purpose and you are so much better than most of us at writing about it. Gave me a palpitation reading your encounter with that nutcake cowboy. Wishing you many more years of great cigars to review. Now excuse me, I have to have my breakfast of banana and Skittles.

    • Hi Leland,
      Thank you.
      Strangely, I came to terms with the situation that night and then last night. Best I’ve slept in a long time.
      Funny thing…It didn’t came to mind that during my near CQC event, I never once thought, “Hey…this is interesting.”…lol.

      I’ve been writing since I was a kid. I was the geek/nerd in school who loved writing long papers. I know, I know.
      In my first year of college, I was taking an American history class. The final was a ball buster. The professor asked us to answer all the questions in story form. No yes’s or no’s. No short answers.

      I was a huge fan of the Marx Brothers. I wrote my entire final thesis, all the answers to the questions, as if Groucho had written it.
      The teacher loved it and I got an A. Then she made me read it before the class. Not a single chuckle.
      One day she told me the head of the English department read my paper and wanted to meet with me. I thought fame and fortune was at hand.
      I sat in his office nervous as hell. I was brought in and sat before this older burly man who didn’t look up. He asked why I was there. I explained. He said, “Oh yeah.”
      “That was very good. Keep it up. You can leave.”

      Bananas and Skittles sounds so good to a man on a starvation diet. A piece of bread would be a banquet.

      Thanks again, Leland…what a pal!
      Phil

  8. Hey Phil,

    Was never trapped like your situation but long ago in a galaxy far away some schmuck and his pals cut me off and almost ran me off the road. Being 19 and invincible I flipped them off and gave them a few choice words. The guy riding shotgun pulls out a pistol and starts waving it at me. I was scared shitless and wasn’t sure what to do. They motioned to a gas station on the left and pulled in thinking I was going to follow them and take on the three of them and their firearm. I floored it and took the nearest highway exit. I’m no schmendrick. I think???

    Anyway, so glad you are ok. Love your reviews and stories and you seem like a real mensch. Here’s to another 30 years of the good life for you!

    All the best
    Kerry

    • There is never a shortage of crazies out there that Darwin should have turned into miscarriages.
      You were lucky too. But you were way smarter than these idiots who thought you would follow orders. Idiots.
      Thaks, Kerry, for the kind words.
      Time to tell the truth…I don’t write any of my reviews. I have a 24 year old male chimp living with us since 2009 who has an incredible palate and a gentle touch on the keyboard.
      Now it’s out…I can take a breath.
      Phil

  9. I took Brad’s advice and am using the two days of Amazon Prime black Fridays in October to buy a front and rear dash camera for my Ford Fusion. Can’t hurt.

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