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