A few days ago something happened, and a post from a complete asshat reminded me I should tell the story. Said monstrous walking array of fecal expressions was being nasty toward the NRA, gun owners, and so on.
Well, a few days ago I was in a parking lot. It was packed – tis the season – and I was coming out of a big box store with some sundry or another I needed, when I heard a commotion. I heard some guy yelling, and I could not hear him distinctly, but he sounded rather irate. So: There I am, useless consumer knicknack in one hand, someone screaming, and a gun on. Allow me to digress for a moment.
I was carrying a pistol whose design goes back a century. A 1911. Made by Sig Sauer, one of the finest names in the industry, it was chocked full of seven big, beefy .45 caliber rounds with hollow points big enough to mix drinks in. For those of you that do not know, hollow points in bullets are made to peel open the bullet once it hits, and do things to a human body normally ascribed to werewolves. Oh, and two spare mags, cause I was a boyscout and I am prepared. Even for Zombies. End the aside.
So I got to my car, and I can hear this guy somewhere amidst the cars, talking trash about someone’s driving ability. Apparently -At least to hear this guy tell it- Satan himself ate nothing but Whitecastles, Long John Silver’s and Skyline Chili for seven centuries, then sat himself over the cockpit of the vehicle in question and took a long, loving movement worthy of an elephant Mozart. That driver, that pile of excrement, was the focus of his ire.
Look, I am not a cop. I do not pretend to be a cop, I don’t WANT to be a cop. Caps do a hard, thankless job and I am in no way trained. Tell, you what, though. I head a fist hit window with that particular hollow “thummmb” and I knew things were going to get bad. I also know that, while no cop am I, a pretty good witness is a cellphone. So I toss in the gadget, I lock my doors, hook keys to beltloop, and dig for cellphone.
I didn’t get far, because there he was in the very next lane, screaming at the car window just inches from the driver. People were avoiding the area like the plague, moving to other lanes to walk to and from the BBS so I was the only one the close enough to see what was going on.
He hit the window again.
Another aside: I have two whistles. One is a standard, pursed lips, snappy, I’m replicating a Disney song just a bit out of tune on a bright Sunday afternoon kind-of-sound. The other is not. IT is a ear cracking shriek that is half death-of-a-nazgul and half Tween sensation soundtrack. It is ugly, and it is accusatory, and it gets your attention right friggin now.
So guess which one I used?
Sir Charming was a male, white, in a pale blue poli and kakis. His hair was white, but he appeared pretty fit, and as he looked up at me it was clear that what he was thinking is that he could take the tub of lard that faced him at the end of this old, golden Cadillac. That’s when the magic happened.
NO. He did not become airborne particles as my manly machine spewed high caliber Justice (which must be capitalized in this case) as an American flag fluttered behind me and someone played one of the less overtly sexual songs from AC/DC. NO. I did not draw my weapon, touch my weapon, fondle my weapon, show my weapon or even MENTION my weapon. As he tensed up and his teeth clenched so hard I swear the dental work was cracking and shearing under the strain, as he tensed to pounce, I watched him take a really good look.
He saw a man that was not afraid.
And I wasn’t. I was watching him so close I could have sweat blood, my heart was going so hard I could hear the work of every cardio cell I owned, I was prepping the magic spell of DRAWAIMFIRE and would cast it so fast my blubber would fly at the very second it was needed. But it wasn’t. In short: I thought about the two pounds of metal and I wasn’t afraid, and the colossal bully sensed it. He sensed it, screamed one last thing at the driver, and stalked off toward consumer heaven.
I gave it a few seconds. (Once again, I am a cautious fellow, not a cop, etc.etc.etc.) and then I walked forward. The driver was alone, face buried in her hands, shaking like a leaf. She was probably pushing 70, and so terrified she never saw me walk up to her door. I knocked lightly, but she acted like gunshots had gone off. I held up one empty hand and one cellphone to her. I said something she didn’t hear through the glass. She inched the window down a fraction.
“Are you alright? Do you need to call anyone, ma’am?” I again offered my cellphone.
She looked around from the periwinkle menace, “N-No… Is he gone?”
“Yes, ma’am. But if this is where you were going, he’s inside.”
Her lips hardened into a line, because this was a woman who had gone from Jeeps to Jet Planes. She had watched her world change from analog to digital, her moon from cheese to a fragment of the planet’s own core. She had seen radio rise, and TV, and then the internet come to shove them all aside. She had survived two massive wars, one cold war, and all the little brushfire miseries in between. Some jackass in kakis could startle her, even scare her, but she would not be kept down by the likes of him.
“I guess I should shop elsewhere, then.”
I shrugged, “Ma’am if you want to shop here, I will be glad to walk you all through that building and back out here if that’s what it takes.”
And I would have.
But she was a kind old woman, and she had been brought up to never put a stranger to one second’s trouble more than was necessary. She shook her head, “No, no. But thank you.”
I smiled at her, went back to my car, and drove away.
To this day I don’t know if it was a traffic near miss, or if she cut him off, or if he just imagined something after a day so long and horrid an otherwise sane man had snapped and become a thing of nightmares for this lady. What I do know is: don’t tell me guns kill people. Mine didn’t even have to get drawn to help out a little old lady.