Sunday, June 27, 2010

Stuff on my mind

It's been a bit since my last post. Last Monday we arrived back from our annual trip out to Chicago. It was great to be out in the Midwest, but it is great to be back

On our return trip, I was tested in ways I did not expect.

First, after a pit stop at Cabela's in Wheeling, I swung into the nearby gas station. As I parked, a sketchy-looking female emerged from behind the building near the dumpster. We made eye contact, and I watched her swing behind my minivan. As I exited the vehicle, I checked my six to see her coming around to ask me a question. I did not like this--my own van was possibly being used as interference for a second person to sneak up on me from behind. Subconsciously, I put space between myself and the van so that it would be harder for a second person to close the distance quickly for a surprise attack. The doors to the van were locked and the key was in the ignition. I angled myself so that my strong side was away from the girl as she made her request for money. I said no, watched her walk away, and then entered the building.

While standing in line to check out with my waters. I watched another sketchy fellow enter and purposefully give me a hard look. I met his gaze and concluded my business passing him on the way out. My only thought is that he was either just another jerk out there or her accomplice. Either way, I got in the van and continued on the trip.

The thing here is even though I reacted pretty well, I was not on my A-game and it bothered me. I was 10 hours into a 14-hour trip. I just walked out of my favorite store. And I was on vacation in unfamiliar territory. Positionally, I was at a distinct disadvantage. But I was at least not clueless about being attacked and I was ready to drop this chick without having to draw my weapon.

What could have happened? Nothing, or a full blown mugging attempt. If someone approached from behind and I looked she could have produced a knife or gun and attacked. It could have been ugly, with my family being right there to watch. I'm just glad everything worked out. This had me silent for quite awhile, running over the events in my mind. When someone circles to backdoor you, you know something is up.

Secondly, Clare began choking on a seemingly innocent pretzel while I was in the driver's seat doing 70 on I-79 South in WV. With no room to pull off on either side it was a husband's nightmare. In a catch-22, I swung into the median as quickly as I could, and then once things were slightly more stabilized I juiced out of there a half mile ahead where I was able to get onto the shoulder.

Pulling onto the shoulder on an interstate is always a sketchy thing. It't the last place you want to be, but sometimes you gotta deal with existing circumstances in a hurry. We got Clare changed quickly and headed out to finish the trip.

When we finally arrived home, I opened the door to an odiferous dwelling. The smell of rotting, molding food assualted my senses and we discovered that the freezer door opened, that everything melted inside and began growing mold. A total mess, which we cleaned the next day. Things appear to be running better now, but it was not exactly a friendly welcome home greeting after a long-ass trip.

Since I've been back, I've had a new lease on life and getting things on our homestead in order. My goal is to accomplish one significant improvement to the house or property each day, so we can see some progress. Also, my boss is leaving for a new assignment and this has provided an unexpected sense of liberty. The new guy is coming to be sure, but the game will be different and likely there will not be so many items on the table at the outset.

Transitions and odd connections seem to be occuring all around me right now, as if the pieces on God's chess board are being aligned. It could be nothing, or not. I don't know, but I think this is a good time to polish the gun and buy a few extra magazines. Let us remember that July 4 is a terrorist holiday and that we need always to be on guard, especially when we think it's time to celebrate.

Peace Out,



Martin Schap said...

I don't have statistics to back it up, but I would have to assume that gas stations are one of the most dangerous tactical scenarios that the average person faces on a routine basis. I have a few guidelines that I try to follow, such as only going alone, using the most forward pump to allow easy E&E, but that's not always possible (on a family car trip, for example...)
It is tough to always be on your A game in every way. Even when we realize that a scenario or place has a heightened risk of a confrontation, it may not be possible to avoid that place, and it is not always possible to always be fresh and alert either.
Sounds like the moves you made were the right ones, and when situations like these don't end in violence they are valuable as mental training tools.
The one thing I try to keep in mind is that although tactical mistakes and lapses of awareness can happen to even the most combat hardened SWAT cop or Navy SEAL, the solution to imperfection in tactics or awareness boils down to violence of action. As soon as you realize you've made a mistake, be ready to correct with focused ruthless violence and mayhem.

Nick-dog said...

I agree with you. Statistically, I've been approached by more wierdos at gas stations than anywhere else. And as a consequence of that, try to go to utilize the least sketchy ones.

I am with you on the response in the case of a mistake. Unleashing maximum violence on would-be perps is the best way to turn the tables and drive them to a retreat. It's not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog.