Not a huge deal, but it accentuated several things I and my cohorts are doing wrong. Complacent, we have become, what with living in one of the less disrupted areas for sure. The 3 or 4 of us are wont to have breakfast once a week where we discuss the state of the world and observe the terrible decline/humor of the situation. In light of the Kung Flu, and with the onset of summer, we moved our venue from a local restaurant to a local park which featured covered benches and an open rest room.
The problem here is the rest room. Since it's open, the vagrant population finds it attractive as well. Yes, it looks about like you'd expect, but it is open.
So we're sitting at a bench, doing our thing when one of the vagrants walks by, earnestly talking to the clouds, the ducks, and anyone who might be listening. He seems to have a problem with other people as he berates us as he walks by, but he does keep walking. We pay no attention to him. He continues all around the park, and eventually circles back past us. His path takes him around behind me and he mutters about telling us once, twice, and three times about something, and as he passes behind me he sucker punches me up side the head, open handed, hard enough to knock my hearing aid out of my ear and about 10 feet away.
My initial reaction is to jump up and present a likely counter attack which seems to work as he offered to join a fight if I was willing to start it. Facing him, several things become apparent: First is that living rough leaves a person in a wiry sort of fit condition. He's about 30, I'm 73. I'm in good shape for 73, but not that good. Noting that, I look for an equalizer. Additional note: Both myself and one of the other 2 of my party have CCWs. Naturally neither one of us was actually carrying that day. Of all the stuff on the table, the best option was my thermos which, being plastic, would probably not make much of an impression on a deranged attacker. It brings to mind this:
Sean O’Leary was walking through a dim passageway when someone spoke to him.
"Good evenin’, O’Leary," said the muffled figure. "Don’t ye be knowin’ your old pal Reilly any more?"
Sean stared at Reilly, whose face was a patchwork of bandages and adhesive plasters. One arm was in a cast and he was leaning on a crutch.
"Saints!" cried O’Leary. "Was ye hit by a train, Reilly, or did ye merely jump from the trestle?"
"It could have been both," said Reilly, "considerin’ the feel of it. But the truth is, I was in bed with McClatchy’s wife and McClatchy himself comes in with a mammoth huge shillelagh in his hand and the inconsiderate creature beat the livin’ bejazus outa me."
"He did indeed," said O’Leary. "But couldn’t ye defend y’rself, Reilly, me boy? Hadn’t ye nothin’ in your own hand?"
"Only Mrs. McClatchy’s ass," said Reilly. "Tis a thing of beauty in itself, but not worth a damn in a fight."
I now know exactly how Reilly felt when McClatchy burst in. Well, OK there was 3 of us and one of him although I believe our average age was somewhere in the upper 60s. Seeing nothing useful on the table, I look to my partners, remembering the days of my wasted youth when an attack on one of our motorcycle club was an attack on the whole club. There they sit, like 2 deer in the headlights. At this point I put on my best Cohen the Barbarian and face my attacker. He sees me ready to fight but not attacking, so he takes that as a win, dares us to call the cops, turns, and walks off. So I call the cops, 3 of whom dutifully arrive and begin to search all the wrong ends of the park. Eventually we get them straightened out and they interview both of us, at opposite ends of the park. There was also a second, independent witness, so good. They ask if I wish to press charges, and I agree. When they leave, the attacker is no where to be seen so I suspect he left with one of the cops. Fine.
1, I went to all the trouble and expense to get the permit, I need to be carrying ALL THE TIME. As Churchill allegedly said “A gentleman seldom needs a gun, but when he does, he needs it very badly.”
My breakfast buddy is in the same boat here.
My breakfast buddies are not the same people I used to ride motorcycles with. They are much more respectable than that. Much like Mrs. McClatchy's ass. Only older.
I'm the only one of our group who doesn't have a smart phone. If you have one, you need to develop a reflex to turn on the video record mode at the first sign of trouble lest the aliens have you probed, implanted, and returned leaving no evidence.
A court appearance will happen at some point. I am inquiring as to what that will entail. More on that later I guess.