Wednesday, April 22, 2009

I went for a short run this morning, jogging through some neighborhood streets. As I crested one of our hills, I heard a man yelling.

As I approached the yelling I saw the man standing alongside a parked SUV, pounding on the driver's door and yelling through the rolled-down window. Sitting in the driver's seat was an unhappy looking woman. It was clearly some sort of argument and the dude was pissed. He looked to be around 275 pounds, but it was all in his gut. He continued to yell and pound at the car. I slowed to a stop and stood on the other side of the street, waiting to see if the situation was escalating or calming. My brain doesn't work well during aerobic workouts, but I did make out the word "milkshake" at one point.

The woman in the car looked over at me, so I asked if she was ok. She said she was. Angry dude turned towards me at that point and we had this charming conversation:

Me: I'm just seeing if the lady is ok.
Angry Dude: DO YOU THINK I BEAT MY WOMAN?!? I DON'T BEAT MY WOMAN! (stepping towards me)
Me: Ok. Just calm down.

(For the record, I've been called a couple of different racial slurs in my life. I've been called a chink, maybe a spic once, and now a nigger. I don't know what's so complicated about this. I'm clearly a kike.)

Me: *laughing*
Angry Dude: WHAT'S SO FUCKING FUNNY?! YOU WANT YOUR ASS KICKED?! (stepping towards me again)
Me: You are a fucking idiot.

Meanwhile, the woman in the SUV is yelling for Angry Dude to come back to the car and leave me alone. I decided this was as good as any time to jog off into the sunset.

Upon reviewing this sequence of events I came to the following conclusions:
  • I did nothing to resolve the situation and probably just made the angry dude more angry
  • It would have been an interesting fight between me and the angry dude. He was overweight and lumbering, so he would have had a hard time landing a punch, but if he did land one, I would have been toast.
  • The set of construction workers watching the whole interaction were more likely to do some actual good than me.
I didn't like those conclusions so much, so I spun the conclude-o-meter one more time and came up with this gem: I am a crime-fighting superhero!

Between today's event and my ongoing efforts against cat peddling supervillians, I'm fighting crime on multiple fronts! Now, I will grant you that I'm still a really crappy superhero, but do you think Superman was slinging wife-beaters into jail on his first day? Give me a little time. And maybe a cape (but not the kind that get sucked into vortexes).


Monica said...

I got in between an Angry Chick and her subject recently, and asked her to stop screaming obscenities because she was freaking out my kids, so she responded with this: "I don't give a fuck about your fucking kids, bitch!" Yeah, that really made my kids feel better.

Angry people suck.

Monkey said...

As somebody who encounters Angry people (read teens) on a fairly regular basis, I'd like to applaud you for stopping to check things out at all. Angry people are scary!

Mike said...

Monica, congratulations, you are now officially my superhero sidekick.

Hi Monkey. I accept your applause, and I would look forward to having an additional sidekick of the monkey variety.

urban farmhouse said...'ve inspired me to comment on the blog of someone I don't even know...but here goes!

From personal experience, using the phrase "just calm down" is heard by angry person as "please yell", no, "please smack me". Two key concepts for you if you insist on exercising out of doors - cell phone and 911.

Also, interestingly enough, I've been called the n word a time or two - and you might describe my coloring as,mmm, well, not pasty, if you were being generous. And this, in Austin TX, genesis of all tolerance and agape love.

So, read some older posts as well, you're funny. And as for the super-hero angle, I don't know, my husband is working on some Magnum PI thing, can't help you with that.

Sue said...

You are my hero.(and will you wear the red underpants too?)

Mike said...

Urban Farmhouse, you are so very right. Even as the words "calm down" left my mouth, I immediately knew that they would have the opposite effect of what I wanted. Too late. Anyway, I've heard good things about you Austin folk. Thanks for the nice comment.

Sue, thanks, but I think you can do better in your choice of heroes. Regardless, what you makes you think that I don't already wear red undies?

Avery Gray said...

I encountered a very similar situation on the quad of my college campus at 19 and very nearly got a shivved stomach. I happen to like my stomach unshivved, so ever since then I've opted for the "say nothing, get to a phone, call the police" policy. Crazy angry people can't really be reasoned with. Called out crazy angry people? Like napalm on the campfire. You're a braver man than most.

Mike said...

Avery, there really wasn't much bravery involved. It was the middle of the day and there were a few other people not too far away. Besides, I was very confident that I could elude any danger given Angry Guy's immense girth.

meg said...

Maybe he was calling you 'niggardly'?

They allow people like that in SF? You need to put in a call to Gavin.

Mike said...

Meg, that's good of you to see the best in people, but I'm guess that "niggardly" wasn't the type of word that this guy tossed around in the heat of an argument.

Ms.PhD said...