Monday, December 20, 2010

A number of people have asked me how I wind up surviving so many encounters with various people in the odd situations I let myself get into.

A number of people have asked me how I wind up surviving so many encounters with various people in the odd situations I let myself get into.

It’s simple. I probably go subconsciously looking for it in a way.  I have been tired of rude people for years and several years ago I decided I had more than a bellyful of rude people.

I am polite and I stay snow white. If I am not 100% snow white in a given situation, I simply bail out of the situation because if I am not 100% clean there is a chance I could get into trouble. I try to be a friend to myself rather than my own worst enemy like a lot of us seems to be.

On the other hand, I tend not to let rude behavior slide if I think I can do something about it.

For example, take yesterday’s post. Had I been carrying a weapon of any sort I would have simply avoided the jerk and quietly gone about my business. I would have stayed small and eaten humble pie when the jerk told me that it was a good thing I had given him the parking spot.

Of course, I never threatened him in any way, nor did I tell him I was armed. I simply let him infer it and let him run his imagination. I simply fertilized a planted a seed and decided to see what happened.

I guess you could call this instigation, but it really isn’t. I generally don’t instigate anything. I simply fertilize the seed a little and let it germinate.

There is an old adage that says that if you give a man enough rope he will hang himself and I guess that is exactly what I do. I give him as much rope as he needs and simply stand back and watch a hanging.

Like most things, it doesn’t take a whole lot.  Most people are their own worst enemies.

The summer before last I wound up in a similar incident.  Two of us were headed in opposite directions in a parking lot and we both saw the same spot at the same time. As usual, I was patient and let him have first option on the spot simply to avoid confrontation. I waited a good long time while he tried to make his mind up and after about thirty seconds or more, I simply took the spot.

Of course, he just had to say something and I calmly told him I’d move if he wanted me to, but he just had to mouth off to prove his manliness in front of his wife and kids.

I looked at him conversationally and asked him if he knew what I had in my pocket. He looked pretty startled.

Was it a gun? Was it a knife? Was it mace? Brass knuckles? What was it?

He was silent.

I could see the gears turning. He wasn’t as confident. I turned to his wife and conversationally said to her, “I have $24 and some change in my pocket, that’s all. It’s not your lucky day. Maybe if you are lucky your husband will mouth off to a real thug sometime and get killed so you can collect his insurance money and you can find someone sane to help you raise your kids.”

He was outraged, she was silent, visibly embarrassed. “Hey, wait a minute!” he shouted.

I turned. “Maybe I was just lying to your wife about the 24 dollars and change. Care to find out?” I asked, coolly and walked off.

I know he stared at me for some time as I walked into the store.

 Neighbor Bob got a bunch of crap a few years back.

I forgot what the incident itself was. I think some guy ran into his shopping cart or something.  It was really something real stupid. Bob was trained well. He simply and politely excused himself and with no fanfare walked away.

I couldn’t help myself. I was feeling truly evil. I knew better than to charge in there and start something. I waited a few minutes and meekly approached the tough guy.

“Uhh, Sir? By any chance do you know who you just insulted?” I asked, meekly.


“Sir, that man is a police officer working narcotics under cover,” I said.

“He don’t look like no cop to me,” he answered.

“He’s not supposed to,” I replied. “Bet if he was still assigned uniformed duty you might have found yourself in trouble. He was probably afraid of blowing his cover so he let it slide.” And I quietly left.

The look on his face was pretty funny to see. He looked physically ill, and I knew I had ruined his day.

My all time favorite was some time back, though in a convenience store.

I was taking a friends kid home and I stopped at a 7-11 for a pack of smokes and a coke for the kid and I.

Two cokes hit the counter and I asked for a pack of Marlboros. Some guy behind me started giving me a lecture about the evils of smoking. I turned to him and told him, “I quit some years back. They’re for my boy.”

With that I stuffed the smokes in the kid’s shirt pocket.

As to be expected, guy threw an absolute hissy fit, much to the amusement of everyone in line, including a pair of policemen who seemed totally amused. The cops knew who the boy was; he was the son of a brother officer. They knew him by name. They also knew he was a pretty good kid.

When the fit died down, I looked at the complainer and indignantly said to him, “Give him a break. He only smokes when he drinks.”

There was yet another hissy fit and more amused bystanders. The complainer turned to the two policemen and demanded that they do something about this terrible outrage. The poor policemen knew they had to do something as this was the kind of idiot that would get their badge numbers and call the Chief and raise hell.

Of course, the officers would explain to the Chief and the Chief would probably get a good laugh out of it, but avoiding being called in to his office in the first place was probably wise.

One of the officers, suppressing a big smirk looked at the kid and said, “Hey Billy? How old are you now?”

“Twelve,” said the kid.

“So how come you’re smoking and drinking at your young age?”

At that instant Billy stole the entire show.

A beam of light pierced the clouds and shone down upon his little twelve year-old cherubic little face. He looked innocently up at the police officer, the picture of sweet youthful innocence.

“Because my Uncle Piccolo here told me that Canadian whisky will wash all of the dope out of my system,” he said.

The other cop left the line and headed straight to the rest room to keep from wetting his pants he was laughing so hard.

What happened to me several years ago is that I just decided that enough is enough and to keep out of hot water, I simply learned the rules of the system well enough so that I could play the game and win.

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