Rants, Raves, & Random Thoughts

Shameless self-promotion of my writing skills or lack there of.

Saturday, February 19, 2005

The Pepper Spray Incident

I was gently reminded (thanks, Ronnie), that I still owed an explanation of the pepper spray incident. Before I get into the story, I would like to emphasize that I have never experienced anything quite like it and I hope I never have to again. At various points in my military training I was exposed to tear gas. Which I found irritating, but I could still function reasonably well. I just experienced a little difficulty seeing and one hell of a runny nose.

Then there was the time that a bunch of my fellow soldiers and I were trying to prove which of us was the toughest by using mace on each other. Yeah, looking back I was a real moron in my late teens and early twenties. Again, the result was blurred vision and nasal discharge.

When I was in college this girl wanted to take me (more to the point she wanted me to taker her, I suppose) to a redneck bar that was way out in the boonies. She was friends with the owner and said that we could get some free beers out of the deal. Before I go any further, I should probably point out that I am not a big fan of redneck bars, but being in college, the offer of drinking for free sounded pretty good.

We show up at this dive and I begin to think that there is not enough free beer in the world to make an evening there bearable. With a little persuasion (funny how most women are good at that sort of thing), she convinced me to go in, at least long enough to see her friends.

We hadn’t been inside for more than an hour when the front door burst open and frantic young cowgirl was screaming: “They’re gonna kill him!” I jumped up and ran outside to investigate. There were three guys in the parking lot, beating the day lights out of a fourth. They recipient of the beating was laying on the ground, trying to cover his head as they kicked him.

Did I mention I was a moron when I was younger? Yeah, I decided to help out the underdog in the fight. I shouted at them to back away as I ran into the parking lot. One of them looked up long enough to tell me to mind my own #@$% business. By the time he looked back up at me it was too late; I was on him. He tried to take a swing at me, but I blocked it and punched him in the bottom of the sternum. It, of course, left him gasping for air as his diaphragm objected to the sudden force. As he bent over from the blow, I grabbed him on either side of his head and kneed him in the face. I turned on the other two, who had given up beating the guy on the ground and were looking at me with wide eyes. I grabbed one of them by the throat and punched him square in the nose with two quick jabs. I guess the sight of blood coming out of the top of his buddies beak, was enough to take the fight out of the third one, because he took off running. I assumed he was running to his car, leaving his buddies to fend for themselves. My first instinct was to let him go, but I had the sudden fear that he might be going to get a gun from his car or at the very least something to work me over with.

“Leave me alone!” He shouted when he realized I was chasing him.

He suddenly stopped and reached into his pocket. I thought: He’s got a knife, well at least it is better than a gun and kept running. He held up his hand and I saw a small can in it. I assumed it was mace.
“Boy! All you are going to do is piss me off with…” I never finished the sentence. He dropped me like a rock. I couldn’t breath, I couldn’t see, all I could do was curl up and wait for the kicking to commence. I kept waiting and waiting but the beating never came. I heard a car fire up and roll across the gravel, before peeling out of the parking lot.

When I finally got my breath back, I allowed a few of the patrons to help me back inside. I flushed my face with water, which just made it burn worse. Once I felt a little more like myself, the girl that I was with told me, that after I got sprayed, the guy got his car stopped long enough to pick up his two friends, and took off.

The guy that they had been using for soccer practice was taken to the emergency room. I heard later that he had a few broken ribs, a broke jaw and a concussion, but was going to live.

Now, I should probably turn this into a Public Service Announcement. I am a big guy and in my prime, I was pretty darn quick, but a little can of pepper spray dropped me like a bad habit. If any of you out there travel alone, I highly recommend you pick some up. Don’t be lulled into a false since of security with mace, as I’ve said I found that only mildly irritating, I still would have gotten my hands on that guy if he had been using anything less than the pepper spray. Buy it, keep it with you, and hope you never have to use it.


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