While smoking, never threaten a man with a gasoline sprayer....
I guess this is a combination of mildly alarming and moderately amusing.
I'm a middle-aged businessman and I commute between Tucson and Phoenix, often traveling in the early to mid-evenings during the week.
Few nights back, late, I stopped for fuel at a truck stop. It was crowded at the pumps, and I parked at a spot on the edge of the pump area. I walked in, used the restroom, and returned to find many of the cars had left...I was largely alone on that side of the building, but not really 'alone' b/c there were people pretty much always in sight and shouting distance around me.
Anyway, I start pumping gas. I was paying reasonable attention to my surroundings, and still this grungy young man slips around my back bumper of the Suburban and catches me a tad off-guard, stopping about 5-6 feet away. He has a cigarette (lit!) between his lips, hands in pockets, and asks me if I can spare some gas money. I said, more or less verbatim: "No, and you are making me nervous. Please step away from me and my car." I shifted my hand so my left was pumping gas and my right was perched on my right hip (centimeters from my sidearm under my shirt). I was too surprised to really feel anything like alarm or conscious thought, and I'm impressed with myself for even remembering I was armed and needed to keep that hand free. He was near the back of the car, not between me and my half-open driver door.
He does his best Marlon Brando-esque "glare with a lifted chin" expression, says "F--- you. What's your problem, can't you spare some money for a veteran? I'm trying to get home..." He looked more like a red-eyed Wayne's World Mike Meyers than any recent veteran I've seen, and we have lots around here).
I was standing there HOLDING the gas pump handle while fuel gushed into my car, and here this guy stands next to me saying these things, while smoking a cigarette.
We were on the 'inside' of my car toward the station office. Several others were in visual range, so I wasn't 'alone' with this yahoo, really...But still I was thinking....carjacking? Mug and jump into an accomplice car and speed away before anyone can react?
I stop the flow, remove the pump handle and swing the gas 'muzzle' at him, and just look at him, waiting. There's a pregnant pause here for about 5 seconds, he glares at me. Then I gently raise the gas muzzle up and toward his face just a teensy weensy bit.
The light finally go on somewhere in this crackhead and he spins and trots away, looking back at me over his shoulder at me a couple times. I think I saw him toss the cigarette aside after he was well away from me. I watched him vanish behind the main building area. I put the pump handle back and drove away immediately (having pre-paid with a CC). I considered and then dismissed going in to report the incident, since nothing had really happened.
This is the FIRST and ONLY time I've ever felt even remotely threatened while living and traveling (alot) in Arizona. The mistake I made was....wait for it...I wasn't thinking about and checking for his potential accomplice coming from the front side of my car. I was too focused on him for those few seconds, that and the freshly dripping gas pump handle in my hand. Lesson learned.
Conclusion: My weapon of choice was unleaded. Weapon presentation successfully...defused...the situation. No discussions, please, on the relatively stopping power of regular unleaded vs premium....that would be flaming and that is not allowed on this forum.
Thank you and good night. And remember to always fill the TOP half of your tank....
Somewhere between Tucson and Phoenix