August 30th, 2005 09:33 PM
A story about Nothing
I preface by warning you this isn't very exciting, there aren't any pretty girls, and no one got shot.
That said, I have to say much to tell a very short story. With gas prices climbing, combined with the fact that I live maybe 3/4 of a mile from an HEB store (that's a chain of grocery stores for you non Texans), sometimes I elect to hoof it when I need something. You know, give the Chevrolet a vacation.
But to get there by foot, one must take a little shortcut through a large wooded lot on a gravel access road. Keep in mind this gravel road isn't very long or wide, just long enough to cross the lot and wide enough for a pickup truck to roll over.
Anyway this road, such as it is, is on a built up area. There's a slope down from the road basically. Now when I was doing this, it was still light out, and people walk through here all the time. It's very well traveled and there's often a patrol car nearby.
So I have to go to the store. All right I'll go. Normally I just toss a revolver in my pants pocket and go on weekdays because I don't carry at work so I don't bother with any holsters. But this time something said, wait, stop, put on your holster. So I have the XD in the 10 o clock position, crossdraw, and on a whim the Colt Agent right front pocket.
I approached as I have many times before. Something pleasant and familiar greeted my nose. I have not been treated to this odor in many years but I recongized it instantly: it was the same kind of tobacco my grandfather used to smoke in his pipe. I don't know beans about tobacco as I don't smoke personally, but if I did I would smoke this. It's quite a pungent aroma and you can smell it some ways off. The aroma is actually so sweet you can almost taste it.
However while this smell has pleasant associations in my memory, it also triggered me mentally. That smell you see is not normal for this place.
Trying to make a pointless story short as it should be, I'm going down this road when I see something shake in the tall brush. The human eye is of course naturally attracted to motion.
As I moved closer, I began to see him. He was scraggly, thin, with patch facial hair. He was wearing a faded woodland camouflage T shirt and faded jeans. It's hard to place his age as he could be a 17 year old with a lot of facial hair, but I think he was more like 19-22, closer to my age. He was in a rice patty squat, leaning on a tree for support but poised to stand up and run in a hurry.
Now sometimes I see deer down there in that brush as water collects in that low spot (and it flows into the nearby river) but never a person. And he was clearly watching me. I don't think he realized I saw him because he was as still and silent as he could be, and did not call out or go about his business.
As I moved past, I realized he really was watching me. Luckily I was a very short distance from relative safety in the parking lot of an agricultural supply store. I could even see another man about 30 yards ahead standing by the rear bumper of his truck.
The fellow in the brush craned his neck to follow my path and I had this sudden feeling something was very, very wrong. I got as far away from him as I could without losing sight of him and even though it looked funny, I indexed the XD with my strong hand.
I slid past him after what seemed like a tense few seconds, when I noticed the man who was apparently a customer at the supply store was approaching me. We met near his truck.
He was the same height as myself, but there was much more of him and I'm not too bad off in that department myself. He was wearing what looked like new blue jeans, a button up shirt, and a leather vest. He looked very much like P95Carry's avatar but with a fuller beard.
"Excuse me sir." he intoned. "But do you see that guy over there?" He pointed.
I turned and looked. It was strange, but due to elevation differences this man could see the skinny guy perfectly. Skinny was still standing there at his perch, looking straight at us.
"Yeah I thought that was pretty weird. I'm not sure what to think about that to be honest." Well, it was the truth.
We watched Skinny for just a second longer, and he dissappeared into the cover.
"I thought you were about to get mugged." He patted his stomach, and brushed aside his vest where I could see the butt of a blued K frame on a pancake holster on his belt. Something told me that gun hadn't been made in a long, long time, and he probably bought it when it was the latest and greatest thing out there. I'd guess a .357 Magnum with a 4 inch barrel, square butt.
"I did too." I said, lifting up the tail of my T shirt to expose the XD's butt.
"What is that, a Glock?" he glared dissapprovingly.
"Actually it's a Springfield." I replied.
"Oh, well that's all right then. Well good luck." And with that he took off.
I had my cell, but walked over to the public phone and called the authorities. I was apologetic when I probably shouldn't have been, but the operator said they'd send someone to check it out and didn't even ask who I was. It was about a 30 second conversation. True the man did nothing wrong, but I'm sure the police wouldn't mind coming down there and asking him what he was doing.
I walked back by another, longer route which I normally avoid because it involves walking along a busy frontage road in the direction of traffic, but something about the whole thing just didn't sit very well with me at all.
Honestly, the guy was probably just sitting down and having a nice relaxing smoke. It was a nice evening after all, and that little wooded lot in the middle of this suburban jungle is relatively picturesque.
My "friend" in the parking lot sure was in the right place at the right time too. I feel bad for saying this, but I realize now not only did he have the perfect vantage point to take out Skinny if he'd wanted to, he just as easily could have gotten me.
All this going through my mind, and nothing even happened. Am I nuts? Actually, I don't think I was nuts to be on edge at the time, but I think I'm overanalyzing this.
Short answer: I should probably drive from now on.
August 30th, 2005 10:57 PM
I'd say Euc your satisfactory yellow made sure you saw things and were at least, probably - going into orange.
Not sure tho whether skinny was more concerning or the store owner!!! I guess in these situations you are mentally computing and updating every millisecond.
Probably, you'd have been well enough prepared had anything gone down to react pretty quick. No you are not nuts at all and actually I doubt you are over analyzing either.
Even what turn out to be uneventful situations still have something to teach us - because you have gone thru and considered the ''what ifs'' - and so gained some insight further into your own abilities. I have done exactly this.
Well worth posting IMO
Chris - P95
NRA Certified Instructor & NRA Life Member.
"To own a gun and assume that you are armed
is like owning a piano and assuming that you are a musician!."
- a portal for 2A links, articles and some videos.
August 30th, 2005 11:21 PM
Well, since the other guy was suspicious of the character in the bushes that you were fully justified with your concerns. Maybe the guy was up to nothing, maybe he was passing time while guarding his marijuana patch, before mugging someone or robbing the store. Your yellow turned on, too. Sounds like all is working well....
Coimhéad fearg fhear na foighde; Beware the anger of a patient man.
August 31st, 2005 12:26 AM
September 1st, 2005 12:06 AM
yup, better to be on edge once in a while than be a statistic. Good job, keep your guard up.
September 5th, 2005 04:29 PM
An interesting encounter, to be sure. Hindsight being perfect, the only thing that disturbed me about your behavior was that you tipped a stranger who engaged you to the fact that you were carrying. I realize that you were there and I was not, but it sounds like you were in close proximity and voluntarily gave up your concealment. What if the two had been working together?
September 5th, 2005 05:49 PM
Sounds like you were in the proper frame of mind there. Dunno if I woulda compared short arms at the end of the encounter, but all's well, as they say.
Stay aware, stay alive.
"Life's tough......It's even tougher if you're stupid." -John Wayne
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