Vengeance is Mine - A Cautionary TaleThis story is true. There are no names and there are no innocents to protect. Hence, no need to change any names.
My first vehicle was a 1956 Ford F-150 pickup truck that was converted to a flatbed. In a previous life it had been one of Ma Bell's finest, with one of those old-fashioned square toolbox backs that looked like an onlive green ice cream truck. I suppose that today some enterprising young chap would have kept the tool bed and started selling drugs out of the back. My teenage years were a simpler time.
It was the best vehicle $150 could buy. Plenty of rust. Missing running boards. Inoperable turn signals. Some foam stuck to the driver's seat with duct tape to compensate for missing stuffing. Later, the rear-end differential would crap out and I would discover the engine block was cracked. Not high-class - but hey! - it was mine.
One day I pulled into a convenience store so that one of my underage friends could could try unsuccessfully to buy beer or cigarettes or some other delinquent enterprise. As I sat in the cab, poised for a quick getaway, a Cadillac convertible pulled in. It was avocado green and sported the most mammoth fins Caddy ever turned out. There was more chrome on it than a Presidential limo from Paraguay. It hurt your eyes just to look at it.
It was driven by an old lady - actually, a not-unattractive, 30-something MILF. She wore rhinestone-encrusted cat eye sunglasses, a pink chiffon scarf over her stiff blond hair, and a tight leopard skin outfit. She was smoking a Virginia Slim, presumably because she'd come a long way baby. She looked liked Thelma, minus Louise.
As she exited her car, she flung the door open in a powerful arch. Weighing in at about the same as a bank vault door, it hit the truck so hard that I rocked to the side. I envisioned serious damage, but wasn't overly concerned. I knew the truck was a piece of shit. It was more interested in the principle of civility involved.
Quiet descended over the parking lot as I awaited an apology. But, all I heard was the clicking of her stilettos as she walked into the store. I was left enveloped in a thick cloud of Taboo perfume and a slow burning rage.
Now, I'm usually a peaceable sort. Even as a teenager I was slow to anger. I figured maybe she had somehow missed the solid bang of the sheet metal behemoths crashing into each other. Besides she was an adult and you just can't go around arguing with them. Who knows what craziness could ensue? I was pretty miffed, but I kept my teenage cool.
Shortly, she returned to her car. She grabbed that ugly, giant thing and swung it open a second time. Incredibly, it crashed into my door again. Charged with a fresh pack of smokes and ginormous Slurpee, she busied herself with the apparently long, airliner-like check list required to start that 4,000 lb. monster. The rhinestones on her sunglasses sparkled prettily in the sun and her scarf fluttered in the breeze. I didn't hear a peep.
I sat there stunned.
Then I found words..."HEY! LADY!," I shouted through my open window.
"HEEEYYYYY! BIATCH," I shouted (maybe using for the first time this now-popular slang). "DO YOU HAVE A...PROBLEM?!!!!???"
Still no response. Not even a dismissive flick of the pretty blond head.
I sat there even more stunned.
Then, I did an amazing thing. Something so shocking that even all these years later I can't believe I did this to a living, breathing adult.
I slowly opened my door and climbed down. I walked over to the front of her car hood and lightly tapped on the hood as if on someone's front door. She looked up, slightly puzzled.
Then, I did it.
SMASH!!! I kicked her LEFT headlight out. I slowed walked over to the RIGHT headlight. SMASH!!! Glass tinkled to the pavement. Her jaw dropped as I said in a very pleasant voice, "Oh my. I'm sorry. See lady. That's what one says when one accidentally makes a mistake. I'm sure you'll understand."
I quietly walked back to my truck and climbed aboard as the sun silhouetted me against the horizon. I felt very powerful. I think I heard the clink of spurs as I walked. The woman continued to stare, but never said a word.
My friend returned and climbed in. "What happened?"
"Oh, nothing," I said with am exaggerated southern drawl. "My work here is done. Let's roll."
Truth Told by Omnipotent Poobah, Sunday, July 24, 2005