Sunday, October 28, 2007

Future Cop-I-Am-Not

So when I tell people I'm from Oakland, I am always quick to defend my hometown, "NO, I don't claim Blood or Crypts...YES, there are nice parts of Oakland...NO I did not carry a gun to school growing up." Tonight though, as I was waiting for my (GASP) Kentucky Fried Chicken in a fit of low blood sugar, I caught what I thought was a fight in front of the cash register out of the corner of my eye. Having spent a few months in South Africa where stories of robberies, carjackings and worse are pressed upon you every time you venture into the city (or any public place for that matter), I reacted quickly in a relatively new response of instant self preservation. As I saw a guy running toward me I pressed myself up against the soda machine and let him pass me by (the store has no tables - just a walk up counter and probably about 100 square feet of standing room). Only as I saw him run out of the store, pursued by another customer, did I realize that I had just made it that much easier for a ROBBER to get past me with the donation box for disadvantaged kids that was previously attached to the counter. I wish I had been more aware of what was going on (instead of so focused on getting the right balance of ice and diet coke in my cup) - if I had just stuck my foot out I'm sure I could have tripped him up. Then again, he was apparently brandishing scissors as a weapon, and there was a sort of desperation in his run as he clutched the box with a pile of ones and the jangle of coins in front of him. True crime Oakland: Watch your quarters and dimes!

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10 Comments:

Blogger Peter DeWolf said...

Wow. Scary.

On the upside, you can totally tell people that you are a "Super Dope Homegirl from The Oak Town."

I would do that daily.

10/29/2007 6:24 AM  
Anonymous Lia said...

A-town resents you for denying your true heritage. Some of us know your true hometown. :)

As your self-defense instructor and friend, I say GOOD CALL for getting out of the way. No need to get involved where weapons are involved and no one is in immediate physical danger. I trust your instincts!

10/29/2007 3:40 PM  
Blogger Mood Indigo said...

Lia - Girl - you know I lived in Oakland before Alameda! But yes - I think your training was part of my response - although I do think I need to be more aware of my overall surroundings from here on out.

Peter - For real tho.

10/29/2007 3:42 PM  
Blogger Dr. Kenneth Noisewater said...

Stealing the donation box with a pair of scissors? What a loser!

You can't get mad at yourself for a gut reaction like that. I would have tripped you, recommend that he take you as a hostage, and tip him off where pointing the scissors would scare you the most.

See, my gut reactions are WAY worse, so you have nothing to be ashamed of.

10/29/2007 4:00 PM  
Blogger Airam said...

Who knows what would've happened had you been more aware of what was going on.

10/29/2007 7:04 PM  
Blogger S'Mat said...

the only difference i can see is that cops selectively let people like that get away.

actually, i don't know that, i just have a large aversion to cops these days... more cops are not the solution. pretty rich me saying that with my closest friend among their ilk.

anyway, i'm glad you didn't get in the way of this guy. desperate people are scary!

10/30/2007 6:58 AM  
Blogger Eve said...

Whoa. You know though, stealing the donation jar is crack (or some drug)-induced desperation. Desperate petty theft isn't something you want to get involved in. Scissors as a weapon? Geez. It is a good idea to be aware of your surroundings, especially in an urban place. I have to say, I've definitely avoided robberies/theiving situations just by being alert and paying attention to what was going on around me. The one time I was mugged, I saw the guys and thought it was shady, but was too drunk to act on that instinct.

10/30/2007 8:41 AM  
Anonymous Lia said...

Yeah, I guess Oakland and Alameda got equal loving when you were a kid. My other friend is "from" Berkeley even though she moved to Moraga when she was about 9 and went through high school there. I think when the next place you move is not as cool as the other (sorry A-town and LaMorinda), you have to claim the first. After all, you would still be there if parents hadn't moved you.

10/30/2007 9:30 AM  
Blogger S'Mat said...

eve! hahaha. very discerning version... my version is that you put your finger in the barrel of the gun. oh wait... is this the same story? if not it is very unhahaha... ahahah?

10/30/2007 4:11 PM  
Blogger The [Cherry] Ride said...

I'm from the South Side of Chicago, and I used to get a lot of that same thing.

10/31/2007 12:26 PM  

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