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    Senior Citizen Sucker Punch

           I can’t remember the last time I was punched in the face. Actually, I can. It was last Thursday night.
           It began as a classic case of mistaken driveway identity. But as I’m turning around to exit this address in search of the right one, a guy walking his dog suddenly appears in front of my car, and he won’t move. Choosing not to run him over, even though he appeared to be wearing a New York Giants windbreaker, I put the car in park. The guy starts yelling at me. Illuminated by the halogen glow of my head lights, the bright redness of his face and the blueness of his neck popping veins were particularly striking, especially as they clashed with his swath of silver hair. The guy looked about seventy.
           He walked around and stood in front of my open driver side window. “What the hell are you doing?!!!”, he screamed. This appeared to be a horribly rhetorical question. From where he was just standing, it was obvious he saw the entire nine seconds of action. For a moment, I considered a wise ass remark, but figured maybe the old guy was partially blind or something. So I played it straight. “I pulled into the wrong driveway”, I said, firmly, but hardly matching his eye-bulging rage. “Well you ran over my lawn!”, he screamed. I immediately doubted the validity of that accusation, but again, chose the high road. “That was an accident. I apologize.”, I said. There was a pause, as if the guy’s rage ridden brain couldn’t process any words of contrition. So stumped did he appear, that I half expected him to come back with an “Oh Yeah!”, or some other equally witty retort. Instead, he called me an asshole. Then he punched me in the eye. And walked away from the car.
           Now, I’ve poked myself in the eye putting on sunglasses harder than the punch that just hit me, but I have to say, I was stunned. I mean, did that just happen? Did an old guy actually punch me, in the face, after I apologized for allegedly running over his lawn? The absurdity of the incident momentarily stupefied me. Kind of like when you’re at the circus, and the clown drops his pants. And he’s got a boner. Except I wasn’t laughing.
           About a second later, after the initial shock wore off, lots of stuff came up inside of me. Anger, first and foremost. But also mitigating voices of reason. And these voices were having a little discussion in my head. Kind of the way intelligent lawyers in a courtroom do.  
           I knew that, technically, the guy had just assaulted me. So, if I got out of my car and hit him, it could be argued as self defense. However, I was pretty pissed, and if I hit the guy with even a fraction of everything I had, I could have broken his entire face, maybe even killed him. That just didn’t seem worth it. And the fallout of hitting a senior citizen, even though he had it coming, would in the long run not sit well with me. Plus, he had walked away, and thus I was no longer in any imminent danger (not that I ever was, frankly, judging by the feebleness of his left cross). To clock him at this point would have been purely out of revenge, and that’s an energy I don’t want to operate from. Bottom Line: his “assault” felt more like a punch LINE than a punch, and I certainly wasn’t hurt, or in fear of any further bad jokes. I surmised that hitting the guy at this point could have landed me in a boat load of trouble. So that was off the table.
           I considered letting the whole thing go and driving on to my destination, really no worse the ware, except for what amounted to a mosquito bite under my eye. But that didn’t feel right either. Plus, I had some energy to discharge.   
           What did I do? Tune in for part two.

    ©2014 Clint Piatelli, MuscleHeart LLC, and Red F Publishing. All rights reserved.


    Reader Comments (1)

    You simply should have pulled him off his feet by his ear hair, and then say "Are we good now?"

    October 28, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJJC

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