Crazy Charleston Story #1

This is a story from a few weeks ago. I don't know why I didn't think to blog about it, but it occurred to me while I was writing my last Charleston post that I do have a few good reasons for being slow to fully appreciate my surroundings.

I bought my motorcycle partly as a way to decrease my morning commute time. Because of satellite lot parking at MUSC, it takes me twice as long to get to school when I take my car. Thus, I bought a motorcyle and park across the street from my building. I also acquired my motorcycle because motorcycles looked like fun. And they are.

I was riding home a few weeks ago on Dills Bluff Rd. I like Dills Bluff Rd. because it has more curves on in than any other road in Charleston. It's also a stoplight-free, neighborhood type alternative to Folly Rd.

But this particular afternoon was special. I was traveling south, and as I rounded out of a sharp curve in the road, a car pulled out right in front of me. He wasn't turning, rather, he was getting back onto the road from the grass shoulder. His driving was erratic. He didn't merge back onto the little road. He swerved back onto it. I don't think he saw me. In fact, I'm convinced that he was preoccupied.

I hit the brakes to avoid becoming a trunk ornament.

I could see and almost hear that he was yelling something at a pedestrian walking along the road. Then I saw a strange object poking out of the open driver's side window. In that brief second, I couldn't quite tell what it was. But then, I recognized it. It wasn't the bird, or a wallet, or any of that nice stuff. That crazy guy was waving a pistol out his window. "Bang, bang, bang" finally clued me in.

I hit the brakes--only now much harder. As I squeezed the right handle for the front brake and pressed down on the rear brake, the front of the bike dove down compressing the shocks. The back wheel locked up and screamed. I didn't let up.

45 to 0 felt like an eternity, but I stopped and the crazy driver with a gun in the crazy car drove off.

In my haste to stop, I forgot to pull the clutch lever and the engine had stalled. I was stopped, but now I was desperate to get going with the shady pedestrian close behind me, and the crazy car driving off ahead. I checked my mirror. Turned the key to "off" then back to "on." Shifted from 5th down to neutral and started my little engine.

Now I was angry. That crazy car cut me off--way too close. And then he started shooting at the air. That was better than shooting at me, but I didn't like it nonetheless. Then I saw him hit the brakes.

Now I was scared. Is he coming back? I wasn't really interesting in jousting with the crazy car with a gun. So I got ready to take a serious U-turn and find a new place to be--anywhere but here. But he was just slowing down for another curve ahead.

Now I was angry again. If he's not coming back, then I'm going to go follow him. I knew my cell phone was in my pocket, but I wasn't interested in stopping to call the cops. Moving felt safer. I also knew I couldn't talk on it through my helmet. Although I dream of Bluetooth in my helmet, such is not the case.

So I got just close enough to make out his tags so I could get the cops onto his sorry cutting me off, gun-shooting, crazy-driving [hiney].

At the intersection with Camp Road, he went left. I took a right turn and went home. After I got off the bike, I started to call the cops. But then I put my phone back into my right pocket, pulled my keys out of my left pocket, went inside my house and tried to forget about it over a glass of cold chocolate milk.

To the driver of the Burgundy Red Volvo with South Carolina tag: 711 UKK
I don't like the way you drive. In fact I don't like the way you shoot while you drive either. Please consider using a blinker before pulling out in front of me, and take that drive-by shooting into the air crap back to the ghetto.


posted by Josh M on 8:04 AM


Philip Murphy said...

You didn't even call the cops?! Jaime