Those people who know me could tell you these simple truths about me: I hate germs, I love candy, I like booty rap, and I am obsessed with crime shows. Mostly, these things render me pretty useless as a human being. But yesterday? No…yesterday I was the bizz-nazz (as my hilarious brother would say).
I personally, though somewhat unwittingly, thwarted a real life crime in progress. For real. Grab some popcorn. This is a good one.
Yesterday morning, around 10:45, I went alone (thank God) to the jewelry store to pick up a piece of jewelry I was having repaired. I pulled up, half crooked, into a parking spot right next to a handicapped spot.
As I was straightening up my car, a white minivan pulled up very quickly and stopped very abruptly just a few inches perpendicular to my passenger side door. I looked up and thought to myself, well that dude doesn’t know how to park. And I also thought, it’s not so often I see young thugs driving around in brand new white Dodge Caravans, but whatevs.
Then out of the corner of my eye, I see him backing up. And right when I’m about to open my car door, I notice that Homie is not alone. He’s got another thug buddy in the passenger seat.
And they’re not leaving. They’re backing into the handi spot, parallel to me. At this point, my Dateline instincts kick in and there’s not one chance I’m getting out of the car. I mean come on. Rule number one: never emerge from safety to investigate something suspicious. Ever.
I look out my front windshield to see if the security guard Kenny (yes…I’m on a first name basis with the security guard) is seeing what I see. He does. I see him put his hand in his trench coat pocket and slowly meander just about as coolly as possible inside the store.
Now at this moment, I’m thinking, Kenny, help a sister out. I’m about to get carjacked. I could use your assistance. Get your ass over here, por favor. It has not yet registered that a car jacking is not what these fellas had in mind. And don’t be fooled, I will be lighting candles in thanksgiving for THAT for the next three decades.
But it is right about this time (you have to realize that all this went down in a matter of a few seconds) that the minivan backs in merely inches from my car. And as I look to my right, these are the thoughts that registered in rapid succession:
Oh…there are four big ol’ men crowded in there.
Well, that’s weird…that guy must be a germaphobe because he’s wearing a surgical mask. Props to him.
But wait…that one guy has on a weird black mask that doesn’t much look like a medical supply…
HOLY SHIT!!!! THEY’RE WEARING SKI MASKS!!!!
It was the masks that threw me over the edge. It was the masks that kicked in my fight or flight. It was the masks that nearly made me wet my pants. And it was the masks that made it crystal clear that something was about to go down. And I’m not talking shopping for a ring to be poppin’ the question. I’m talking more like poppin’ something else, if you know what I mean.
At the exact same moment, we made our moves, the thugs and I. I peeled out of my parking spot because I wasn’t interested in being shot, and two of them jumped out of the van and ran to the door.
When I saw them jump out, I laid on my horn as a warning to the store employees that the thugs were coming and to lock the door because it was the only thing I could think to do.
Because, you know, since the time I rear ended that brand new BMW at a stop light after my daughter’s dance class Halloween party, I don’t keep my cell phone in reach anymore while I’m driving, so I couldn’t call 911 at that very moment (For the record I wasn’t even using the phone. It was in my lap. But it scared me just enough to ditch the temptation of using it).
Anyway, as I drove away I looked back and was literally holding my breath, hoping that Kenny had gotten to the door before they did. I watched as Thug 1 pulled on the door and my heart nearly stopped.
HOORAY FOR KENNY!!!!! KENNY SAVES THE DAY!!!
Thug 1 and Thug 2 (named in honor of Dr. Seuss’s recent birthday reading of The Cat and the Hat) high tailed it straight back to their waiting Dodge Minivan and hauled ass out of, well, Dodge. Empty handed.
Obviously, I was completely calm and collected (yeah right) and I drove slowly around the large lot and back around to the scene of the (almost) crime when I was sure the would be criminals were gone. The manager came out of the store and asked me if I would come back later because the police were on the way and it was going to turn into a zoo. I gladly obliged because I didn’t think my legs would hold me up anyway.
Later on I returned to the store and heard their side of the drama.
Kenny saw them pull up. He then went inside. He saw their guns when they got out of the car (I hadn’t…more candle lighting for that) and yelled for everyone to get down on the ground while he covered the door. He thought he was about to get shot through the glass. You wouldn’t know it. He was still wearing the same pair of pants I’d seen him in earlier.
But this is when I figured out I had thwarted the robbery. When I pulled into the parking spot, there were no cars for at least 8 or 10 spots to my left. I just so happened to pull in at the exact same moment the robbers did. Only, I blocked their escape route. So instead of pulling up along the sidewalk, jumping out of the sliding door, running in and then making a straight getaway, they had to re-evaluate (at which point smarter criminals would have called it a day) and turn around to back in for an easier post-robbery egress. Thereby, giving Kenny the time to get inside and get the door locked.
See, when I was straightening out my poor parking job, they must have thought I was leaving. No such luck though. The store owner said it’s lucky for them I’m a crappy parker. I would have to agree. To the tune of a free piece of jewelry, perhaps?? Just kidding.
I’m so happy that nothing happened. I’m so happy I didn’t get there 1 or 2 minutes earlier and wasn’t inside the store when they came in with guns to rob the place. I would surely be rocking in a straight jacket for weeks if that had happened. And I’m so happy that my love of Lester Holt, Keith Morrison, Chris Hansen and Josh Mankewicz makes me ultra suspicious and hyper aware of my surroundings.
So, how was your Thursday morning? I assume it didn’t involve fighting crime.