I Blogged Myself

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Wednesday, February 07, 2007

I'll SHOOT You In The FOOT!!

... or ...

"Road Rage Retaliation"

Gather 'round, my children. Uncle BEVIS has a little story to tell. It'll warm the cockles of your hearts; it'll roast the soles of your feet; it'll tickle the ivories of your grand piano ...

This is actually taken from an email I wrote back in 1997 or so, which I sent out to a bunch of friends. I reproduce it here now for your enjoyment, with only the slightest of editing so as to protect the guilty.


Yesterday, tired, leaving work at 4:45pm, I pulled up at the exit from my workplace onto the main road, and looked right, into the oncoming traffic, for a gap so that I could pull out onto the road. I think you'll agree, fairly normal behaviour.

HOWEVER! Upon seeing a white van approximately 90 to 100 metres away, leaving an otherwise clear and substantial gap in the left lane, I pulled out into said lane and proceeded to drive forward in a upwardly mobile direction. I think you'll agree, fairly normal behaviour.

HOWEVER! The white van did not slow down in the slightest. In fact, the damn fool driver was a little annoyed, it would seem, with my arrival in his lane. So he decided to flash his lights, beep his horn, and swear for all he was worth at the top of his voice. I could even hear his voice over the engines of the very-busy traffic, my air conditioner, and his horn, which he kept blasting at me for a long time. He also thought it would be clever to drive approximately 10 centimetres from my rear bumper. And I promise you I am not exaggerating! He did this all the way up the main road for about four kilometres (approximately 739 miles*).

* Not really.

In an attempt to get him to back off, I subscribed to the age-old indication of tail-riding annoyance. I braked suddenly (but only for a second) to get him to back off. But this only angered him further.

After I changed into the middle lane, he pulled up alongside me on my left (both of us still going at 80km/hour), wound down his window, screamed further abuse at me, grabbed a steel bar from inside his van, and proceeded to smash my side mirror off! Until it was no more!

So that was nice.

Amazed at his audacity -- it was broad daylight, I remind you! -- I watched him pull up at the lights in front and to the left of me, still leaning out his window and yelling abuse back at me. I couldn't believe what he'd done. I wrote down his number plate, but quickly realised that nothing worthwhile would come of reporting him. What was it? A twenty dollar mirror? Anyway, as we'd been driving along when he'd done it, I knew no one else had probably witnessed it. And anyone who had would likely keep quiet, because he was a scary-looking guy. But I decided I wouldn't be letting it go at that. I knew I had to take a stand for victims of Road Rage the world over. I'd had enough. I had snapped. I had gone over the edge.

I had a gun.

Yes, for some reason I had in my glove compartment a black plastic gun that a friend had given me some years ago. It looks very real and even shoots pellets (I haven't got any, though). Well, I've kept it in my glove compartment ever since a totally unjustifiable road rage incident a year or more ago. And my mind went to it now.

Let me take a moment out of this exciting narrative to describe the van driver. He was big. He was bald. He was mean. He had dark sunglasses on, was huge across the shoulders, and had VERY muscly arms. A total meathead whose entire family had one brain cell to share, and which was currently being used by his mother. A moron.

The van driver looked like this ...

So, in true "No one out-does BEVIS!!" fashion, I made up my mind to scare the crap out of this son-of-his-mother. (And yes, I AM pretty proud of how this story turns out!)

Finding courage and stubbornness flooding through me by this point, I pulled in behind him when the traffic started moving again, and followed him. I didn't tail-gate him, but I was close behind him nonetheless. And guess where he turned off the main road? He turned into a street on which I used to live. Excellent.

As he turned off, assuming I was going to keep driving, he gave me the finger out his window. But I followed him. He wasn't expecting that!

He drove slightly past my old house (it was lovely to see it again!) and turned right into a 'No Through Road' street just a few metres further along the street.

... and I looked like this.

Our dear friend the Meathead pulled into a driveway. So I parked across the road from the driveway and got out of the car. There was a knee-high brick fence along the driver's side of the driveway, and the Meathead had pulled far enough into the driveway for the little fence to come all the way past the end of his van. (This fence becomes more important a little later.)

He got out of the van with a parcel in his hand, and I could now tell that he was a courier. The van was unmarked, and he wasn't wearing a uniform (not that he was naked...), but he had a parcel and a clipboard. And it was at this point that we partook in a delightful little exchange. I repeat it for you now (and you should all know me well enough to trust that it's PRECISELY verbatim!):

Meathead: (With contempt) "How ya goin' mate!"

BEVIS: (Justifiably annoyed) "Yeah, hi."

Meathead: "It's not my f***ing house, mate."

BEVIS: "I don't care about that, I was just wonderin' if you were going to offer to pay for the mirror."

Meathead: "I'm not payin' for any f***in' mirror! If you're f***in' stupid enough to brake in front of me, you deserve everything you f***in' get!"

BEVIS: "Riiiiight..."

Meathead: "Tell your insurance company to get the cops onto me, if ya want."

BEVIS: "Nah, that's alright, I'll just shoot you in the foot." (Then I turned and started walking back to my car.)

Meathead (scoffing incredulously): "What?!"

BEVIS (turning back and taking great pleasure in yelling at Meathead like he's a stupid child): "I'LL SHOOT YOU IN THE FOOT!!"

This was met with startled silence. Looking back, I think it was the fact that some weedy little character had clearly gone over the edge, and big, beefy Meathead was unused to someone he'd antogonised actually getting mad and threatening him in return. He didn't say anything to me from this moment on, and I believe it's because of his uncertainty in my mental state (I'd really gone to town screaming my last line at him). He just couldn't be sure about me, or what I was going to do. Had he bitten off more than he could chew? He certainly had a big enough gut to swallow it, but maybe he'd choke on it first! (Sorry, I was having fun with that analogy!...)

The realistic-looking toy gun.

Anyway, while he stood on the doorstep in stunned silence, waiting for someone to take his parcel (no one came to the door; whether they weren't home or heard the yelling and wouldn't come to the door, I don't know), I walked back to my car, opened the door, sat down, and picked up the gun. I held it side on, so that he could see its profile, and I have to assure you it would have looked very real to him from where he was standing. I cocked the gun, and reached over into my
glove compartment for two licorice bullets. Black, rectangular objects that were the right shape and size! I pretended to load them into the gun, and snapped the back of the gun back into place in anger. I was acting more angry than I really was by now, enjoying the feeling of teaching this guy a lesson.

Not averse to a bit of acting, I was truly relishing in the role of 'crazed guy who has been pushed too far and something in his mind has snapped'. I felt the fury come to the boil, and I didn't fight it. I rode the wave of anger, knowing that the whole image was keeping him on the back foot.

I stood up and watched him, my gun by my side, but still showing him its profile in my hand. He put the parcel down and walked quickly to the van. I didn't want to let it go at that, so I yelled out, slightly crazily: "You messed with the WRONG maniac THIS time!!" He didn't respond. He just jumped into the van quickly, and started it up.

Another shot of a similar toy gun.

It was then that I thought he might reverse into me intentionally (although looking back at it now I know he wouldn't have - I had seriously scared him), so I started my car, drove to the next driveway, turned around, and sat there, waiting for him to reverse out first. When he saw that I planned to keep following him, he was clearly rattled.

Quite unsettled at this point, he reversed out of the driveway hurriedly. TOO hurriedly! Remember the small brick fence? He turned his van too quickly as he reversed, and collected the last metre or so of it, knocking it over. I didn't laugh at that, though (although I DO confess to feeling very satisfied at this new turn of events). He'd now caused more damage to the brick fence and his boss's van than he had to my twenty dollar mirror. And maybe he'd learnt a lesson along the way. (You see? I'd merely done a community service.)

Anyway, as he got out of the van to write a note (presumably to the owner of the house), I drove past him. Without looking, he gave me the finger again, over his shoulder. But I wasn't about to let him get in the last word. I made a big show of screeching to a halt, and reversing my car very noisily - really for show. As I said, I was acting now more than I was really angry. I was reveling in my new role of dominator - and he was new to him role of scaredy-cat!

Stopping my car next to him, I just sat there looking at him. But he didn't even look up at me. He had been writing a note, standing up and leaning on the driver's seat, but now he closed the door and walked around in front of the van. Where I couldn't shoot him!! I was pretty amused at that!

So I drove off. But by now I was having too much fun. I owed it to my brothers- and sisters-in-arms - all those who've fallen victim to pathetically unjustifiable road rage morons - to follow this through to the very end. So I turned the wrong way up the street, turned the car around, and parked just before the street Meathead was still in.

Two minutes later, Meathead drove up and saw me sitting right there waiting. And the moment was priceless! His face fell a little. He was dealing with a mad man! He'd certainly messed with the wrong maniac this time, as a very wise man once said.

He turned into the street and started heading back towards the main road - and I followed close (but not TOO close) behind. When we got back to the main road, we both pulled out into the middle lane. Now, I was due to turn left at the next big intersection, but I thought "Ah, what the hell! I've got a couple of hours spare, and I'm enjoying myself too much now to leave it alone!", so I stayed with him when he stopped in traffic at the lights. I sat there, smiling at him in his mirrors, until the traffic started to creep up behind us. Then he quickly pulled into the left lane in an attempt to lose me by swapping lanes. He was trying to put other cars between us, and I suddenly thought this might just get silly and dangerous, so I got bored and decided to go home anyway. So as he pulled into the left lane, I pulled into the left-turning lane and swept past him, flashing my light and waving.

But he didn't see me turn off, and the last I saw him, he was panicking and trying to get left before I did, pushing in front of other drivers in his attempt to do so. Silly Meathead! He didn't even know I wasn't there!

As I drove home, I realised that I felt largely appeased by what had happened, and rather enjoyed my stint as cowboy. It felt like the end of a movie, where the underdog finally comes good, and overcomes and maybe even humiliates the big, nasty bully.

Still, all that said, I don't really mean to glorify what I did. I just wanted to share it with you!

And before some of you try to warn me -- yes, I know he could have been writing down my number plate 'cos I "pulled a gun" on him, but I really doubt he'd try to report the incident if an investigation would reveal that he had not only started it, but he'd driven dangerously and damaged my car to boot.

Or to 'side mirror', anyway...

And I lived happily ever after. Amen. I hope you enjoyed the story. I think you'll agree, fairly normal behaviour.



Although I freely admit that it wasn't the best (or wisest) way to behave, I certainly felt like I'd taken a bit of revenge against road ragers on behalf of all those who've ever been abused on the road and sat fuming in their own anger, unable to do anything about it. I think our friend the Meathead would have thought twice about who he screamed at, intimidated and bullied from that day on. (You never know who might be carrying a gun!) And I don't think he'd have smashed anyone else's side mirror off their car! Plus, his boss may not have been too happy about the van knocking over the brick fence. Who knows how many people have benefited (through the flow-on effect) from the day I single-handedly changed Meathead's demeanor and made him a far more pleasant driver?

No - there's no need to thank me.



At Wednesday, February 07, 2007 1:44:00 pm, Blogger Spankk said...

...ahh, but I thank ye anyway

At Wednesday, February 07, 2007 1:45:00 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That is possibly the most reprehensible thing I've ever heard. I can't believe you're actually proud of what your moronic and incredibly dangerous actions.

At Wednesday, February 07, 2007 1:54:00 pm, Blogger BEVIS said...


At Wednesday, February 07, 2007 3:41:00 pm, Blogger Riss said...

I thought about you and this episode last month when there was talk about the psychological stress and emotional trauma experienced by victims of crime even when the weapon brandished in front of them was a replica.

Um, I probably wouldn't promote the fact that you did this as there is talk about amending laws regarding this sort of thing. Even though there was no chance of you performing the threatened action, you may still have been in big trouble and I'm sure you've grown up a lot since then...

I would have suggested taking down his number plate and calling the police to report it. If it was a courier then I'm sure that the people he was working for would want to know that their employee had been involved in the vandalism/destruction of someone else's property and would want to sign him up for anger management classes. Or he may even have been fired, depending on their Code of Conduct.

At Wednesday, February 07, 2007 4:45:00 pm, Blogger Spankk said...

anonymous... you my friend, are a gobbler

At Thursday, February 08, 2007 4:19:00 pm, Blogger MelbourneGirl said...

you know, there's something about this that's fishy bevis. i don't think i believe it. sounds like a fantasy - the weedy guy's revenge or something. but if it is true, and you know i love you, i kind of sit somewhere between anonymous and your pal riss there. hi riss, by the way.

which probably makes me a half gobbler. whatever that is.


At Thursday, February 08, 2007 4:23:00 pm, Blogger Kris said...

One word. Hilarious.

At Thursday, February 08, 2007 8:12:00 pm, Anonymous sbr said...

You reward is here:


At Thursday, February 08, 2007 8:46:00 pm, Blogger Riss said...

Hi melbournegirl. *waves*

I'm pretty sure that this happened much the way he describes it here. I remember receiving the email about it at the time.

I admit that I probably did find it amusing at first read (ten years ago) but was also probably slightly horrified at his audacity and slightly in awe, thinking that I would never have done anything like it in a million years.

At Thursday, February 08, 2007 10:55:00 pm, Anonymous Rosanna said...

I thank you for any more for making me laugh so damn loudly. Shut up, Anonymous.

At Thursday, February 08, 2007 11:48:00 pm, Blogger BEVIS said...

Before I respond to individual comments, I want to stress that I didn't intend to upset anyone with this post, ... but I guess I can't control how people take things they read.

Spankk, your second comment amused me very much! Nice to know you've got my back.

Anonymous, I'm sorry you feel that way. Bear in mind that this is a blog, and the writing is occasionally embellished for the sake of humour and/or drama. It's called poetic license and I'm not going to point out which parts of the story (if any) used this convention for the sake of telling the tale. Maybe most of it; maybe only a small part of it. But the point is, you should relax and just 'go with it'. Or think the worst of me if you want (there's nothing I could do to stop you and I wouldn't try). My only regret is that I think you're a regular blogger or commenter who decided to go 'anonymous' for that comment and I don't know who you are to show I'm still the same crazy wacky guy you know and love. (But if you're a lurker, it doesn't really bother me too much what you think.)

Riss, I think your comment/s have only added to the heat in this. Even if they amend the laws, they can't charge people retrospectively. I did what I did because his behaviour was completely uncalled for and needed addressing. If I'd taken down his details and reported him, he would have had my personal information as - and clearly he wasn't a very rational person. I didn't need him coming around and trashing my house in the middle of the night. I reacted in the only language he understood, and allowed my screaming psychotic-ness to startle him into silence. Teach him a lesson the only way he'll take notice; by out-'crazying' him. Also, the courier realisation only came to me late in the piece because, as I said, the van had no markings to identify him as such. :)

MelbourneGirl, I don't want to dispell the magic and mystery of the story, so I'll just say this: It was ten years ago and I wouldn't do it again now if it was to happen to me today. Who didn't do crazy things in their youth?

Kris, thank you - I'm glad you enjoyed it!

SBR, that's fantastic! What a find! Very entertaining stuff. Thanks for the link, I've been watching those clips for the past half hour.

Riss, I hope you were never scared of ME! :) And although you may remember the original email being somewhat similar to the above post, you don't really have any way of knowing how much or how little embellishment went into the original email ...

Rosanna, welcome! Hehe, thanks - I'm glad some people are reading it in the spirit in which it was intended.

At Friday, February 09, 2007 12:40:00 am, Blogger R H said...

"I cocked the gun, and reached over into myglove compartment for two licorice bullets. Black, rectangular objects that were the right shape and size! I pretended to load them into the gun, and snapped the back of the gun back into place..."

Buddy, I'm impartial on this, but that gun is an automatic; it loads with a clip, then you cock it to shove a round into the spout. -You can manually load a single round (no clip, or clip empty) into the spout by cocking it open, but you couldn't load two.
If I'd been meathead I'd have laughed.

At Friday, February 09, 2007 8:26:00 am, Blogger BEVIS said...

RH, welcome! Thanks for the gun info - I'm not gun savvy at all, and most people in Australia aren't. (Even if you're an Aussie, and you might be for all I know, you're in the minority if you're that knowledgable about guns.)

That just proves my point, though. Meathead was a dumb bully, and the craziness of the situation meant that such things weren't considered. :)

At Friday, February 09, 2007 10:04:00 am, Blogger meva said...

Oh bevis! I thought it was funny. Terrifying, but funny. I hate those tail-gating bullies on the roads. (But I'm a bit pleased/relieved it's embellished. Wouldn't want our Bevis in any danger.)

At Saturday, February 10, 2007 4:08:00 pm, Blogger R H said...

Can you trust an automatic anyway? They're inclined to jam, that's why the police use revolvers.

It was a good read, fairly gripping, but broke down in the end. If you'd just said you walked over and pulled out the gun it would have been much better. ("Too much info" maybe?)


Sorry for the pedantry.

At Sunday, February 11, 2007 9:31:00 pm, Blogger Chai said...

Which one is the whacko here?

Anyway, had friend tell me a similar story except was with a real gun. I think he was 18 at the time. It was his dad's gun. Got the life half beaten out of him when he told his dad what he'd done. Not sure what he was expecting.

At Tuesday, February 13, 2007 5:00:00 pm, Anonymous Skerminator said...

BEVIS, well done indeed! As I read I laughed, prompted mainly by my own experiences with the unfortunately frequent "meathead species".

Well done.

At Wednesday, February 14, 2007 2:39:00 pm, Blogger R H said...

I heard Phillip Adams on the radio, years ago, relating a similar experience. He was travelling on the Hume from Melbourne to Sydney, and a huge truck got on his rear bumper, trying to speed him up. He had a large replica revolver in his glove box; a film prop, which he pointed out at the truck, and which suddenly got very small in his rear-view mirror.

At Saturday, February 17, 2007 3:41:00 pm, Anonymous fairydust said...

There's an interesting connection between this post and the one about your neighbours, with all the talk of playing tricks on them, and the possibility of some retribution for the slights they have done you (whether they were intentional or not). Have you really changed from ten years ago?
Just a thought - You comment on the fact that your wing mirror was maybe $20, but you were still prepared to point a weapon (he didn't know it wasn't real, so for all intents and purposes to him it's a weapon) for such a small amount of damage. How would you have felt if he had a heart attack from the shock, because of your actions in defence of your $20 wing mirror? Oh that's right, and your pride (It's a bit disingenuous of you to claim it was in defence of everyone else that's ever been road-raged - was that the poetic licence you were talking about?).
As a last thought:
George Bush has used force to try and bully people he is scared of into submission, and created more fear, and more violence.
Gandhi used pacifism and the principle of turning the other cheek against his oppressors, and won independence from the British Empire for India.

At Saturday, February 17, 2007 10:40:00 pm, Blogger BEVIS said...

Meva, I thank you for your concern. The thrill and rush of adrenaline is really what got me through the encounter.

RH, sorry for going on so much!! :) Pedantry always welcome here.

Chai, I'm definitely the wacko. Using a real gun is just asking for big problems. I'd certainly never condone that.

Skerminator, thanks. It's funny how those who know me in real life know how to take this story, and (some of) those who don't are getting quite upset about it. Obviously you have to know me to see (most of) the joke.

RH, cool story! The moral of tales such as these is, "Don't intimidate other drivers on the road - you never know what the other person is capable of." If the bullies in these yarns acted like civilised human beings rather than blowing a gasket over the slightest things, they wouldn't be having the life scared out of them by plastic guns. Just calm down, dudes. Behave nicely and nobody'll have to draw a fake weapon.

FairyDust, welcome! Obviously, if Meathead had had a heart attack, I'd have searched his wallet for $20 to cover the cost of replacing the mirror and then high-tailed it outta there. And no, I haven't changed in the past ten years.

PS - I'm not interested in winning anything for India, but thank you for playing.


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