A little while ago I was out eating with my parents and a bunch of people my mom works with at an awesome Italian restaurant on the north side of
Chicago. We ended up leaving around 1 or 2 in the morning and had to take the red line (I think it was the red) down to Michigan and Roosevelt. We get
on the train, and it is filled with shady characters. Thankfully, though, they all seemed pretty content focusing on their own problems and not us. We
did not fit in there at ALL!
My mom is totally oblivious to her surroundings, which is normal for her, but I’m just kind of keeping an eye on the crowd. After all, it’s around
2 AM, we’re on the mobile apartment of Chicago, and some of these people just did not look right. As I said, though, everyone was minding their own
business and there are no problems.
There was a cop on the train for a little bit, and as soon as he got off, two people lit up cigarettes. My mom’s a heavy smoker, but tries to be
courteous (when she notices) to others with it and is very outspoken. Probably where I got it
The two people who lit up were very different. The first one to light the smoke looked like the cliché crack head. Gangly, completely out of it,
missing teeth all over the place, dirty, and just didn’t look good. He was probably in his early 40s, too. The other person was a drunken college
kid. In his 20s, goatee, trying to look tough, and lights up a smoke when he sees the other guy doing it.
Then I hear some terrifying words. “I’m going to ask them to stop.” Already knowing the battle is over, I try to explain to her that this is not
the situation to do something like that. Her response? “I’m going to do it.”
And she does. The college kid, after being berated by this dumpy middle-aged woman, looks embarrassed and puts his treat out right away. The other
guy’s response is…slightly less civilized. This guy starts out angry, and starts building off of it. Every word you can imagine starts flowing out
of this guy’s mouth at my mom. I think she defended her statement at first, so this guy stands up. Crap, he’s at least 7 feet tall, towering over
us, spewing forth filth from his mouth.
We ignore him, and he goes back to his seat, and starts trying to rally the other people on the bus. Making comments like, “who does this white
bitch think she is to tell [I]us[/I] what [I]we[/I] should do on [I]our[/I] train?!” He told the other kid who was smoking to pick it up, start
smoking it again and “F#$% that fat bitch!”
This was just going from bad to worse, and my mom is totally oblivious. Thankfully, Roosevelt was the next stop, so he didn’t have much time to
rally up a mob. Plus, everyone on the train was actively trying to ignore this guy. One guy was looking at us with a pretty dirty look, but it
didn’t look like he was going to get much support; most saw him as just a complete dink.
The train stops and we go to get off. I look over my shoulder as I step off, and the guy’s still sitting there. Whew! We get off the train and start
walking to the stairs to get outta there. I check behind me again, and there he is as the train pulls away, face like a storm cloud, staring at my mom
as he walks towards us.
At the time this happened, I had been going to a private instructor for martial arts for about 2 years. I was at that super dangerous point where I
started getting the basics down pat and thought I could take anyone and their army.
I lean over to my mom (she’s about a foot shorter than I am, so I gotta lean
) and tell her to keep going towards the exit. There is usually a
cop up there, but where we were there was zero visibility from the upper floor. It also turned out that the cop wasn’t there that night, either. She
looks behind her, sees the guy, and looks over at me with a huff saying, “quit it Jake, the world isn’t as dangerous as you and your dad seem to
think it is.” (When this was recounted to my dad, I heard about 10 similar stories from him about her.)
I tell her to just go, she huffs, and starts walking towards the stairs. The other guy is still coming. I turn around, stop, and just stare at him as
my mom starts to walk off. He sees me standing there. It looked like it was the first time he noticed my mom wasn’t walking away from the train
alone, because he was a little taken aback before he responded with, “what the f$^# is your problem, cracker!?” I didn’t say a thing, just
continued to stare at him. As he got closer to me, he started to slow down, and I sidestepped to block his view of my mom and get in his way.
You could see the conflict that was taking place in his mind on his face. He really seemed to want my mom dead, but he was unsure about me. He started
to step forward, looked behind himself (I can only imagine to see if anyone else from the train followed him), screamed some obscenities at my mom,
looked at me and yelled, “And F&%$ You, too, man! F%$$ you!” Then, he turned around and walked back to the end of the platform.
I joined my mom at the top of the stairs, glancing over my shoulder to see what he was doing because I didn’t see any exit in the direction he had
turned. She, apparently, had watched the whole thing. “Hmm…Maybe that was worse than I thought…”
So, not really how to avoid a mugging, but I have to say that I have gotten out of some really nasty situations without any violence breaking out just
by making that person (or persons) question if there is really a threat in front of them. The muggings I have avoided have all been through
observation (seeing them before they get to you; it’s usually pretty easy to see when you’re a mark) and intimidation (when 4 guys tell you to
give them your money, you say no, they ask if you want all 4 of them to kill you, and you respond with a big grin and a nod, they seem to assume
you’re either packin’ heat or another Neo).
Hope y’all enjoyed this retelling of a wonderful event that took place several years ago that popped into my head as something that would be fun to
post on BTS as I was coming back from lunch! Rock, rock on!