Sunday, May 25, 2008

The best mugging ever

Yesterday I went to see the Rox Sox play the A's in Oakland. Shortly after getting off the train, I learned the folks I was meeting would be about half an hour late.

"Oh good, I'll have time to get shot before the game," I joked.

Shot, no. Mugged, maybe.

Regardless, I threw on my ipod and went for a walk through an industrial stretch, where I saw recycling plants, abandoned trucks and this sign:

I'm heading back toward civilization when a young guy on a bike stops and asks me the time. I'm a little suspicious, but we're in a fairly populated area, so I feel safe enough to oblige.

"Sure," I say, pulling my phone out of my back pocket. "It's 5:57."

"No, I want the time," dude says. "On Your ipod." He illustrates by tugging on the cord of my headphones.

(Are you kidding me? You're right, sir, I never can trust the time on these crappy phones, either. Let me just double-check it here on my IPOD. Oh! Do you like that IPOD? Would you like to hold it? It's an 80 GB!)

Now I'm no fool - my ipod, tucked away safely in my inside jacket pocket, is going to pose quite a challenge for our little music lover. Still, the fact that he's got his hands on me is a little unnerving.

"How about you get the fuck off me?" I say in my tough voice.

"I want the time. On your ipod. Your ipod," he keeps repeating. I get the feeling he's a little nervous. Maybe this is his first time.

As Rainman keeps mumbling, I look over his shoulder and see that we're being watched by two cops in a patrol car. Poor kid - isn't that the first thing they teach you in mugging school? Don't try to shake someone down in front of the fuzz?

I'm immensely relieved to see the police there, but I also don't want this dumbass to do something stupid and wind up in jail. You can tell the cops are just waiting for him to make his move.

"I really don't think you want to do this right now," I warn. He doesn't catch my drift - he's still distracted by my headphones - so I add, "Turn around, asshole."

This does the trick, and finally, we part ways. A minute later I hear the whoop-whoop of a police car, and the cops pull up beside me and ask if I "knew that guy." No, I tell them, but it's all right. Let it go.

So, moral is, no more ipods in Oakland. Next time I might not be so lucky - so amazingly, stupidly lucky. And neither might he.


Anonymous said...

You're much nicer to a potential mugger than I would be. I wonder if the a-hole learned a lesson, but I'm guessing not.

John said...

nice one! lucky for that little punk he didn't end up with a broken neck and a pellet in his head.

Eden From Sweden said...

Too bad you didn't have a stunned Manteca yard bird to throw at him. Scoop one out of the yard and keep it in your pocket next time you go into the Big City. Those fuckers don't know who they're messing with!

sharon.horowitz said...

An idea widely circulated but still ignored in NYC: don't wear the typical white ipod headphones.

Anonymous said...

Okay. Other ways to ward off a mugging:

When he was about 19, my friend Jon was standing at a bus stop in New Haven with a few friends late one night when a few guys approached them and told them to hand over their money. John, who is about five feet tall (I'm not exaggerating), started screaming, jumped up onto the bus stop bench, ripped his shirt off (this was Dec. 26, mind) and waved his arms around. The wannabe muggers turned around and ran off.


-Brian L.