I have struggled a little with how to write this post without a) worrying my mother to death b) making the community in which I live sound like the ‘hood. But, it is too crazy of a story not to share, and a) my mother already caught wind of the story via Facebook when I said “and I haven’t even told you yet about running by the guy with the big ass gun” (nothing is secret anymore! 😉 ) so we might as well flush the details out b) I decided that these things can happen anywhere and it is only highly ironic that I often run in downtown Detroit, but this occurred in my suburb on a peaceful evening! c) that Facebook comment solicited several people saying that I had to fill them in now, so I go back to my it is too crazy not to share point! In the interest of making this less google-able I will not mention road names or place names – those of you who know where I live can figure it out!
So it was a peaceful weekday evening. Todd was out of town, out of the country in fact for work and Kacey had invited (ironically it turns out) to go downtown to watch a Tiger’s game. I turned her down since I was a single mother of three dogs and the week was fast becoming crazy….so I was getting my regular training run in. I was pretty proud that I had got going early enough to not be finishing in the dark, and the only amusing observation from my run was the number of people doing yard work with headphones in who were completely unaware of my impending arrival down the sidewalk and then looked shocked when they almost walked in front of me even if in each occasion I could see the collision coming from 50 yards away! It was one of those days when my legs were co-operating and I was clicking along at a decent pace, when I rounded the corner onto the main-ish road that would take me home.
As I rounded that corner I saw a kid (now I know I am getting old, but I would but this guy at 16) with a Peruvian style sock cap – you know the kind with strings hanging from the ears – working towards me with what looked like a semi-automatic weapon over his shoulder. Surely it couldn’t be? As the yards closed in my thoughts in rapid succession went
- 30 yds: Who would be stupid enough to carry a bag that looks like a military rifle (the kind Kacey and I had been slightly taken a back to see the police carrying at the Flying Pig Marathon, after the Boston bombings.)
- 25 yds: I don’t think that is a bag that looks like a gun, I think it really is a gun
- 20 yds: Yep, really a gun.
- 15yds: If this kid is a psycho looking for someone to shoot, I think it would draw more attention to me as a potential target if I quickly dart across the street after obviously realizing he has a gun (I am not really sure how I made this assessment, but it seemed to make sense at the time…)
- 10 yds: Since I am now going to be running within feet of the psycho with the gun, I think too much eye contact would also increase my chances of becoming the target
- 5 yds: But too little eye contact would also look shifty….if I were a psycho…let’s go with medium eye contact and a focused runner I don’t care about the gun over your shoulder look
- 0 yds: oh crap.
- -5 yds: OMG I am still alive, run as fast as you can and don’t look back.
I am not at all trying to make light of this situation. I seriously felt like I had just used one of my nine lives.
As I ran the remaining quarter mile home I wondered if that could really have just happened. I saw a guy across the street looking up the road and checking his phone. I can only assume he was looking for the police, but I was not about to hang around to find out.
So I made it home. I felt slightly foolish calling 9-1-1, to recount this seemingly unbelievable story, especially since I am no gun expert and had to say “I just passed a kid with what appeared to be a large semi-automatic weapon over his shoulder…” I think I found it more alarming when the operator calmly replied that they were aware and had a car on the way. Aware? So it really did just happen. A car? I’d be sending a SWAT team.
I felt the need to tell someone what had happen so called a local friend. Recounting it to someone who was not a calm 9-1-1 operator seemed to help, but I was half expecting to hear a vole of machine gun fire at any moment! Once I got off the phone, I walked over to the park to finish up with my post run drills, I scrapped the post run strides since I had cooled off while on the phone but went through the drills…the normality was kind of calming!
My friend and I scrubbed the local news for any reports of the incident, but apparently it wasn’t significant enough to make the news.
So there you go. #seenonmyrun a guy walking down the street with a big ass gun. Not many people can tweet that?
What’s the weirdest thing you’ve seen while out and about?