Thursday, May 24, 2012

Cinder Block Story



A short story from 1977. Why am I publishing it? Just re-living a time when I could be macho and idiotic without worrying about death, I suppose. Also, I happen to be a proponent of handling problems in the most direct and expedient fashion available, and this illustrates that approach nicely.

When I was 20, an idiot driver continually came screeching around the corner on our side street and then traveled up it at speeds far exceeding the legal limit. The noise bothered me and so did the attitude. It was unnerving, and very dangerous to neighborhood kids and pets (I had a cat at the time, and I didn't like the idea of letting him outside only to have him flattened by some a-hole doing 35 or 40 in a 20mph zone.)

Anyway, after about a week of this jerk pulling the same stunt three or four times every day, I had had enough. I was sitting in my living room, watching TV, when I heard his car, tires squealing, on another street nearby. I sprang into action.

We had recently had a wall repaired on our property. The wall was constructed of cinder blocks which, if you aren't familiar with them, are big whitish bricks weighing about five pounds each.





I ran outside, barefoot and shirtless, and picked up one of those cinder blocks. I then sprinted into the middle of the street just as this moron's car was careening around our corner. I held the cinder block over my head with both hands, hopeful that the angry look on my face made my intent obvious: to throw said cinder block through the next windshield that came near me.

Brakes were hit, the car squealed to a dead stop, then the driver reversed gears, backed up off of our street, and drove away. He never came down our street again.

In case you're wondering, yes, I would have put the brick through his windshield. I was young, pissed off, and didn't give a damn. But I'm glad he had sense enough to back off.

And that's the story. Feel free to discuss amongst yourselves.

Soon, with more better stuff.



28 comments:

Craig said...

Heh-heh-heh. . .

You remind me of when our family moved from our paradise Up North to the Chicago 'burbs at the end of my senior year of HS. We had a similar moron in our neighborhood, and my youngest brothers were 6 and 2.5. My brother (who was about the same age as me) and I finally got tired of his act. The next time we heard the tires squealing at the end of the street, we both grabbed a couple of inch-or-so-sized stones from next to the driveway, and when he got to our house, BANG, BANG - we zinged the stones into his door-panels. He screeched his brakes and got out of his car, and we had a frank and open exchange of views, concerning the presence of an abundance small children on our street. The fact that we were both decent-sized guys, and had him outnumbered, eventually carried the argument. . .

And where I come from, we call those 'Concrete Blocks'. 'Cuz, you know, they're made out of concrete. And the main industry in my hometown (and in fact, the provider of sustenance for our own family) was the cement plant. . .

Craig said...

But, you know, I think I like your approach better. I'm imagining yer guy leaving the street muttering to himself, "That mofo's crazy!" Whereas we were vulnerable to our guy coming back with his posse, or vandalizing our house at night, or whatever. . .

IT (aka Ivan Toblog) said...

We call 'em book shelf supports.

Someday I'm probably gonna get into a shouting match with one of the assweasels (I am well outnumbered) who speeds through my neighborhood. Meanwhile I delight in driving about 5 mph slower than the speed limit, particularly when one of those assclowns is behind me. I won't detail some of the other idiotic moves some drivers in the neighborhood make, other than to say I have had several opportunities o t-bone them and would have had I been at the posted limit.

Jenn Flynn-Shon said...

No matter how crazy he was he realized that some guy on a street he likely used as a shortcut was even more insane. Rather than calling the cops this guy was going to smash his windshield with a brick. A huge and heavy brick! Good for you because you got the point across without having to actually use the thing.

Gail Dixon (Louisiana Belle) said...

Sounds like something I would have attempted in my youth. I had a quick, hot temper back in the day. While it may not have been the wisest way to handle the problem, it worked! BTW, I thought you were going to say you put the cinder block in the street for him to hit with his tires, thus stopping him in his tracks. Your way was probably better. :)

Just Stuff From a Boomer said...

Yep that sounds like a 20 year old.. and not totally uncalled for I must say.

When my sister and I were teens we lived in the country, in Mi. After replacing our mailbox more than a couple of times after the good ole boys riding in the back of a pickup, would feel the need to swing at it with a baseball bat and demolish the thing. My father then cut heavy steel pipe, as a base and welded another appropriate size lead pipe, with a hanging door, to the top and sunk it all in concrete. He spray painted it a nice sparkling silver and then sat back and waited.

It got around school that our crazy ole man had a lead mail box. I would have loved to have seen how they discovered that. You couldn't do it now of course.

messymimi said...

Hmm, i may have threatened, but i wouldn't have wanted to actually throw it. Must say i admire your proactivity on this.

Joan said...

We had one of those in our old neighborhood too.
My husband had some very strong words for him. And then his father came over. LOL Parents can be idiots too. Turned out good though. The kid came back later, apoligized for himself and his dad.

Buck said...

With MY luck I'd get shot if I tried to do that. Especially when I lived in Dee-troit.

joeh said...

What a stupid immature ridiculous and reckless thing to do!!

Being 20 ain't all that bad..

Yipie Kay Ayy Mother Fucker!
Cranky Old Man

Karen said...

I'd have turned around, too! Glad it worked and you didn't have to throw it.

Tabor said...

You are one lucky dude. You might have killed someone and then spending much of your time paying for such an action. I can understand your anger, but I am glad he backed down as well.

Ami said...

I live in a school zone. People drive like dipshits, and a good portion of them actually have children IN the school.

I have pondered taking some size 7 kid clothing and stuffing it with newspaper or whatever and making a child sized dummy. And when the morons blow through the stop sign on the corner, toss the dummy onto their windshield from behind the shrubs on my corner.

I bet some moron would have a heart attack and I'd be the one in trouble, though.

Jeni said...

I'm really glad your mode of operation was successful -and no damage done to man or cars! I've got to add too that reading this I'm thinking boy, wouldn't that be a neat thing to do to the idiot down the street who persists in putting the pedal to the metal as he whizzes up and down the road in his pickup truck! Don't know if he'd be able to stop in time to avoid me if I did that. The big thing on our road once spring shows signs of arriving and continues until about the first snowfall is 4-wheelers! Loud and obnoxious drivers, speeding up and down the road (which is illegal just to have them on the highway for openers) until all hours of the night too! One day, about 2-3 years ago, Mandy was out raking in the yard and the looney tuners were zipping around on those buggies and it really ticked her off. She spotted (actually heard them before seeing them) a group coming down our road and away she went, rake in hand, and stood there in the middle of the road with the big garden rake upright, like a traffic cop stopping traffic. The first one in line stopped and boy, she reamed that fellow out big time, telling him that she had two small children, both with autism, who don't always understand, much less abide by safety standards and she'd appreciate it if they would stop running up and down the road that fast and that loud too! The police tend to just ignore them, saying they can't chase them and catch them once they get to the woodsy areas so they were really having free rein for a long time here. Either some of those clowns grew up or decided to ride elsewhere because that kind of traffic isn't near as bad as it used to be though.

Brighton Pensioner said...

Good on yer!

silly rabbit said...

Ha! Glad you didn't have to throw it, but kudos to you for stopping that jerk!

This is my husband's pet peeve. I can't count the times that we have been in the yard, someone zooms by and he yells at them to slow down. There is one UPS guy that really gets him crazy almost every single day. Calls to UPS don't seem to matter either.

Still... I'm a bit nervous to share this tale with him. I'm pretty sure that macho is contagious. =;]

The Broad said...

Well, glad the guy/jerk backed off -- you might have killed him -- and then we would all be worse off...

Daryl Edelstein said...

a man after my own insane heart ..

Suldog said...

As I've replied to a few folks via e-mail, I often wonder what exactly would have transpired had he kept coming. I mean, I know I would have put that thing through his windshield, but I suspect there would have been much collateral damage. I'm glad I never found out.

Michelle H. said...

Interesting. People who sped through alleys like that are usually up to no good, using the shortcut as an escape route after a theft or to avoid the cops seeing them. The fact he backed away without further incident kinda proves it. Glad nothing escalated from your "rebel with a cause" stance.

Kappa no He said...

I hope that guy still remembers that image of you with the concrete block and never go barrel-assing down any more roads.

Barbara said...

I expected you to put it in the middle of the street so he hit it as he drove past... would have been much safer for you, but I guess there would have been some legal ramifications afterwards because of damage to the a-hole's car. Obviously, since you weren't killed doing it this way, the method you chose was the best and most effective! Besides, I just love the image of your 20-year-old self standing there holding that block! On behalf of all the pets and kids on your street at the time, thank you!

Bill Yates said...

Oh my God; that was YOU?

Shrinky said...

Jeeze, the invulnerability of youth! Bet you wouldn't even think of doing that today, though. I kind of miss that sort of reckless courage we (well, some) have in our prime. Sure, it may well have landed you in hospital or prison had you been allowed to follow through, but - ahhhhhh, the adrenilin rush!

Shammickite said...

He never came down your street again? That's amazing. But foolhardy action on your behalf. But anyway, it worked.

Maggie May said...

Glad that the gesture worked before you actually broke the windscreen. Bit of a risky thing to do though as it would still be taken as threatening behaviour no matter what that speedster was up to.
Sure you've calmed down now and are wiser!
Maggie X

Nuts in May

lime said...

you had the moxie to do what i would have only fantasized about. i'd have been afraid the loon would have run me over. but hey, it got the job done.

Hilary said...

I'm glad you never had to find out but I understand the desire to something like this so well.

We live on a dead-end street which to those who don't know the neighbourhood well, appears like it will go straight through to a main thoroughfare. Folks get to the end of the street realizing their error and then hightail it out of here at ridiculously dangerous speeds for our many kidlets and pets.

One of the teens once stole a portable speed bump from a construction site, and placed it on our street. It worked beautifully until it was in turn, stolen from us. I'm glad he never considered the cinder block.