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April 19, 2007

"I find need of an old gift and manage to check in without having to kill anyone."

The hotel valet isn't standing at the entrance when I arrive so after a minute of looking around I decide to park in the lot behind the hotel and haul my bags in. The lot is poorly lit so I'm fumbling around with just the light of the trunk to really see by.

As I remove the big bag I notice I'm not alone. Two listing, slightly drunk residents have come from around the far building to the northwest notice me and are whispering. The two of them, hat guy and leather jacket man split up and as one walks towards me the other begins to curve around widely to my right. As he walks closer the one wearing the hat asks "Can you lend me some cash?" Meanwhile, his partner, leather jacket man, is still walking to my right and trying to get behind me.


If it is just a drunken request for money my reply should nip it in the bud: "I'm sorry. I can't. I have to check in."

Nope. He's still walking closer and giving the other guys looks as they are both still moving towards me and laughing. If I ever had “You’re about to get rolled” radar it’s now pegging.

Double $#@%!

In 1989 my Brother gave me a present. Knowing my appreciation for his Gerber knife collection he finally decided that giving me one of my own would spare him wear and tear on his. To this end he bought me a Gerber Mark II CS. (Poke around on the internet for a while and you can find some pictures.) When I was commuting to school and walking down some ugly streets I used to keep it in my book pack with my books. When I lived in the world’s worst neighborhood my first year in Baltimore it never left my bag. About 8 years ago I actually got serious enough to take a course on what to do with one and even went so far as to get an offhand companion. (A Mark 1 if you’re curious.) These days both knives sit out of Jack’s reach in the top of my closet. It’s only an old instinct that caused me to put them in my backpack before I left and now I find myself grabbing both as I turn with my back to the truck.

Hat guy starts to say something else as he starts to walk closer but I say, “Both of you just move on,” and hit the panic button on the car alarm at the same time. I’m standing where I can see the two of them clearly now.

They stop, look at each other, and back at me. Hat guy motions the jacket man towards me and is nodding.

“Just move on.”

The two of them are both flinching from the alarm horn and the lights. With the lights around me they can’t see what I have in my hands but both of them realize I have something. Deciding I am more trouble than I am worth they team up again they start heading to the sidewalk. When they’re far enough away I close the hatch, turn off the alarm and walk into the hotel. When I tell the woman at the desk to call the cops and explain what happened she asks me if I still want to check in. The police call goes well with full descriptions and ends with the officer saying I did the right thing. After I hang up I call it a night. The valet shows up shortly and wants to know if he can help with anything.

The next night the lights are all on in the parking lot. My Brother and Dad both also agree that I should just forgo the knives and get a gun. ("It's easier just to shoot them from 10 feet than stabbing them at 2.")

Posted by Jim at April 19, 2007 12:15 AM


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