I had just started down my street to go get my doggie pal Echo for a walk when some idiot kids in a passing vehicle tossed a full pop can at me, narrowly missing me, and spraying me with ginger ale. The can struck the sidewalk as I fixed my eyes on the speeding car (and heard the cackling from within) and repeated the license plate number out loud, over and over, until I could get my Blackberry out of its holster and write the number down.
The 911 dispatcher promised me an officer and told me to get the pop can and wait. So, wait I did, improperly dressed for standing still in the chilly wind. My Blackberry kept me busy until nearly an hour later, I called the police again. “Is someone actually coming?”, I asked. “Because I’m going to my house.” I gave her – a different dispatcher this time – my address. Another 45 minutes later I decided to walk the dog. I realize my little incident wasn’t exactly September 11th but if that can had hit me it could have taken out an eye or done some real damage. They had AIMED for me. It was upsetting! I felt like a kid, bullied on the schoolyard for no reason other than just being handy. The thought of them doing it again and hitting someone as they went about their day made me feel terrible. But I left for the walk and figured I’d either hear something or I wouldn’t…by that point, two hours later and having heard nothing from London’s finest, frustration led me to care a lot less about saving other people from harm. THIS is why people don’t bother reporting idiots doing idiotic things. If I had had an appointment or a work obligation, I would have been seriously pissed. As it was, I was just severely annoyed.
Partway through my walk with Echo, my phone rang and it was the Constable assigned to my case. He had never even been told I would be at my house. I met him nearby and we chatted about the incident. He confirmed that my description of the car, vague as it was, and the license plate number matched a local vehicle. “If they have a young guy in the family, they’re not going to be happy to see me”, he said. I assured him that they’d be happier to see him than me, because I would be aiming a boot squarely at that young man’s future hopes of having a family. My fury rose again that someone would be so careless about my precious life!
It’s not a routine experience but it’s not exactly shocking, either, that something dangerous could happen in our sleepy little burg. Blame the parents, blame the school system, blame rap or crap or sap for all I care but the truth is this kid simply did not care that he might seriously hurt me. He consciously took that chance. Perhaps hurting a stranger was his goal and he drove off disappointed that his target remained upright. And while it may not have been the most serious problem in our city yesterday, if not for a few lucky centimetres of grace, it could have been the most serious thing that ever happened to me.