As some of you may have picked up from my eerily-detailed posts on the Arizona Cardinals, I am a longtime (in Arizona terms) Phoenix resident. This is all, however, coming to an end next month as I am relocating to the greener pastures of southern Nevada.
My wife and I found a nice little master planned community where young blaxito can start his preparations to attend some kind of basketball/football/baseball factory of a high school in a little over a decade. But, I have to admit, moving to the suburbs feels like a hard period to the end of my exciting young life. War, dick joke blogging, sky diving, living in a hip urban center — I’ve been enjoying the fast life. But pumping the brakes and slowing down….well, letting go is sometimes the hardest part. And for me, it was….until last week.
I don’t know if you all have like Filiberto’s (or Nico’s, Los Berto’s, Ericberto’s, etc) 24 hour taco shops where you’re at. Well, I’m sure the SoCal folks know what I’m talking about — not sure how prevalent they are in Calgary considering the bang up job we’ve done beating back the caravans with market-manipulating tariff threats on Mexico. Actually, it doesn’t even really matter for this story so I am going to move on.
The above is a screen capture of the Filiberto’s on Camelback just off the I-17 (note how the Country Boys Restaurant parking lot is right next to the Filiberto’s drive thru). It’s in a part of town that is not good. Not the worst, mind you, but very much not good. Being near the freeway you get a lot of that transient traffic.
So we’re getting our house here in Phoenix ready to sell and I found a neighbor who had some mulch available for free that I wanted to spread in our planters. I skipped out of work about 2:30p and, having not yet eaten, decided to grab a chile rellenos burrito before an afternoon of shoveling/hauling/spreading mulch in 100+ degree temperatures. I also need to drop off a crappy Harbor Freight pressure washer that I have in the back of my truck. I pull into the above-pictured Filiberto’s parking lot to hit the drive thru.
You know how when you’re driving, you constantly notice stuff that you almost-immediately forget? I watch the crosswalk counters as I approach intersections to see if I’m going to be getting a light change soon — but I couldn’t tell you what any of the counters were at once I arrive at my destination. So, as I’m pulling into the drive thru, I notice two men in the Country Boys parking lot. One, I think, works there and is heading towards the dumpster. The second is a dude about 50 feet (about 15.24 meters for Beerguyrob) away kind of jogging in the direction of the first guy. Not really jogging per se — more like whatever that gate is that you see high jumpers use to approach the bar.
Point is, this was weird but not necessarily out of the ordinary. What was weird was that, when the second dude saw my vehicle, he cut a 90 degree turn and headed right up the little slope there and hopped in the bed of my truck. Oh — did I mention the second dude was not wearing a shirt and was covered in a film of filth from head to toe? I hate to be one to give away the punchline around here but the guy was a tweaker.
Some people, like my brother, use tweaker pretty liberally. I don’t. I do tend to use this term and crackhead pretty interchangeably but that’s not important here.
So I got this tweaker in the bed of my truck. I mean, guy hopped in like I’m part of some drug-fueled parkour competition. He immediately starts moving towards the cab and I’m thinking, well, if he just crawls over the cab and takes off, that’s a palatable conclusion to this encounter. But he doesn’t he kinda half crawls up and then just starts slapping the top of my cab. I’m waiting for him to be like, “Hey man, buy me a taco!” but he isn’t communicating. Why? Because his brain is fucking fried and he probably has a mental illness. But I’m hungry so I slam on the gas and then the brakes, hoping to communicate my displeasure with my newfound passenger.
He does not appreciate the sentiment. I can tell because he starts to hit my back window. So I throw the vehicle in reverse and recommunicate my displeasure. After a slight stumble, the guy grabs the fucking pressure washer and tries to throw it through the rear window, hitting mostly the frame as I am already pulling forward and trying to take the drive thru corner fast enough to coax him out of my truck. Also, I am realizing that I don’t want to be stopped for any period of time with this situation escalating.
There is one car at the pick up window. I again try my reverse maneuver but, with very little real estate after the turn, feel the walls of guy-surviving-on-pseudoephedrine-and-lithium closing in on me. Then, like an angel, I see the Filiberto’s employee sticking his head out the window and he’s telling the car (I assume) to pull up and he’s waving me forward to get out of the drive thru.
“Oh yeah, that’s Troy. His shift doesn’t start until 4:30. Just go ahead and get out of here sir,” seems like the most likely choice of words there.
So I do pull forward and, wouldn’t you know it, the traffic on Camelback has a red light so I swing onto the road and floor it. V8 engine! All American! Truck nutz! Alloy frame! The nerds we used to copy off of in science class! Real people, not actors! I again hit the brakes and, this time, have generated adequate momentum that I get a solid skidding noise followed by the thud of a head against my rear window. I can tell I got him good because his response strike to the glass was pretty weak.
I roll down my window and yell at the guy to get out of my truck. No response. Floor it again. He’s kind of kneeling so I can see him in my rear view mirror. Brakes again. Duplicate screech and head-thud. No response strike. I’m sitting at the light to the on-ramp. Fuck it, I’m not going to get stuck here like a Trent Richardson in an Oklahoma Drill. I make the right hand turn and gun it down the frontage road. I don’t see the guy for a bit and, as soon as he sits up again, back on the brakes. I’m stopped on the frontage road and I’ve never seen traffic this nonexistence along this stretch. I yell at the guy some more to get out. He sort of sits up and I yell again. I guess he needs to catch his breath. But I see traffic is starting to move back at the intersection so we’re back on the gas.
I see the next intersection, Bethany Home Road, has a line of cars waiting. I pull into the a side street and come to a roll in the neighborhood. I yell at the guy again to get out of my truck. He finally pulls himself to the side of the bed and begins to crawl over. He gets part of the way over and I’m back on the gas. Dude tumbles out the side and, honestly, I could give a fuck if I ran over his ankle/leg/head. He’s an animal. Put him the fuck down.
Anyways, I stop a bit away and expect to see him lying in the middle of the road. No — he’s a fucking tweaker. He’s up like a goddamn X-Man and bounding off into some sketch apartment complex there.
So that’s the story of how I saved the life of some dude who was taking out the trash at Country Boys off I-17 and whatever part of me was still apprehensive about moving to the ‘burbs has been completely silenced.
See you all at the next Vegas [DFO] gettogether.