Earlier today I tweeted that my life had been threatened at a traffic signal. I think I owe it to you to explain a little. 

First, today is the first day of spring break. The kids are home. The wife took the week off. Tomorrow we’re going to Charleston for a few days. So today was a great day to get my wife and kids into the USPS for their passports. We arrived around 1030. By 1230 we’d gone a few feet, and I had to go to the bathroom. They don’t have public restrooms at the Post Office.  Nice, huh? So I drove home. A quick turn, a grab of a few snacks, and I was backing out of the driveway – when I saw a car up the road screaming down our street. I continue to back out. He was going to hit me. I stop. He flies by me, honking, and flipping me off. I breathe, then decide to follow him. My kids are downtown with my wife standing in the same exact spot (they weren’t on the line with me all morning, so I wasn’t being  selfish about driving home alone to go to the bathroom. Besides, I already have my passport. I just want all that to be clear) so it was just me and this guy. I look up, and he actually stops on my street, as if he’s waiting for me. I gun it. Then he guns it. I guess he was surprised I didn’t skulk back into my driveway or something. I have no idea. Anyway, we get to the bottom of our hill and he stops. Because there’s a stop sign. Which surprises me considering he was jut doing probably 60 in a 25 on a neighborhood street, honking and flipping its residents off. So I pull up next to him. He’s huge. Middle linebacker huge. But I’m right, and I take charge of the conversation. “Hi, I just wanted you to know that it’s 25 mph on our street.” Now don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t like Mr. Rogers. I was stern. With unforgiving eyes. Eyes that quickly notice he’s tightly gripping a screwdriver. “That’s fine but I’m going to stick this fucking screwdriver into your chest if you get out of that car.” 

Over the next one-half second I think 1) I don’t drive a car. 2) This dude is holding a screwdriver, looks like an NFL practice squad goon and is worried about me getting out to MY car? 3) He just threatened to kill me. For backing out of my driveway. I didn’t know what to say, so I said, “But why?” 

“BECAUSE I’M SICK OF ALL THIS SHIT!” And he sped off. I pulled up behind him at the light up the street and snap a picture of his license plate. No, I’m not going to post it here. I still might call the cops, but only because I think this guy might go off on someone else. He didn’t actually scare me. I was in the right. But still…

I then drove back downtown and waited with my people for another hour before they got their passport applications processed and we got to pay the US State Department for the freedom to move around the world. “We can go to Hawaii now!” My wife said. I sighed. Then told her about what had just happened. 

This is what we get for letting them change the tax day


Jim Mitchem – My wife didn’t really say that. But I couldn’t wrap this blog post up, and it sounded funny. So there’s that. Have a nice day.

Forced Perspective
Urban Camping in Charleston

Jim Mitchem

Writer. Father to daughters. Husband. Ad man. Raised by wolves. @jmitchem on twitter. First novel, Minor King, out now.