Self Defense in a McDonald's in Arkansas

Steve

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At the time I was working at McD's, you could smoke in them and they had little aluminum ashtrays, which were often made into weed pipes.
 

CB Jones

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I just got back from my daughter's wedding in Texas. Drove down from the Detroit area. It was a 2 day trip each way. Had a great time.

53847873_2117812954967610_3704359402459889664_n.jpg


On the way back, I stopped into a McDonald's in a small town in Arkansas. It was maybe 9 PM local time.

I noticed a tall muscular kid standing at the door looking out into the parking lot when I got out of my vehicle. My little internal voice registered him as trouble right away. However, I was hungry and I don't always just drive away at the first sign of trouble. Turned out to be foolish. Should have listened. I usually do. Not this time. You know that voice. I'm sure you hear it too. Situational awareness. Should have listened to it. My fault.

So I opened the door and walked in. Tall muscular dude gives way and I walk past him. The restaurant is nearly empty, but there are about 6 what I would judge to be teenagers in there, hanging out near the drink dispensers, laughing and joking around. Loud. Too loud. I'm keeping them in my peripheral vision. Now I'm thinking I made a mistake, but the damage is done, I'm in the lobby in front of the counter. There are no other customers in the place. I get it - the local toughs have made this an unhappy place to hang out.

I go ahead and make my order. Listening to my inner voice for the first time, I ask for it to go instead of to eat in the restaurant. I'm not going to try to brazen it out, I'm looking for an exit.

About that time, I start hearing huge hooting laughter. Like way loud. I look.

The biggest guy there, maybe 6' 5" or so and very muscular, has managed to get chocolate shake on the seat of his track suit (yes, track suit), like the old Nike things. Guess they're back in style now. It makes it look like he has soiled himself. Everyone is laughing at him. One guy is really laughing hard but he's watching me. He sees me look. He points at me and starts to hoot. "LOOK, EVEN THIS OLD DUDE IS LAUGHING AT YOU!"

Oh. Not good.

Mister Poopy Pants looks up from wiping the back of his track suit and says "I'm fixing to f*#@ you up." His hands make fists. No real heat in his voice, not yet. That's good. He makes eye contact with me. He's looking for something. I know what he's looking for in my face. You do too. You've been there. We all have.

I've got a bag of food, and an empty drink cup. He's standing in front of the drink dispenser. His boys are on all sides and they start to move in towards me. I look over at the restaurant employees - they are suddenly very busy with something else and won't make eye contact. I know where this is going.

...

I put a smile on my face, look Poopy Pants in the eye. "Happens to all of us at one time or another," I say. "No need to get upset, it's all good." I am being 'not a threat' and 'not aggressive' and 'not worth the bother'. That's what I'm doing.

I walk past Poopy Pants and fill my beverage with Diet Coke and ice. I'm now standing behind him, he didn't turn as I went past. I don't think he wants to be a bad guy. He's just big and angry and humiliated and his boys are laughing at him. All I have to do is not be an irritant or a threat or an excuse.

His boys are still hooting, really loud. The guy who tried to point Poopy Pants at me is still making eye contact with me. He wants me to get my butt kicked, he's the instigator. If I have to fight, I know who's getting it first, this guy. He's also the smaller one in the group. He's trying to fit in. He's not quite, so he's trying harder than he should. You know this guy. He's not a jock, but he hangs with jocks and hopes they will accept him. That kind of guy.

My cup is filled, the lid is on, I'm ready to go. Gotta walk past these guys. Nothing for it.

I keep my head up, smile on my face, non-threatening. I make eye contact with Mister Instigator, he with me. I'm telling him as well as I can through my eyes that if the caca hits the fan, he dies. I will go down, but he dies, first and with a quickness. No question that's going to happen. I'm not going after the biggest guy, Mister Poopy Pants, he's acting out because he's humiliated. I'm going after the little guy, the big mouth, the one who started this with me. I want his friends to see me kill him. My car key goes into his eyeball, then I drop the food and the key and grab the chair next to him. That goes into his brain housing group, as hard as I can swing it. And those McDonald's chairs are heavy. I'll hit him as many times as I can.

I'm checking out the chairs as I go. Can be used for weapons? Yep. Floor? Wet-ish tile. Slippery but my footing seems OK. They're all wearing these slick nylon style hoodies. Those get pulled over the top hockey fight style if I can manage it. Might get one or two that way, give me a second of confusion to run. I might go for the door, or I might vault the front counter and look for something dangerous to use as a weapon back there. Dunno. Are these guys armed? I can't tell, but they don't favor any side or have hands covering anything they might be wanting to protect. I'm thinking if they have any weapons, they're in their cars. Like me.

I've got my drink and bag of food in my left hand, I'm a rightie. Got my car key in my right. It's just the new-fangled style of one key with a fob that works like a switchblade kind of thing. I will sink it in a neck or eyeball if I can.

I press the button on the key fob for the car horn. It starts going off. Their heads whip around into the parking lot. My car is faced towards the door, the headlights are blinking. I walk past the group and out the door. I'm looking at my key fob like I'm just a doddering old man, made a mistake, hit the wrong button is all. Nothing to see here. Keep moving. I'm out the door.

I walk towards my car, hit the button again and the engine starts, lights and horn stop. I am listening as I walk. Not going to turn around. Just listening as I walk. Can't hear a thing. Severe pucker factor, but I think I'm good. There's no bravado, no rush, in going out into the parking lot after an old man who didn't threaten them in any way. They missed their shot to encircle me, push up their courage, and eventually take a poke at me in the restaurant for some imagined slight.

I get in the car. Seat belt on. Food down. Put car in gear.

I leave quietly, slowly, normally.

I pulled over at the next exit, which happened to be the state welcome center rest stop. I ate in the cab of my car.

Self defense? Yep. Exciting? Nope. But there it is.
...

That's a heck of a recall of detail and events
 

Buka

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Congrats on your daughter's wedding, Bill. (You look rather awesome in that photo by the way.)

Glad everything worked out like it did in that Mickey D's. But next time listen to that little voice. I kind of wish I was with you not listening to that voice though.

Bigger question is - did you get fries with that order?
 

JR 137

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At the time I was working at McD's, you could smoke in them and they had little aluminum ashtrays, which were often made into weed pipes.
The good old days :)

It’s good to go into a Denny’s late on Friday night and not have to wait for and/or deal with the miscreants doing nothing but smoking cigarettes and getting free refills on their soda for hours though. That got annoying. But perhaps playing Xbox online would’ve killed it anyway if the indoor smoking ban didn’t happen.
 

Kung Fu Wang

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The good old days :)
I still remember

- I got paid $1.50 an hour when I worked in Kentucky Fried Chicken. After a year and half I got raised to $1.60 an hour.
- My UT Austin tuition was $200 per semester (for foreign student. local student was $50 per semester).
- My apartment rent was $30 a month.
- Gasoline was $0.24 per gallon during gasoline war.
- Coffee from machine was 5 cent a cup.
- Candy bar from machine was 10 cent each.

I could work in Kentucky Fried Chicken for 20 hours a week to support myself to finish 4 years college.
 
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punisher73

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First, again congrats on the wedding! Your daughter looks beautiful and you look very distinguished in the picture.

Second, Bill made the best of a bad situation. Can't second guess any could've, would've, should've's when he went in. It was what it was and he handled it well without issue.
 

jks9199

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I get it. I was a bouncer at little league baseball games for two seasons. I was responsible for protecting the umpires and keeping peace in the bleachers. You'd be surprised how busy I was, lol.
No. No, I wouldn't.

Youth football games can be worse.
 

JR 137

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I get it. I was a bouncer at little league baseball games for two seasons. I was responsible for protecting the umpires and keeping peace in the bleachers. You'd be surprised how busy I was, lol.
I refereed youth soccer for 2 seasons. Fortunately it was in my hometown which isn’t very big and quite a few people knew I was competing in and a black belt in a Kyokushin offshoot. One guy got really mouthy because I made a bad call. A friend of mine’s kid was on the same team as his and they were together, so I acknowledged the mistake at halftime. It didn’t change the outcome of the game by any means. The guy gets really ignorant and mildly threatens me. I acted like I didn’t hear it walked away nonchalantly. Wouldn’t you know it, my buddy starts laughing hysterically at him while I’ve got my back turned and tells him “you’ve got no clue who you’re talking $hit to, do you? He’ll knock you out before you knew you what hit you.” I chuckled and had to give my buddy a nod. Felt good for a second or two.

Far worse than what was said to me a bunch times was what the parents were saying to their kids. And the kids were 5-9 years old. A friend of mine started and ran the league, so I was helping him out. I knew the game well enough and did a pretty good job, but I was just doing it for beer money (it was Saturday mornings and they paid me cash, so I had it ready to go for the bars later that night) and to run around a bit. There were far better ways to achieve both, so I stopped after the second season.
 

Tames D

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I refereed youth soccer for 2 seasons. Fortunately it was in my hometown which isn’t very big and quite a few people knew I was competing in and a black belt in a Kyokushin offshoot. One guy got really mouthy because I made a bad call. A friend of mine’s kid was on the same team as his and they were together, so I acknowledged the mistake at halftime. It didn’t change the outcome of the game by any means. The guy gets really ignorant and mildly threatens me. I acted like I didn’t hear it walked away nonchalantly. Wouldn’t you know it, my buddy starts laughing hysterically at him while I’ve got my back turned and tells him “you’ve got no clue who you’re talking $hit to, do you? He’ll knock you out before you knew you what hit you.” I chuckled and had to give my buddy a nod. Felt good for a second or two.

Far worse than what was said to me a bunch times was what the parents were saying to their kids. And the kids were 5-9 years old. A friend of mine started and ran the league, so I was helping him out. I knew the game well enough and did a pretty good job, but I was just doing it for beer money (it was Saturday mornings and they paid me cash, so I had it ready to go for the bars later that night) and to run around a bit. There were far better ways to achieve both, so I stopped after the second season.
That's an awesome feeling to be acknowledged like that. Probably had that guy seeing you in a different light :).
Two seasons was my limit too.
 

JR 137

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That's an awesome feeling to be acknowledged like that. Probably had that guy seeing you in a different light :).
Two seasons was my limit too.
It was a good feeling for a few seconds. Then it was more of a “so what if my buddy thinks I can kick some jackass who likes to run his mouth’s butt.”
 

Leviathan

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I find the title misleading: there was no attack so no need to defend yourself and therefore no self defense.

But a smart way to sneak out of a dangerous situation. Well done.
 

Bruce7

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I refereed youth soccer for 2 seasons. Fortunately it was in my hometown which isn’t very big and quite a few people knew I was competing in and a black belt in a Kyokushin offshoot. One guy got really mouthy because I made a bad call. A friend of mine’s kid was on the same team as his and they were together, so I acknowledged the mistake at halftime. It didn’t change the outcome of the game by any means. The guy gets really ignorant and mildly threatens me. I acted like I didn’t hear it walked away nonchalantly. Wouldn’t you know it, my buddy starts laughing hysterically at him while I’ve got my back turned and tells him “you’ve got no clue who you’re talking $hit to, do you? He’ll knock you out before you knew you what hit you.” I chuckled and had to give my buddy a nod. Felt good for a second or two.

Far worse than what was said to me a bunch times was what the parents were saying to their kids. And the kids were 5-9 years old. A friend of mine started and ran the league, so I was helping him out. I knew the game well enough and did a pretty good job, but I was just doing it for beer money (it was Saturday mornings and they paid me cash, so I had it ready to go for the bars later that night) and to run around a bit. There were far better ways to achieve both, so I stopped after the second season.

Parents at Competitive Club GOLD team games can be a problem.
They spend hundreds of dollars for trainers and the teams go all over the country.
IMO they push young kids much to hard,
Coaching High School Soccer or High School Tennis, I never had a problem with parent or child.

Most of the time.
Winning in club is more important than winning state in soccer for scholarships.
Same is true in tennis, USTA Super Champs in Texas, California, or Florida gets the best scholarships.
Winning State in Texas for example will get you a lesser scholarship than being a Super Champ in Texas.
A lot of Super Champs don't play for there high school team
Which is good because it lets other very good tennis players feel successful that may not have the resources of a Super Champ.
 

Bruce7

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I am sorry to get off topic.
It just really irritates me that a lot of kids don't get a chance to excel to their potential, because of money.
As a high school tennis coach I would get freshman with a lot of potential who knew little of tennis or what they did know was wrong.
Some of these players by their Sr. year made it to state, but they could have done much more with the right resources.
They could have gotten scholarships they really needed.

UIL limits the number of practice hours per week I can coach the team.
It was not legal under UIL rules for me to give private lesson to students after practice.
I could give lesson to anyone, but not my students under UIL rules.

Students with money took expense private lessons and their parents took them all over the state year round playing in USTA tournaments.
Most parents with money start their children's private lessons at a young age, so they have years of practice before non-rich students ever get started. Sorry for the rant.
 

JR 137

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Parents at Competitive Club GOLD team games can be a problem.
They spend hundreds of dollars for trainers and the teams go all over the country.
IMO they push young kids much to hard,
Coaching High School Soccer or High School Tennis, I never had a problem with parent or child.

Most of the time.
Winning in club is more important than winning state in soccer for scholarships.
Same is true in tennis, USTA Super Champs in Texas, California, or Florida gets the best scholarships.
Winning State in Texas for example will get you a lesser scholarship than being a Super Champ in Texas.
A lot of Super Champs don't play for there high school team
Which is good because it lets other very good tennis players feel successful that may not have the resources of a Super Champ.
Higher level college coaches aren’t recruiting very much based on high school play; it’s more club and other stuff like that that they’re looking at. Simple reason - the level of competition is generally higher. Club teams are far more all-star vs all-star. In high school games there’s a lot more mismatches. You see the players play with and against better players on a regular basis. Of course there’s very high level high school teams, but the overall talent level is diluted compared to club teams. Most of the time anyway.
 

JR 137

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I am sorry to get off topic.
It just really irritates me that a lot of kids don't get a chance to excel to their potential, because of money.
As a high school tennis coach I would get freshman with a lot of potential who knew little of tennis or what they did know was wrong.
Some of these players by their Sr. year made it to state, but they could have done much more with the right resources.
They could have gotten scholarships they really needed.

UIL limits the number of practice hours per week I can coach the team.
It was not legal under UIL rules for me to give private lesson to students after practice.
I could give lesson to anyone, but not my students under UIL rules.

Students with money took expense private lessons and their parents took them all over the state year round playing in USTA tournaments.
Most parents with money start their children's private lessons at a young age, so they have years of practice before non-rich students ever get started. Sorry for the rant.
Sports mirror society. Wealthier people have access to better educational resources too. Private tutoring, elite private schools, etc. Harvard and the like aren’t full of working class and below students for many reasons, this being one of them. They’re not accepting a whole lot of kids from public schools.
 

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