Protocol follow up…

Regarding yesterday’s post, I promised to update you on how I handled it and discuss the issue some more.

First, how I handled it…
I was basically looking out the door of the station when I watched her spit in the helmet, as she entered the station I simply asked, “Why did you feel the need to spit in my helmet?”

She mumbled something I didn’t hear clearly or understand.

I then asked, “Would you feel better if you spit on me instead of my stuff?”

She clearly replied, “F*ck off.” and brushed around me.

I stood there for about 30 seconds resisting the urge to tear her apart into itsy-bitsy pieces, then left the store, tied the helmet on the sissy bar, and headed onward, lidless, to continue with my life. Gotta admit…in the heat and the darkening night, lidless felt good…

Note: I’m not really satisfied with my response, there SHOULD BE CONSEQUENCES for this kind of action, but even after a couple days of pondering, I still don’t have a better one.

Some discussion:

Laugh it off
Do not underrate the level of contempt for her fellow humans this lady must have. She does not know me, we had no previous interaction. I regard somebody that has so little respect for other people and their property as less than human…they’ve lost that soul…that compassion and spark that makes them different from your garden variety predatory animal. She is, basically, a psychopath.

Race:
I honestly don’t believe race was a factor in the original act. We’d had no previous interaction, I don’t think she was at the pump when I first entered the store…in short, I don’t think she was aware of my race, size, shape, or gender, though an assumption could have easily been made. All she could know for sure was that the rider of that machine was a rider, and wears a helmet.

The reason I mentioned race in the post, is because it most certainly DOES matter, easily as much as gender, when you are evaluating how to deal with a conflict with another person that you have no other information about. Only the stupidly politically correct, “unicorns farting rainbows” level of naive would insist otherwise.

Gender, race, dress-style, build, car she was driving, she be a bitch (actions louder than words thing)…this is the sole content of the information I have to formulate a response at that point.

Possible responses change depending on context and the person you are responding to. I am dead certain I would handle it differently if it had been another white-male-biker rather than some small black chick in a dress…(still not sure what that response would be though)

The Cops:
Calling the police would have been ineffective at best. I’m not sure they would even come out, and you need to remember, when they do, they are NOT your friends.

300 pound biker calls 911, “I just saw some 100-pound chick in a dress and heels spit in my helmet. She drove away (points that-a-way) in a silver sedan”

Yeah, think about how that would go.

At most, she committed disorderly conduct, and the cop would have to actually witness that to do anything.

DNA evidence? Seriously? You’ve been watching WAY too many crime shows. DNA testing costs thousands and takes months.

It’s so expensive and time consuming that cops don’t use it even in very serious prosecutions unless they’ve got nothing else, and defense drones won’t use it unless you cough up the cash…in advance.

As much as I LOVE bad-girl Abby from NCIS, she’s not gonna DNA test the spittle in my helmet and have me a result in 8 minutes. That’s a complete myth.

Physical/retaliatory response:
There should be consequences to that sort of action, but what? I’d have liked to put her over my knee and paddle her till she couldn’t sit down for a week, but pretty much anything I did in this situation would have been, “300-pound white-biker dude terrorizes young black woman”.

So far, no crime has really been committed. Maybe the disorderly conduct thing, if there was a cop around to see it, but without damage there is no vandalism etc.

(suggested) Punch a tire or two on her car? Felony vandalism.

(suggested) Piss in her driver’s seat? Felony vandalism AND an exposure charge.

Even look at her crossly? Yeah, assault, and since I’m three times her size, white, and male, they’d add that “with intent to cause grievous bodily harm” thing and maybe battery and terrorism and escalate it to a “hate crime” just for good measure.

And so on. I’d like to say I thought all this out, but basically, I fled the scene to keep myself from doing something stupid. I am slow to anger…but I was angry.

I wish I’d taken a picture of her…at least I could shame her in perpetuity in this blog!

My favorite suggestion of all I’ve gotten was from my friend Larry, who says:
Smile, say, “What does not kill us makes us stronger, thanks for spitting in my helmet” and wink at her. If I was quick enough, I’d do it while holding the door open for her like a true Texas Gentleman. I’d also ask the store clerk where I could wash this lady’s spit (while pointing her out) out of my helmet (even if the water hose or sink is obvious).

Larry goes on to say:
You can’t fix hate, but you can point it out without stooping to their level.

I doubt there will be another time…I’ve never encountered this in nearly a million miles of riding…but if there is, I’ll try to use that.

The only way to win is not to play.

Ah well. Life’s too short to sweat it…the VAST majority of my encounters on the road are positive ones. I just can’t grock the mindset of somebody that would do this for no apparent reason.

CUAgain,
Daniel Meyer

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2 Responses to Protocol follow up…

  1. RayW says:

    Not sure how I would have handled it…especially after a day like I’ve had today dealing with idiots….
    but…I do like Larry’s suggestion. And if the woman was a regular at that station and you made a point of letting the attendant know what happened by asking for a place to clean your helmet, the employees would know her after that as “the chick that spits in helmets”. Who knows, he may have been a rider himself and might have gotten revenge for you the next time she showed up. Or….he might have been able to tell you that the love of her life was killed by Hell’s Angels or something. Ya just never know.

    Personally…I’m afraid I would probably have keyed her car if I reacted at all. It’s just been that kind of year.

  2. bandito2 says:

    I think I’m with your friend Larry on this. And you might consider it to have been a variation on the scenario that you did a blog on from 11 years ago called “Angels in Unlikely Places” How we respond (or just react) to things in life certainly may make a difference in things that follow later on in life.

    So why not “Unlikely Angels in Places”? Who knows what angels we meet along this road called life? And why not be tested and tempered by the unexpected and unlikely beings that cross our path through our journey?

    I’m just a fellow traveler through this blip in time, but I think you did right by not bowing down to the more primal urges. Absolutely fine that you recognized that notion but held it in abeyance in favor of a higher level of civility. Trial and tempering by fire… even if they are small ones. (that spit in your helmet)

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