For being in Chicago for almost five years, I’ve been fairly lucky as I’d never been mugged. I always wondered if it was because I didn’t look like the type that would be packing a fat wallet, because I’ve certainly traveled alone at night enough to put myself at risk.
Last night, I was riding home on the L, and the train was one stop away from where I get off. I was pretty tired but still lucid; as it was 4:30, but I was still lucid thanks to a very early post-party breakfast. I was dressed to the nines as well, wearing a vest, tie & fedora as I often do when I’m out. The guy sitting across the aisle then very noticeably put his hand under his hoodie, and then started fidgeting in his seat. I think me must have thought I wasn’t paying attention to him, as I probably looked pretty zonked. I’d had a good night, but i was meditating on the craziness of the past couple months of my life in general, which put me in a bit of an irate mood, as well.
The guy, this cooked scrawny bum-looking character then leans over and says “hey, I’ve got a gun.” No he doesn’t. He has a hand under his shirt. I saw the fool put it there. He was fidgeting with it. I saw his round finger, not a cylindrical barrel sticking out from his stupid sweater. He’d given me like, a minute to look at him fool and try and get it right. I looked at him, and went back to to ignoring him.
He’s obviously pissed, so he says “hey, I’ve got a gun. Give me your wallet.” Dammit. I don’t want to put up with this bullshit. I’m used to aggressive situations; I’ve been in a couple fights as an adult before (not proudly, being jumped in a foreign country sucks), so I wasn’t going to lose my cool here. I drew a blank stare, and put my hand in my front pocket.
Getting away with that, too, told me that this guy was an amateur. If he was serious, I should have gotten my ass beat. No one carries their wallet in a front pocket. He was too concerned with getting his cash to realize that. Poor bastard didn’t know I was calling on a friend.
Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to introduce Mr. Twisty:
Mr. Twisty is an Italian-made Damascus blade “leverletto”, which means that he is an Italian-style stiletto knife with a German lever release mechanism. Not as fast of an action as a traditional switchblade, but much safer to carry. When I reached into my pocket, I palmed my knife and flipped the trigger down, into a ready state.
I was still giving this guy a blank stare, just waiting for him to move. When you’re in a confrontation where you have an obvious advantage, you never want to tip your hand, and that’s what this guy thought. He interpreted my deal look as fear, but it was just calm and resentment. Here I was with this guy sitting across from me trying to mug me with a fake gun, and I have my hand on the trigger of a switchblade. He kept on leaving himself open, and I debated the merits of kicking this guy in the face when he sat in the seat on his bench nearer to me. Finally, he worked up the courage to do something. “So are you going to give me your wallet, or am I going to have to take it?”
That’s when he got up, and that was my cue. I pulled Mr. Twisty from my pocket and sprung from my seat. The scraggly bum damn near shit a brick, as I watched a cell phone fly from under his hoodie (his very poorly done fake gun), and he started backpedaling as fast as he could manage. I yelled at him to stay back, and he did a good job of it. Thankfully, the train was just pulling into my stop as this all went down. “I’m getting off, you’re staying here,” I said, “I can’t believe you tried to rob me with a cell phone.” I then backed off to my bag, and got the hell of that train.