It’s about 10pm in the evening on a slow start to the taxi shift when…
So there I was sitting in the parking lot next to “The Egg & I Restaurant” (really good wifi) doing a little reading on my Nexus 7 between fares, when suddenly I hear a loud banging noise. I look over and see this sloppily dressed dude going all Hulk on one of the tables sitting outside of the restaurant. As I continue to watch, this fella manages to snap the table in two parts, and proceeds to throw it on the ground. Then he turns and starts wobbling toward my car, stopping by the newspaper rack and knocking it down. I’m thinking this is kinda’ like a cross between 28 days later and Night of the Living Dead, except with inanimate objects.
I dial 911 and make sure the doors are locked.
The guy walks right up to my window, stares at me with dead eyes as wide as pie plates and then tries to punch in the rear door window. He fails (and tomorrow I’m betting he’s going to regret throwing that punch as it sounded like something broke..and not the window). At this point the 911 operator is on with me, and after giving her the location and general gist of what is going on, she lets me know officers are on their way.
In the meantime, this crazy person starts wandering toward the wingstop (one of several restaurants in this little section of the strip mall) and goes in. I’m holding my breath at this point wondering if someone is going to come flying out through the window…but a minute later crazed dude walks back out and pulls a bottle from his jacket and takes a slug before continuing down the line of restaurants, skipping the pizza joint.
I’ve backed up at this juncture and slowly move the car down the line of stores, staying in sight of lunatic guy.
Right about then, two girls and a young guy come out of the subway restaurant. As I watch, the young man turns to lock the door just as our maniac gets to them. I can’t hear anything, but you can tell something bad is about to happen as the girls freak out and start running away from him. The young guy locking the door backs away as well.
The lunatic-guy starts after the girls who are trying to get in their car ( looking like every teen slasher movie victim filmed in the process).
But…duh-duh-DAH! Soooper cabbie to the rescue! I gun my car’s engine (which can sound pretty cool as it is, after all, an old V8 police interceptor) and hit my horn as I place my vehicle in the way of our cut rate Freddy Krueger. He stops, looks at me with those pie plate eyes, and the girls finally get in their car. They get rolling only after the lunatic stumbles around my vehicle and tries to open the girl’s passenger door. (They locked it.)
The young guy is also getting in another car, and not a moment too soon as the nut tries the same thing with him. He pulls out and drives off…leaving me as the lone sherri..er..cabdriver in the lot.
The guy turns toward me again, and I slowly back the car away…and he starts to follow me in a slow shambling pace. I’m thinking I’ve seen this act before only with a dog and a bone on a string, so I just continue backing away.
The first cop car pulls in at this point, and finally the guy starts to show some recognition that something is going on besides his own personal zombie impersonation.
The officer jumps out of his car and yells for the guy to get on the ground…and of course brainiac growls some unintelligible “grrr…arrrghs’ and doesn’t comply.
The officer seeing the guy start to move away tackles him in an awesome face-planting maneuver, then spins him like he’s trussing a chicken, and handcuffs him. This cop could have a career in rodeo, I’m thinking.
An ambulance, firetruck and three more police cars show up turning the place into a 70’s era disco lit in red/n/blue.
The cops take my statement, congratulating me on the assist as well as staying cool.
I’m about ready to leave after getting the okay to go by the officers, when my phone starts ringing. Turns out one of the Subway girls got my number from 911 and called to thank me for helping them.
“Just doin’ my job…and its my neighborhood as well, so it’s all good.”
About 1/2 an hour later I get a text from the other girl who informs me that the next time I’m in the area day or evening, a full footlong sub meal is on the store for being there. “It’s the least we can do for you helping us.”