Heading into town, I saw three people standing on a corner waving signs, campaigning for their favorite candidate. Generally, I pay sign-wavers, spinners, and holders no mind.
However, I couldn’t help but pay attention to these three — children between 12 and 15. It wasn’t they who stood out, but the man waving his arms, shaking his fists, half-kicking at them, yelling, swearing, and threatening to do physical harm to the trio.
“I’m going to kick your little asses since your dumb bitch of momma didn’t do it when you were younger,” the man shouted as I got out of my truck and approached.
He didn’t see me coming up behind him, but he must have read the middle child’s eyes as the girl looked at me, pleading with her eyes. Suddenly, he spun around, fists up.
“You get away from them right now,” I demanded.
“Yeah, watch’ya gonna do if I don’t?”
“Filet you, like a fish,” I quietly stated. “Now go away and don’t come back.”
“Let’s see you do it.”
I opened my knife with a click.
“Oh, your one of those, gonna pick on an old disabled man.”
“Don’t pull that with me. You’re standing on your own two feet.”
“Well, I have a right to give them a piece of my mind.”
“But not threaten them. Again — move along.”
Still mouthing off, he walked back to his wheelchair that he left in the middle of the crosswalk and started down the sidewalk. I watched him till I felt he was far enough away that he didn’t appear threatening.
“Where are your folks?” I asked, “And do they know you’re out here?”
“Mom’s at home,” the eldest said, pointing to a nearby apartment complex.
“I think you ought to go home because it’s dangerous for you to be out here without any supervision. And it could be worse next time.”
“Okay. Come on guys, let’s go,” she said to the younger pair.
I watched them disappear into the complex before getting back in my truck.