Here is one I just added to my website (The Gunman)
or ‘something is going down at the McDonalds’
Back in early '91 when I was still just dating my husband, I used to go to the McDonald’s where he worked to hang out. I’d order some fries or a Big Mac with no meat and sit and read, and when he had a few minutes I’d chat with him, and when he went on break to eat, we’d sit and talk. This particular evening, my friend Star was with me and we were talking about whatever mundane things came to mind as we munched on fries, when suddenly a loud voice breaks over the usual chatter of the restaurant.
We glanced up to see a man and his companion at the counter. He was a sort of pudgy, balding guy who didn’t look that impressive, yet he clearly felt that he was superior to everyone present as he berated the person behind the counter over some detail of his order. The woman with him was silent. Star and I exchanged looks and went back to our conversation.
Mr. Loudness apparently had ordered something special order, and was not happy that such things were not instantly ready. He stormed past our table to find a booth about 10 feet away, bellowing about the “stupid fucking McDonald’s people” and how he had to wait for his order.
Now, I knew all the employees there and while there were a few unsharpened tacks, most of them were just college kids doing a job. The restaurant was across the street from the University of Arizona campus. I looked over at the counter and saw the employee who was clearly irritated at the abuse collecting the guy’s order on a tray to bring it over to him. Despite the fairly busy nature of that particular McDonald’s, the guy had to wait maybe 2 whole minutes for his meal. He continued to bitch about the employees, in a very loud voice, as he ate. People all around kept looking up to see what his deal was.
Being the not very subtle person that I am, I turned around in my seat and stared at him, with a look of “what planet are you from” on my face. He saw this, and hollered “Do you have a PROBLEM??” at me. I looked at Star and back at him. “Yeah, I was just wondering the same thing about you actually,” I said… or something like that. At this point, his anger had a new focus. He started cussing me out, still at full volume. I was amazed that someone could be this worked up over something as minor as a 2 minute delay on a special ordered meal at McDonalds… Star and I started to laugh at the guy, and talk about what a freak he was (which he could no doubt hear).
The verbal abuse continued, and I got tired of it. I went up to the counter and told the manager that the customer in the red shirt was yelling profanities at my friend and me, and she told me she’d keep an eye on it and to tell her if he did it again. As I was on my way back to the booth, Star intercepted me. “Now we’re ‘dumb sorority bitches’ and he is going to kick our asses, he says,” she informed me. Oh lovely. Threats now. I turned around and went back to the manager and told her that the guy was now threatening us, and headed back to my table. I got several sympathetic looks from other diners who were getting quite irritated by this loudmouth as well.
Star and I continued to eat our fries and talk about whatever we were talking about, when suddenly the guy barges past our table, leaving his lady friend back at the booth, and announces loudly that he was going to his car to get his “badge and his gun.” He then marched out the door toward his car. I leapt out of my seat and ran to the counter. The manager was on the phone but she looked up at me so I told her that the psycho just said he was going out to get a gun. She turned back to the phone and said “he just said he was going to get a gun from his car.” Apparently she was on the phone with the police, whom she had called when he said he was going to kick our asses.
What happened next was the fastest response I’ve ever seen from any cops anywhere. It seemed like literally seconds before several squad cars pulled into the parking lot and a helicopter was circling overhead, shining a blinding light around the area. They stopped the guy who was trying to leave in his car and walked him over to the sidewalk and detained him while an officer came over to talk to Star and me. We told him what had happened as best we could remember, and said that the other patrons could probably back up our story. In fact, they got about 13 or 14 people’s written statements. People were actually lining up to talk to the cops. The policeman told me that this fell under the umbrella of “threats and intimidation” and asked if I wanted to press charges. I said I did.
While this was going on, some other police were searching the man’s car for a gun. They didn’t find one, but they did find drug paraphenelia. They arrested the guy and I didn’t see whether they actually took him in a car or anything. His friend stayed at her table the whole time.
Skip forward a month or so. I had received several pamphlets from different places about victim rights and such, which I guess happens when you’ve been the victim of a crime. I read them all. The day finally came for his hearing, and I made sure to show up. He saw me in the hallway and called me a “spoiled little bitch” which I found a bit amusing. In the courtroom, he kept scowling at me, but he was way over on his side of the room, and I was in a special seat over where a jury would sit if it were a trial. He got some kind of plea bargain and was given something very small like a day in jail, counted as time served, and a fine of around $500. Not earth shattering, but hopefully enough to make him realize that you don’t behave that way. Wishful thinking on my part, no doubt. He also had restraining orders keeping him away from me, Star, my husband (boyfriend at that time) and that McDonalds.
Looking back it kind of freaks me out. He didn’t have a gun, but he could have. Assholes go on killing rampages over stupider things every day. The guy was clearly imballanced… I was lucky, really, that he was just an asshole and not a psychopath.
Ok, what are some of your true stories?