This has been on my radar for the past week. I’ve spent days trying to wrap my head around it.
I sincerely wish I could understand what the hell goes through people’s minds in situations like this. I’ve been in A LOT of fights. I’ve had knives pulled on me, and I once used a straight razor to fend off seven guys until police arrived. Never once, in my long history of violence (it’s all in the past, I’m a teddy bear nowadays), did I ever grab/pull a weapon because I was losing a fair fight.
First things first, this guy, the stabber, Steven Walters, is from Long Boat Key. For anyone who’s unfamiliar with this area of The Sunshine State, Long Boat Key usually implies BIG MONEY. There aren’t a lot of poor folk, unless they happen to travel there from Bradenton for work. The theory I shared with S. was this; this guy is accustomed to things going his way, and maybe in this particular situation he realized he bit off more than he could chew. Maybe he got punched so hard he peed a little, and it scared him. That’s still no excuse, fighting is bad enough; panicking while losing, pulling a knife and stabbing someone in the face is inhuman.
I don’t know what the problem is; maybe it’s too much UFC? It seems like Internet Tough Guy Syndrome is spilling out into the real world. Obviously this guy had the motivation, and the ego, he just didn’t have the means. Apparently this isn’t the first time this guy has had a road rage incident. In 2003, he attempted to pull an elderly person from a vehicle. I still don’t know what the other guy looks like, but if “Mr. 50-year-old Long Boat Key white Mercedes driver” thought he could take him, he got surprised. I cannot begin to express how glad I am this sort of thing doesn’t happen to me anymore.
It takes two to tango, that’s what my dad always told me. In my humble opinion, it doesn’t matter who threw the first punch in this case; both guys were arguing, both guys decided to settle their differences by pulling over into the parking lot. Only one guy decided to get all face-stabby. Never, not once, in my long, sordid past, have I ever thought about pulling over to fight someone. This seems like the height of idiocy to me. If somebody showed that much interest in fighting, they should be more than willing to follow me wherever I happen to be going.
We discussed this for a few days, and I shared a couple of my traffic confrontation stories. None of them resulted in fights, probably because in those days I was all-too-evidently eager TO fight. Once, someone tried to cut me off and rear-ended me while I had my (very young) children in the car, then attempted to flee the scene. Once they got caught in traffic, the driver exited their car and began approaching me screaming. When I (not so) calmly explained that endangering my children meant I would indeed lay a woman out, she immediately calmed down and waited for the police to arrive. Another time, I honked at a driver who cut me off (very close call) on the way to a red light. He got out of his car and made the usual peacock motions, but when I stepped out and, again, not so calmly explained “I ain’t from around here, and I will seriously fuck you up if you don’t just get back in your car”, he decided that discretion was the better part of valor.
So, what have we learned from this? I told S., hopefully it will help drive the point home (especially here, where we live) that you can’t judge a book by its cover. When this story broke, the news reports were vague. As we watched, I remember saying, “God, I hope it was two white guys, or two black guys, or that at least the stabber was a white guy. I hope it was a situation where no one can spin it to make race a factor.” Wish granted.
Some people, regardless of race, or socio-economic background, or gender identity, religious affiliation, etc., are just fucking nuts.
Also, texting while driving should be a ticketable offense, not just a secondary offense. The way it is now, the cops can’t stop you for texting while driving, but if they pull you over for something else, they can add that to the ticket. This makes no sense. I’m more worried about someone not watching the road than I am about them not wearing a seat belt, why can they pull you over for one but not the other?
- people are assholes
- some assholes pick fights, then stab people
- don’t be an asshole
- don’t text and drive
- i wish you would…
- all people are scary, not just white people. the title is a joke, get over it