Ain’t hero fantasies the best?

Friday, July 22, 2005

I walk home, daydreaming. In my mind, I see a mugger approach me. I walk along Wilson Avenue from the Castle to my neighborhood Italian Restaurant for an early Friday night dinner. I eat alone as I do often when the Doolies lives thousands of miles away.

The mugger takes out a silver switchblade. “Give me your money,” he yells.

I take a step back, a bit disappointed in his clichéd demand. He repeats himself, probably taking my silence for shock. I pull the magazine I brought to read with dinner out of my back pocket. I roll it tightly.

“What do you think you’re doing?” he asks.

“Well,” I respond. “This magazine is to beat you like a dog.” I reach into my front pocket and pull out the phone that is smarter than I. “And this phone is to call the police and give them a blow-by-blow description of me beating you like a dog.”

He lunges for me with his knife. I calmly move to the side and smack his wrist with the magazine. His arm swings down and I take the opening to slap him across his left cheek. I dial the police on the phone. I look at the mugger after I press each button.

“What are you doing?” he asks again, rubbing his cheek.

I show him the phone and make the universal phone symbol with the hand holding the magazine—you know the type, pinky and thumb extended and placed near my ear and mouth. “Hello,” I say into the real phone when a woman picks up. “I’m being mugged at knife point.”

“Hang that fucking phone up,” the mugger says.

“I’m busy, just a second,” I say to the mugger. “Yes, I’m at Wilson and Upland.”

The mugger starts toward me and I raise the magazine. He stops.

“He’s still here. I’m holding him off with a rolled up magazine. He isn’t much of a mugger, if you ask me.”

The mugger feints and then lunges toward me. I slap his thumb hard enough to cause him to drop the knife. He scuttles back away from me. He leans over to pick up the knife. I swing the magazine and uppercut his chin with the tip of the magazine.

“He dropped the knife,” I say into the phone. “Yes, I would be happy to describe him.”

The mugger tries to reach for the knife again and I smack him on the back of his head. “He’s 5’10” and is wearing an orange hooded sweatshirt.”

The mugger turns as if to run and dives back toward the knife, like a baseball player sliding into second base. I step on his wrist as he grabs the knife.

“Orange, that’s right,” I say and step down hard on the mugger’s wrist until he let’s go of the knife and yells in pain. “And blue jeans worn around his knees, you know the style.”

A police cruiser pulls up, its lights flashing but its siren silent. “Thanks for your help,” I say into the phone, “but the police just pulled up.”