Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Our Action Movie past....

When I cruised through Laurel and put up the little tour a while back I left out one major component: Shane's Sandwich Shop.  It's still there.

The menu hasn't changed much, if at all. The actual menu SIGN hasn't changed at all. The two-inch-thick bullet-proof clear plastic hold-up shield is gone, so maybe Laurel is doing better these days.  I couldn't bring myself to order a steak/egg/mushroom/cheese/and onion sub, but they were clearly still available.  This is the site of a traumatic incident from the past, a criminal assault by one Ricky Dean Meadows, drunken Redskin fan (and yet another reason I can never -in my heart- root for the Redskins).

Let us set the scene: the night is January 30, 1983. The date is significant to most people as the night the Washington Redskins won their first Super Bowl: the classic final run of John Riggins searing his legend into everyone's skulls and sealing his Hall of Fame selection. It is significant to fewer people as the night that 'Brigadoon' at Toby's Theatre closed. The cast party had ended, the personal belongings had been packed out of the dressing rooms, Mom and I had gathered up Katie from the babysitter's. It was 46 days after her 1st birthday. We decided to stop at Shane's for a sub on the way home. 

I walked into Shane's to order.  A drunken Redskins fan, the aforementioned Ricky Dean Meadows, is loudly and triumphantly ordering random items off the menu. The clerk/chef, a skinny, teen-aged, bespectacled nerdy sort, was trying to cope with what was obviously a lout in the throes of a drunken, brutish, tribal desire for the rapine and pillage that SHOULD come after any victory. If you're of a certain mindset, that is. After yelling triumphantly, then berating the nerd, then forgetting what he ordered and ordering a whole 'nother bunch of random stuff, the Superfan got bored and ambled outside, his various food orders already forgotten.  The clerk and I both looked relieved and he settled down to take care of my rather more pedestrian needs. Then his eyes got huge and he gestured behind me: "That guy just hit your car," he said.  Then all this happened:

(The numbered dotted paths refer to the motion of RDM's vehicle)

As I left Shane's I saw that Ricky had backed out of his parking spot (A) and (1) smashed into the front right fender of The Captain, our 1974 red Pontiac Formula Firebird, parked at (B).

Just like The Captain

As I exited Shane's, Mom was exiting The Captain, opening her passenger side door and standing up. Kate was in a car seat in the back.  At some point Ricky realized his car was plowing through another vehicle and that --being completely wasted-- exchanging insurance information would only lead to trouble. Besides, he didn't have insurance.  He put his car into forward gear, peeled around all widdershins and lit off down the parking lot (2) with me pursuing on foot, yelling his license plate number at him so he'd know sneaking off really wasn't an option.  Clearly he heard, for --as he neared the exit shared with the bowling alley-- he suddenly reversed direction (3) and accelerated back toward The Captain (4). I also reversed direction and headed back to the car, probably still yelling, although I have no idea what.  Mom had emerged and gone towards the front of The Captain, near the right front fender. The passenger door was still ajar, right next to Mom. Kate remained quiet in the backseat, contemplating the appealing glowiness of Shane's tempting signs.

Ricky hit the back of The Captain, perfectly perpendicular, right on the rear driver's side panel.  He then kept gunning it and (5) pushed the turned-off, in-parking-gear, emergency-braked Firebird 180 degrees until it was facing the opposite direction.  Mom had to back away at top speed to keep from being run over by her own car. Her legs were bruised from the open door trying to pin her as she backed away in a circle.  Ricky then (for the second time) carefully extricated his vehicle from ours, and (6) set off back toward the bowling alley exit. I managed to snag his driver's side door handle as he passed, and he dragged me down the parking lot as I furiously screeched at him and futilely tried to break his window with the soft cast I had on my remaining available hand.

And then every policeman in the world came out of everywhere and surrounded him at (C).

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