Tuesday, February 16, 2010
We had left the camp in Southern Oregon from vacation with the kids a few hours earlier. The weather was perfect with blue skies and warm temperatures. We were heading north on I-5 when I noticed the silver Tahoe in my rear view mirror. I had seen it earlier in front of me and had remembered it because of its vanity plate OLD 32. I hadn't realized I had passed it but evidentially he did; he was tailgating me. I changed lanes from the fast lane to the left to the middle lane. So did he. I thought that was a little weird but didn't think much of it. My 11 year old son, my 8 year old grandson and I were singing to "When You're Good to Mama" by Queen Latifah so I just kept driving, singing and having fun with my boys. We were practicing for the family talent show that had been postponed during vacation until Thanksgiving. We pretty much sucked so we needed all of the practice we could get.
A few miles and several song repetitions later I saw that the Tahoe. It was dangerously close to me yet again, so we changed lanes, and as before, he followed us. Ok now, this guy was messing with me. I picked up my cell and called my daughter, Karli. I told her what was going on and that I was going to speed it up and try to lose this loser. I pushed cancel on the touch screen phone and stepped on the gas. We lost the freak, or so I thought. A few minutes later, there he was right behind us again.
Surely I was being paranoid. I changed lanes this time into the slow lane to the far right so jerk-off could pass. He changed lanes right behind me. Ok, now I was getting freaked. I was about 50 miles from home and this ass has been following me for about twenty miles so far. Jeff was no help; he was on his Harley with no way to get a hold of him. It was just me, Joshua (the kid with autism), Jakob (the human superball) and Jeremiah (the flat footed kid that can't run) and the Tahoe from Hell. Millions of things were going through my head; Karli's stalker, my motorcycle accident, and even that movie about a killer truck. Yeah, I had pretty much lost my mind.
I tried to ignore this brainless freak, but he had me scared. I don't frighten easily, but this guy had accomplished his mission. I was panicked. I asked Joshua to hand me my purse that was at his feet in the passenger side of my Mercedes. He handed me the tan leather bag, I reached in and pulled out my .38 Taurus from the bottom of the Coach purse. The handgun had been my mom's and my brothers had given it to me after my dad died last September. It's the one I keep loaded with hollow points and in my car at all times, ever since that homeless guy tried to get in the Jaguar with me at the 7-11 months before. I carefully put it on the dash so if Tahoe Dude got near me he could see I was armed and hopefully he would back off.
When we got to the Wilsonville exit, about 25 miles from my home, traffic slowed to a stop. Great, just freaking great! There was no one beside of me and scary Tahoe dude switched to the middle lane and I could see him slowly inch his way beside my car. Out of the side of my eye I could see the hood of the Tahoe beside my window. I cranked up the CD, closed the sunroof and looked straight ahead. Then Mr. Brainiac was right beside me and screaming. Joshua looked over with this look of sheer panic and I told him to look away and ignore this freak. I glanced over at the Tahoe Terror and grabbed my handgun off of the dash and took it out of the holster. I then made sure he saw it as I put it in my lap. The Tahoe sped away and off at the Wilsonville exit. I grabbed up the iPhone and tried, yes tried, to call 911. The damn phone wouldn't work. It was like every nightmare I had ever had. The phone never works or they put me on hold. Both of those happened that exciting day. When I did get through to 911, they routed me through "push number one for fire", "do this for that", and at the end of the long menu the recording said to say "Help" if you needed help. So I pay tax dollars to put on hold only to find out I could have said help at the beginning of the recording. When I get through I get the Clackamas Police only to find out that I needed to be transferred to the Oregon State Police. Ok, I'm feeling really safe now. When I was finally routed to the correct person I got out the license plate of the Crazed Chevy before the call was dropped. By this time I was shaking so frantically that I couldn't hold the phone to call back. I threw the phone at Joshua and told him to call 911. After several attempts the call went through. I was connected to a woman dispatcher and told her what was going on. She asked me what vehicle I was driving and I told her it was a silver Mercedes. The tone of her voice told me that they already knew of me.
"Ma'am, can you hold on for a moment?"
What is this the damned DMV? I have a maniac following me and I'm being put on hold again!
"Ma'am, is a trooper pulling you over right now?"
"Yes, thank God!"
I dropped the phone and put the windows down. I could see the trooper approach my car as if we were on COPS.
"HANDS IN THE AIR! NOW!"
"Oh, I'm screwed, " I thought.
"NOW! IN THE AIR"
"Ok, Ok, they're in the air"
"Ma'am, can you step out of the car?"
Now I was crying. Not because I was of the trooper, but because I knew we were safe. Not only was I crying, I was about to puke. I was shaking so badly that I had a difficult time moving to the front of the car as the trooper was instructing me to do. I kept stopping and he kept telling me to move to the front of the car. I finally made it and sat on the guardrail. He told me that a driver, Mr. Meathead, had called in some crazy lady waving a gun in a Mercedes. Holy crap, I was going to jail!
I explained that I have a CHP, a concealed handgun permit, and that my gun was in my purse. The trooper got the gun out of my purse, checked it out and returned it, loaded, to my floorboard. He came back around the front of my car and said "Nice weapon, that's the same one my wife carries".
Oh God, I'm not going to jail, it's going to be ok. I explained to him what had happened and how afraid we had been and then promptly threw up over the guard rail. He assured me that I was ok and that he believed the other driver to be the instigator. He had Tahoe Terror's information and was going to be making a visit to his house to tell him that he had chosen the wrong car to mess with. The trooper then told me that since I was in fear for my life and the lives of my children the man should have realized that I could have killed him and would have been protected under Oregon law.
About that time, Michael and Nikki drove by seeing their mom stopped by two state troopers. The looks on their faces were priceless. I was just relieved that I wasn't going to end up dead or in jail.
Looking back on the entire incident the only thing I can think of that I could have done to piss off Tahoe Dude was when I was watching a motorcycle that looked as it were going to swerve into my lane. Sure enough it did and I had to swerve to keep from hitting and killing him. Sorry Tahoe, get a life and watch what's going on around you, and maybe try taking a Xanex.