I almost got in a fight today.
Well, more like really stupid.
Steph and I were hanging out watching TV today when there was a knock at the front door. I went down to answer it and it was my fifteen year old neighbor.
He very respectfully and apologetically let me know that someone had damaged my new car. I immediately went down to inspect the damage and found a four foot long scratch along the side of the car. I asked the kid what happened and he told me that he was doing yard work for his dad when some younger kids from down the street started playing with his lawn mower. He asked them to leave it alone, but they wouldn’t, insisting that they were "helping." According to him, and some other (adult) neighbors from across the street, one of the kids mother’s came down to check on the kids, and take the lawn mower away when it slipped rolled into my truck which was parked on the street. She grabbed the kids, yelled at them and sprinted up the street back to her house. My neighbor told his dad what happened and then came to tell me.
So we all walked up the street to talk to the woman and her son. I actually went way out of my way to be polite, I understand that with kids, accidents happen. But I still need to get my door taken care of. At first she tried to deny what happened, but then upon realizing that I had several neighbors as witnesses, apologized, blaming it all on her son, but claiming it was an accident and there’s nothing they could do, since they’re poor.
Her husband then came out and threw a fit, screaming at her, me, the kids and everyone else around. I kept telling him to calm down and that I’d get it looked at by a body shop as soon as possible and we could work something out. He alternated between being very calm and threatening me. And by alternating, I mean, he’d literally switch back and forth between completely reasonable and full-on Ultimate Warrior bat-shit insane every 15 seconds. Like seriously, he was so angry he was shivering.
Eventually he kind of agreed to pay for bill provided I present him with two copies of it (I have no idea why) even though he felt we were all responsible for the damage (I wasn’t even around at the time, so I have no idea where my fault ran). He then yelled at me that he blamed me for it, and that he’d probably lose his house and be out on the streets because he wouldn’t be able to pay rent. I’m apparently also an asshole because I don’t understand that not everyone "has money to burn like I do" (hahahahaha!!!) and that if this causes his marriage to break up the whole block will hear about it. The entire time he was ranting and raving he was shaking this flashlight like a club, so hard that other neighbors later told me they thought there was a strobe light outside.
Afterwards, several people told me they were afraid he was going to hit me. Several times I really thought he was going to. I think he probably wanted to, but kept looking around and seeing my neighbor and his son (both black men as well) and kinda got afraid that he was pretty badly outnumbered. You know, we’re like all black guys and stuff. We’re scary.
I think he probably would have taken a swing at me had he been alone.
That would have been a mistake.