Dodging Bullets

I was driving in the inside lane when a van pulled alongside as though to overtake, but he slowed to match my speed. When I looked up at the passenger, I saw a shock of blonde hair and a single bright blue eye just above the gaping muzzle of a heavy calibre handgun, held at arms length from the van window, aiming at my head.

I braked quickly, and the van flashed harmlessly ahead, but not before I noted its licence plate number. Both the braking and the noting of the number seemed like reflex actions.

In those pre-mobile days, I used a payphone at a nearby supermarket to report the incident to police. I told them I thought it was most likely a replica, as the guy holding it was only young, but I was concerned anyway.  I thought to myself that I had handled it OK, but someone else might have panicked, swerved and crashed.

Then I drove home and smoked a calming joint.

Moments after I had butted out the joint, and with my living room filled with evidence of my illicit act, my doorbell rang, and I had to let two detectives from the Firearms Squad come into my smoky home. One guy coughed to clear his throat.

“We got him,” he told me. “And you were right: it was a replica. But it is still a serious offense.”

“It was a stupid thing to do,” I said. “I’d be surprised if he hadn’t pointed it at other people.”

“At least two others,” said the other cop. “They called in with descriptions.”

“He has previous convictions, this kid,” the first guy said. “But he’s 18 now. A charge like this will put him away for a while. It’s up to you.”


I considered whether I wanted to be responsible for a young man going to prison. He was a good-looking boy and I knew he would be popular inside, for all the wrong reasons. Did I want to wreck his life?

“What’s he like? Has he ever been done for anything violent?”

The second cop shook his head.

“He’s not a bad kid, really. His form is just for theft. He has a job –a cabinet-maker. If you need any cupboards made, I’m sure he’d be happy to do the work.”

I could tell the cops didn’t want to ruin the young man’s life either, and was grateful for their humanity.

“Tell him I won’t be pressing charges,” I said. “But scare the **** out of him first, eh?”

They laughed.

“We already did that,” said one. “But we’re happy to do it again.”

We talked about the quality of replica guns as they made their way to the door, and they expressed their frustration.

“We reckon maybe 50 per cent of hold-ups are done with replicas,” said one. “But it’s hard to tell for sure.”

“Oh, by the way,” the other said, as he stepped outside, “when you smoke your pot, maybe you should close the window. We could smell it from the street.”

“Ah… Thanks for that,” I said, feeling I had just dodged a bullet.

amberdextrous amberdextrous
51-55, M
5 Responses Mar 15, 2010

Sooo...there were no real guns involved at any point in your story?

In this case, crazyrico, yes -the only gun involved here turned out to be a replica. And your point is...? I challenge anyone to distinguish, in the split second that may mean the difference between life and death, between a replica gun and its "real" counterpart, before the trigger is pulled -by which time it may be too late. As a weapon, a replica gun is obviously inferior; as a threat, it is just as effective as one that can blow big holes in people.

Chill out, I'm not making fun of you. It's just after getting shot at and mortared on a daily basis for a while you learn to laugh off things like this.

Lol! when i was little i was such a tomboy i was like 6 and i had a toy gun and one day i scared the **** out of this old lady and she slapped my dad accross the face and started yelling in italian cuz she just thought it was real her face was priceless she was all like "AH! qual è la ragione ti darà pistola piccola ragazza? sei pazzo? avrebbe potuto uccidere Fredo !!!!!!!!" *SLAP* it means Why you give little girl gun!! you crazy!? she could have killed fred! and *SLAP* and she was all ducking when i moved the gun like "AH!! FREDO HELP!" it was soo funny and ya know i was hoping joint ment cigarett in astralian or something!! lol the copos were right!...close your windows lol

good story- i was on the edge of my seat until the end!

hey dex, read my story i knew i was in big trouble. its nice to hear of times when cops can be humane.

you dodged a bullet in more ways than one! stupid kid, he could've seriously caused some major accidents...hopefully he understood the full implications of what he did.