Saturday I took my Mom to Anderson to get her hair done. I dropped her off at 2:30, and headed to the local Gas America gas station to get a Dr. Pepper fountain drink. As I pulled into the lot, I noticed there were two open handicapped parking spots on the left side (if you were facing the building) and one regular open spot on the right. I was going to pull up to the regular parking spot, but I noticed it looked kind of tight. I then noticed to the right of that spot (again, if you were facing the building as I was) the car there was backing up. So, I thought I’d set there and wait for them to move, so I could make a wide easy turn to park. I had my cell phone out, because I was going to return a text to my friend Erin Leeson after I had parked. While I was waiting for the other car to slowly back up, I was typing a reply on my phone while I was waiting. In my peripheral vision, I could see that there was another vehicle behind me, also waiting. The car I was waiting on backed up, and I pulled into the parking spot. As I did, I heard the vehicle behind me accelerate fast, then pull into the spot to my right where the other car had been that I was waiting on, breaking hard and aggressively. The vehicle was a late-eighties Ford that was kind of jacked up on oversized tires, with gray primer paint. A guy got out, and looked at me with glaring hatred while he was talking and walking to the door. I couldn’t hear what he was saying, but I heard enough to know he was insulting me, and he wanted me to hear it. He looked like a stereotypical white trash prison thug with piercings and tattoos looking for trouble. I quickly searched my back seat for a defensive weapon, hoping to find one of my ASP collapsible police batons, but remembered that mine were in the house and the other truck. He didn’t know that I was carrying my Colt .380 Mustang handgun and Benchmade Griptilitan, but I was looking for a less-lethal alternative that would be compact and discrete to defend myself with if needed without resorting to a deadly weapon. I couldn’t find anything discrete, so I shut the truck door and walked to the entrance hoping he wouldn’t say anything else. As I walked to the door, I saw him glaring at me through the window. He was just inside the door to the right, using the ATM machine. As I walked in, he looked at me, and said in a louder than usual voice, “I guess driving isn’t one of your ******* strong points is it?” I said, “Dude, what’s your problem?” He then said something along the lines of: you’re my problem; get off your ******* phone and drive! etc. I tried to rationally explain to him that I was waiting for the other car to move, I was stopped waiting for the car to move while I was on my phone, etc. I quickly saw that he could not be reasoned with, and was looking for trouble and talking very loudly, as I’m sure 6-8 people in the store heard him. As I was trying to rationalize with him, he then escalated the conversation to threats and personal attacks saying things like: “I’ll kick your ******* *** you fat ****, come get some.” Etc… I could see he was trying to escalate the situation, and conversation was going nowhere. I wasn’t going to let him talk to me like that in public in front of everyone and look like a punk and not say something, so I said “**** you!” and gave him the finger and walked off to get my Dr. Pepper. He yelled, “Why don’t you step outside, I’m gonna kick your ***.” Etc. Then he said “I’ll be waiting for you outside” and walked out the door. I took my time getting my drink. I hoped he would chill out, and it would give him an opportunity to save face by “getting tired of waiting on me” and leaving. I noticed no one in the store said a word about our exchange of words. They acted as if nothing happened. I have noticed this happen twice before in the past when a violent situation erupts in public. Everyone gets this scared look on their face and act like they don’t see what’s going on, they look away. They don’t try to help, call the cops, etc. They don’t want to get involved. A side note here for those who don’t know, I have a neurological disease called “essential tremor”. It is commonly mistaken for Parkinson Disease by people who don’t know better. Essential Tremor is what Katharine Hepburn had, and is why she trembled. Why this is important to this story is that the effects of essential tremor are GREATLY increased by stress/anxiety. After we had yelled at each other and he went outside, I noticed how I was greatly weakened and shaky, my legs were starting to feel like Jello. I was greatly concerned why this guy who was half my size was acting so angry, violent, and so confidant that he could kick my ***. He was about my height, maybe 200 lbs. I’m 6’1”, 330 lbs. I was concerned that he was not afraid of my size because he might have a hidden weapon. Little did he know, I did have a weapon and was prepared to defend my life if necessary. Had it not been for my tremors, I would have been a lot more obliging to give him an ***-kicking. However, besides the tremors, I don’t do a lot of cardio and can tire easily. I also have borderline high blood pressure, and was recently taken off my BP meds, so my heart beats fast easily. I didn’t want to fight him and have a heart attack or something. I walk up to the counter to pay for my Dr. Pepper. No one that works there says anything to me about what just happened, they act like it’s business as usual. I go to pull the money out of my t-shirt pocket, and I’m shaking so bad, I fumble and pull all the cash out of my pocket and spill it all over the floor. I pick it all up, and put it back in my pocket. I turn from the register to head to the door, and look out the window and see he’s leaning against his truck, waiting for me. I know he’s had time to prepare while I was inside, and I don’t know what weapons were already on him, or if he grabbed anything from the truck. I reach for my handgun, and flip the safety off so it’s ready if needed, in case my tremors would cause me to fumble with the safety if I had to draw it. I walk out the door, and he’s leaning on his truck smoking a cigarette waiting for me. When he sees me, he angrily throws down his cigarette and bounces of his truck, continuing his tirade of threats and insults, saying things like: “I’m gonna kick your *** ************, step around to this side of the truck!” I once again tried to reason with him, and attempted to yet again explain what happened when I was trying to park. He would not listen and kept up his threats and insults. I decided that discretion is the better part of valor, and thought it would be best if I just left since he couldn’t be reasoned with. He was saying anything he could to anger me, trying to entice me to fight. I was afraid he had a weapon, and I didn’t want to have to shoot him. I got in my truck, and he started yelling things like, “Yeah, that’s what I thought you punk ***** ************!” “Afraid of getting your ******* *** kicked fat boy!” etc. etc. It was difficult to show restraint when I was so angry and he was publicly insulting me like that. However it’s best to avoid violence when possible. I started my truck to leave, and he got in his truck and got behind me. I was concerned that he might try to follow me, in which case I was planning to drive to the police station and call the cops on the way. I pulled out of the parking lot onto the street, and due to traffic he was left behind. When I saw this, I quickly took a right turn, and then took several more turns to lose him in case he attempted to follow me. I didn’t see him again, but I was so angry and upset that I was shaking pretty badly the rest of the evening due to my tremors. I had not expected anything like this to ever happen, and it goes to show that you might not even do anything wrong and have some crazy violent person freak out on you when you least expect it, so be aware. I considered turning him in to the cops, in case he would flip out on someone else like that, but I didn’t want the hassle of making a police report and filing charges, etc. I realized that since he’d used the ATM, his identity could easily be found by the cops. The police could have cross-referenced the database of who used the ATM during that time frame with the DMV database of vehicle registration to find a match. But, I had no proof of his threats, and doubted anyone at the gas station would volunteer to testify against him. I later realized I should have pulled out my phone and started recording video of him for proof. In the heat of the moment, it’s hard to think of things like that though. You kind of get tunnel vision on the situation at hand. Oh well, maybe next time. Stay safe.