The Bush administration did a fine job of convincing the American people that terrorists and Muslims, or Arabs, or turbans are all the same thing, but it wasn't always so. When I was a kid, nobody cared about the Muslims, it was the Russians we feared, and the terrorists were Irish (the IRA). But regardless of whatever freedom fighters our government wants to vilify, all a terrorist is, is somebody who spreads terror. Someone who willfully causes mayhem. Blowing up buildings certainly qualifies, but it can be done on a personal level as well. It's not politically correct to say so, but many American citizens are guilty of terrorism. Maybe not at the same level of top al-Qaeda operatives, but they fit the dictionary description just the same. Observe:
As you might have seen on my status update thingy on the right, it's our 3 year anniversary being married. On the honeymoon, we went to Tennessee. On the first anniversary, Myrtle Beach, SC. Second, Connecticut. Third... we both had to work. And Jen had to take her mom to a doctor's appointment earlier in the morning, so she didn't even get to sleep, so she wanted me to bring her a soda and some water, since she had no money and her mom bought her a sub from Subway.
So I'm driving out to her workplace, which is almost to the end of a dead-end road. It didn't always used to be a dead-end, it's just being worked on, but for all intents and purposes, it's a dead-end road. There are a few posh houses before you get to her job, but between them and where she works is just a field. Past her job, there's a church of some kind.
Anyway, I get behind this dark SUV. The guy drives past the houses, but stops about halfway between them and the driveway to my wife's job's parking lot. Just stops. He glances at me in the rear view mirror like he expects something out of me. I figure he wants me to go around, like he wants to turn around. Like he didn't see the signs saying "Road Closed Ahead" and is just now realizing his mistake.
So I pull around him, and just as I get alongside him, he hits the gas and swerves into me. Well, not into me, rather at me, as I saw what he was doing and dodged him, tapping my horn to get his attention in case it was accidental, like maybe he was trying to turn around. I got out in front of him and continued on. Well, it wasn't accidental, and he wasn't trying to turn around - he followed me into the parking lot. I parked, but didn't cut the engine. He pulled in behind me and stared at me, but made no attempt to communicate. Didn't get out, didn't honk, didn't run into my car, nothing. Just sat there and stared.
Jen hadn't come out yet, so I left. Sure enough, the guy followed me. Ironically (or maybe intentionally?) when I got to the light, it was green, but another SUV, this one beige, was just parked there, making no move to go through the light. With the other guy coming behind me, I went around the parked SUV and sailed through the green light. I actually didn't see the dark SUV go through the light. Worried that he might smash some windows in some cars at my wife's job, I doubled back, ready to call 911 if I saw him again. I didn't.
So I met my wife, but kept an eye out for this American terrorist, but he never came back. I am hoping that he did not make the connection that I was waiting for somebody, and didn't start drinking, only to return and smash up the two cars I parked between in case one belonged to somebody I know. I'm hoping he assumed that I had no business in that parking lot and was just hoping I'd leave, so he could follow me to my true destination (which started to play out, but he may have been caught at a red light, which may not have deterred a terrorist hell bent on running people off the road in broad daylight, but oncoming traffic would have stopped him).
Maybe I should have reported this to the police. Maybe he had recently been fired from that place, maybe he drank on the job or something, and maybe, in his twisted mind, if he incapacitated a few people who worked there, an opening would have allowed him to get his job back. Who knows. But I sure felt like a character in a Dean Koontz book, like the nerdy Odd Thomas chased by beefy, faceless villains with murder on their mind.
In any case, I got home safe, I didn't see the guy as I was leaving, and my wife's reporting it to her boss. Apparently they have cameras, so if a car or two do wind up smashed up, they can hopefully review some footage and get an idea of who this guy is. Meanwhile, bin Laden's protoge got maybe a tenth of a gallon of gas extra out of me, but hopefully will get his sooner or later. His type usually do. Meanwhile, I am going to play some Oblivion!