I always stay in on New Year’s, at least for the last few years I have. The reason for this is simple: I was mugged by a guy with a gun January 1, 2009. It is not an experience I wish to repeat.
Pet and I were hauling a load we’d never hauled before: Cole slaw for KFC. It went out of UT into Sacremento, and then down to somewhere else. It’s a tight load, you load out, haul ass to to California, and if you’re prudent with your time, you’re no more than an hour or two early.
We made good time, and ended up at the first delivery point an hour early, at 2 am. The place was dark, gates shut. Our information said it should be open when we got there. Pet’s sleeping in the back, and so I grab the paperwork and and my phone, and head over to see why everything is dark.
I’m on the phone to my friend Bug, who lives in Illinois, just walking along, when a car pulls up in front of me. A young guy gets out, and tells me to hang up and hand over the phone. When I hesitate, he opens his jacket and there’s his gun. So I hang up and hand over the phone.
I notice in the car is a young woman, and then another young guy driving. Young is relative, I’m guessing they were late teens, early 20s. The guy with the gun demands my wallet, money, everything I have. I was lucky here, all I had was pocket lint, my phone, and my bills. He keeps demanding things, and he’s got the gun, and I’m getting annoyed. I don’t have anything.
He finally tells me that if I give him $20, he’ll give me my phone back. I tell him that if I had $20, he’d have it by now. Right as he gets ready to insist again, a driver pulls out of the bakery next door, in a day cab with a trailer. The guy looks at the bakery driver, and then gets in the car and they speed off.
The moment they take off, I’m running for the bakery driver, because he’s safety. He calms me down enough for me to get back to my truck, and I wake up Pet. She comforts me, and I use her phone to call Bug back, tell him what was going on. Then I call the police, and they tell me they’ll send someone out.
Then I call work, and I start chewing ass. And I mean chewing, I’m yelling and swearing, and raising hell. They call the place I’m delivering to, get a house phone, and wake up someone. That person tells them they’re opening late because it’s New Year’s and there’s a note on the door.
The only thing I can say to that is “I never made it to the fucking door before I got mugged.”
The cop arrives, and takes down my information. Type of phone, description of the people who took it, all of that. He advises us to leave the area, and we go to the only truck stop that was close.
It’s a scary truck stop, and at the time, I think it was out of business, but all the trucks parked there anyway. So we pulled in and parked, and at that point I needed to pee . Pet says it’s a bad idea, but I wasn’t listening.
We get to the building, and the bathrooms are outside. We notice shopping carts and whatnot parked outside, and I don’t pay them much attention, until I try and open the bathroom door. There are three people in the women’s bathroom, which isn’t much bigger than a stall.
They tell us the bathroom’s busy, but we can use the men’s next door. I open the bathroom door and there’s a long thin tube over the urinal, blazing with blue fire. So I shut the door, and the folks in the bathroom tell me it’s okay to use, and all I call back as I walk away is “That’s okay.”
I’d seen a coffee shop next to the truck stop and I tell Pet I want to go there to pee, and she asks me, “Are you sure?”
I look over and there’s a riot going on in the parking lot. Cops are everywhere, people are getting stuffed into cars, and I even see the cop who took the report of my mugging there.
We went back to the truck.
The next morning, we go back to deliver the cole slaw, and the guys receiving it tell us they told our company that they wouldn’t be opening until 6am, and our company said they’d tell the drivers.
In the end, I got scared half to death, and lost a 2 year old Motorola Razr. The good news? I didn’t get hurt, and I’m here to tell the tale.
And that’s why I don’t go out on New Year’s.