I glazed over this story way back near the beginning of this blogging project (post #52, to be exact), but now I’m gonna tell you the whole scary thing.
So I was working at the theatre one night. My box office window was a few feet in from the front door, and from where I stood, I could see out to the street in front of our building.
I was letting in the last-minute patrons coming to see the show when I saw a white car park very haphazardly in the “no parking” zone right outside the theatre. It stopped with one front wheel well onto the curb and the back of the car sticking out into the street.
It immediately struck me as weird.
But that driver didn’t come into the theatre first.
First came a young boy – probably about 16 – looking terrified.
“Hello,” I said to him, already concerned, “Can I help you?”
He just looked at me with fear in his eyes, sort of hinting with his glance that something was going on behind him.
And it wasn’t long until I got what he was silently referring to.
A man – about 40 – stormed in directly behind the teen. The entire lobby filled with the stench of alcohol. It was so strong I felt like I couldn’t breathe. He pushed the boy out of the way and stumbled toward my box office counter.
“Gi’ me a pen!” He shouted, “I neeeedah pen ri’now!”
I handed him a pen.
“What’s going on?”
“Thiskidhid mah car! Fuckin’ new driverz…eee doesnknow what he’s doing aneee hit me!”
The kid looked at me with giant brown doe eyes. He was speechless, but I could tell that he hadn’t hit the man’s car. Clearly the opposite was true.
“These kidzar drivin’ antheydunnowhat – what they’re doin’! He hit me!”
The man turned and started barking orders at the kid to write down his information.
I started forming a plan to keep this guy at the theatre. There was no way I could let him get back into his vehicle. He would kill someone driving as drunk as he was. I exchanged some silent glances with my coworker, Muffy, who nodded at me. We’d figure this out.
Then things got way more complicated.
The man stormed out the door before we could say anything, leaving the teen standing in the lobby. He returned a moment later with a little girl. She was somewhere between four and six years old, wearing a nice dress and boots and holding a stuffed animal. Her messy blonde hair covered most of her shy face.
It was my turn to be absolutely speechless.
“Mah dodder neeeestah pee a’forewee leave.”
“I’ll take her, no problem.” Muffy offered.
I turned to her and mouthed the words, “STALL. STALL.” She nodded again.
At this point, I can’t remember if the teen boy was still in our lobby or what. I think he had called his mom, but all of my focus was on keeping this man from getting back into his car.
In the meantime, he was getting impatient of waiting for his daughter. He leaned on my counter, squinting at me, breathing his gross breath all over me. I felt nauseous.
“She’s coming, don’t worry. Muffy’s helping her in the bathroom.”
He stomped through the lobby and found his daughter just exiting the bathroom. He grabbed her by the wrist and dragged her (see: practically carried her by one arm) through the lobby and out the door toward his car.
“Sir!” I shouted. Which did nothing to stop him, of course.
I grabbed the phone and dialed 911.
“Get the license plate number!” I yelled at Muffy, who was already on it. She read it off to me twice and stepped out the front door to see which direction the guy was going.
At this point, I burst into tears.
“911 – what is your emergency?”
I sob-told the woman on the other end of the phone what was going on, all the while thinking about that child (and many others on the road in other vehicles with their own parents) getting killed because her idiotic (to say the VERY least) father was driving drunk. Nay, wasted.
Luckily, we had all of the info they needed to catch the guy before he got more than a kilometre away.
When a police officer showed up at my box office to take a written statement and told me that, I cried some more.
Okay, I was a total mess.
I hoped that kid had someone responsible to go home to.
That was just one of many (unfortunately) times in my life I would learn that I will NEVER understand people who drive drunk. Ever.
If you’re in Edmonton or the surrounding area, you should come, too.
P.S. I know it sounds like an after school special, but if you’re drinking, take a fucking taxi. If your friends are drinking, drive them home. Just keep each other safe. Okay? Okay.
P.P.S. As scary as this event was, much, much, MUCH scarier stuff happens daily. So even more reason to help stop this shit from going on all the time.