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Don't Buy Gas Late At Night

A couple of weeks ago I did a very stupid thing. I was coming home from a party in Waikiki. My wife and mother were in my car, a Lexus RX-330. I knew that I was going out the next morning and noticed that I was low on gas.

Although it was near midnight, I decided to stop at a gas station not too far from my home.

Sure enough, this "crazy" man walks up and starts to give me trouble. I say "crazy" because I believe that he was very high on drugs. He may have also had a mental problem, but he was certainly high on drugs. He may have been drunk too.

He was older than me and did not appear to be armed. Fortunately, he was alone. As soon as my wife noticed that the man was loud and standing close to me, she locked the car doors.

I have often said that you have to be very careful if an attacker is drunk, drugged, or deranged. In this case, the guy may have been all three!

So what did I do?

You have to consider the possible consequences. If the guy pulled a gun or knife and killed me, then what would happen to my wife and mother? If he grabbed a brick in something and hit my car, then that would be quite expensive. And what if there were others lurking that I did not see?

So I reached into my wallet and gave the guy $5. He still was ranting and raving, but this seemed to satisfy him. He walked off into the darkness.

So was I a weak Karate person because I gave him money? I certainly could have hit or kicked him -- but honestly, I am not sure that he would have felt it. I think he could have run through a glass door without feeling it.

Giving him money was just my first level of defense. If he had attacked, I was planning to hit him in the face with the gas nozzle (so that he would have a hard time seeing), and then maybe kick him or something. But then I would have injured him. Even if I "won" by "beating" him, then what? Perhaps I would have been arrested. Certainly, I would have had legal problems. How would my wife and mother have felt if they saw me beating up this poor guy? They could have been traumatized, particularly my mother (my wife practices Karate and probably would have come out to help if the guy attacked me -- which would have put her at risk of injury). And I actually did not want to hurt him. I felt sorry for him.

So I felt that $5 was very reasonable, at least to buy some peace of mind.

But the moral of the story -- the reason that I am writing this -- is to say that you should not buy gas late at night. I should have waited for the morning. Midnight seems to bring out dangerous people -- those who might be drunk, drugged or deranged (or all three). I should have just gone home, especially with my wife and mother in the car. That is the moral.

Fill up your gas tank when it is safe. Don't wait until after a late party in Waikiki.


Charles C. Goodin