Sunday, January 9, 2011

Methheads escape Coastal

...or otherwise titled Even My Days Off Can Be Exciting...

I don't sit behind the wheel of a Radio Cab everyday. A recent Saturday was one of those days I spend with my family and friends. Rocco called and wanted to know if Jax and I would join him to go on an errand. The stop was Coastal Farm and Ranch. A farm and cowboy store that felt a lot further from Portland than Gresham. Apparently, this is where you get your saddles and giant belt buckles, your shit kickers, rhinestone laden t-shirts, cyclone fencing, and feed (oh yeah, and guns, gun safes, and ammo). Did you know that John Deer has a line of baby clothing?

Rocco wanted a pair of Georgia boots. I tried on some Mucks while Jax asked about the cost of wood pellets when suddenly there was a commotion.

We were on our way out the front door when a girl ran past us setting off the theft alarm. She was immediately chased by a sprinting female employee yelling into a headset that "she was heading west!!" Employees began racing out of the building at top speed bowling down customers in their breathless pursuit. I half expected to see a motorboat driven by 007 crash through the glass store front.

The first female employee was on the heels of the woman who allegedly (I mean definitely) stole from the Farm & Ranch. I couldn't see anything in her hands; what had she taken? Where was it? How much? We had no clue, and somehow the girl thief bolted into a enormous old RV and the door slammed in the girl employee's face. Foiled!

The door was locked and the worker pounded on it with livid intent. Now all the young cowboys who worked selling cyclone fencing and wood pellets surrounded the RV, they pounded on the driver's side window and yelled at the top of their lungs for them to get out of the vehicle. It was a moment so laden with testosterone that I was sure it was going to be effective, but don't underestimate the power of crystal combined with the urgent need to get the hell out of Dodge.

I could see a young man sitting behind the wheel of the RV and the (did I actually call her a lady?) bitch meth-head thief was leaning over the man screaming at him to drive. It was like a silent adventure film because we couldn't hear her, but it was as clear as if there were subtitles.

Bare with me here because it really gets exciting in the next moment.

A pick-up truck backed out of the parking space in front of the RV. It looked bright, shiny and new, and had custom everything. The man driving it was a customer turned wannabe hero as he was sitting tall helping the situation by blocking the path of freedom for two young crazed criminals with god knows what in their motorhome. Was it a meth lab? A mobile storage unit for stolen goods? Had they kidnapped their own kids from their foster home? Whatever it was, it was big and crazy enough for what happened next.

We were all a-gawk as the RV began driving directly toward the cowboys standing in front of the vehicle making them dive out of the way, and then headed straight for the pickup truck. I'm pretty sure that the crazed chick standing behind the dude in the driver's seat was actually doing the driving. How this was happening I don't know, but the impact of that huge old motorhome plowing into the fancy Toyota pickup was extremely jarring. A high pitched whine split the air as one god awful screech tore the front end of the Tacoma completely off while simultaneously moving it out of its path.

The motorhome had to back up to fit through the hole it had created, and that is when I realized I should have been getting all of this on video. WTF!! Am I retarded? I'd clearly missed the best of the action, but I picked up my jaw from the pavement while digging my iPhone from my pocket. An app never loaded so slowly. Then once the camera opened, I had to toggle it to video, and it was taking way too long! Then I was standing in front of the RV, camera shooting into the face of the driver; it felt awesome and it only occurred to me later that I could have been shot if they wanted to shoot me.

The RV started driving briskly (I mean for this old RV) out of the parking lot and there was nothing anybody could do about it. This whole drama unfolded in just moments but the excitement and adrenaline lasted most of the day. I still don't know if they caught the crazed meth heads that day but they'd have to be pretty slow to not find a 60' motorhome chugging down the road in Gresham. Although we heard no sirens and passed a police car a block away quietly sitting in the left turn lane.