Thursday, May 03, 2007

The Legend of Shack-Fu: Cap'n Shack vs. the Speed Demon

Sunday afternoon was devoted to paintball, for the first time in months; I might write up a bit more about the experience later, but right now all that I have to say is that our playing grounds were hot, humid, overgrown, and mosquito-ridden; I was glad to be an observer and not in full camo gear because of the hot and humid part, but the long, thick sleeves might have been a relief on the mosquito-front. But while watching paintball was fun, the true excitement of the evening happened later, after our post-paintball dinner. PigPen and I were going to follow Cap'n Shack-Fu to his house so that PigPen could drool over the Shack-man's latest firearm purchases. We had barely pulled out of Jack in the Box and onto the always-congested Loop 288 when some speed demon zipped past us in the soon-ending right hand lane and swerved in front of Cap'n Shack-Fu's vehicle right before the two lanes became one; instants later, someone else pulled out in front of the speed demon; instead of slowing down, ol' speedy swerved recklessly into the oncoming traffic lane. Luckily, there was nobody there, but it was a close call. PigPen and I were both marveling at the speedster's chutzpah when I noticed Cap'n Shack-Fu speeding up. I mentioned this to PigPen and said "How much you want to be he's turned on his lights?"

You see, good ol' Cap'n Shack-Fu, as king of all things emergency management related, has his vehicle stocked with all sorts of tools of the trade; one of the more recent additions is a set of bright flashing lights on the dashboard; while the pattern of the flashing lights would tell anyone well-versed in such matters that Cap'n Shack was on an emergency management type of mission, to the rest of the world bright flashing lights behind you on the highway tend to say one thing: coppers.

Sure enough, the car which had pulled out in front of the speed demon pulled over to the shoulder long enough to let Cap'n Shack-Fu catch up to the speedster, who also pulled over. PigPen and I drove by just as Cap'n Shack-Fu, still fully decked out in his full camo gear, marched up to the reckless driver to tear him a new one; PigPen and I cracked up the rest of the drive to Cap'n Shack-Fu's place at the thought of the crazy driver who had no idea what he was getting himself in for when he pulled that sort of crap around our resident do-gooder.

After we all got back to his place , Super-Shack filled us in on the details of his brief encounter with the muscle-bound speedster; basically, Cap'n Shack-Fu immediately tore into him: "What do you think you're doing? Do you know how many accidents I've worked because of people driving like that? I have a radio in my vehicle, I could call you in and report you right now for pulling that kind of crap" etc., etc. The driver, of course, was freaked out and super-apologetic, even shaking Cap'n Shack-Fu's hand when the good Cap'n let him off with a "warning."

Now, for the record, Cap'n Shack-Fu never claimed to be any sort of law-enforcement official during the incident; no, he was just acting as a concerned citizen who, due to his work as a firefighter and disaster relief guy*, is all too familiar with how much damage a wreck at those speeds would have caused and could not, in good conscience, allow such potentially life-threatening behavior to go unchecked.

Did the incident have any lasting impact on the reckless driver? The cynic in me says "not really," although the optimist in me likes to think that, if nothing else, the fool will wake up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat, haunted by the image of the Cap'n Shack-Fu, a.k.a. The Intimidator.

*Yeah, that's the technical term