Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Our own private "Cops"

Sunday night, I asked Pukka if he wanted to walk over to our new local ice cream shop for some ice cream (it's easier to justify getting ice cream if you walk to get it), and he said yes, so we got our shoes on and headed over there. We had just got around the corner and a little ways down the street when we heard someone yelling. When I looked down the sidestreet, it looked like there was a dad with a little kid on his shoulders and an older kid walking beside him. So I just kept walking. Then Pukka says, "Doesn't that sound like, "Help! Help!"?" I said yeah, it did kind of, but that I wasn't sure and the kids had a grown-up with them (and it obviously wasn't the man yelling) so I thought things would be fine. We kept walking a little bit further, and Pukka remarked again that it sounded like someone screaming, "Help!" It was around then that we stopped at a retaining wall for me to re-tie the drawstrings on the ankles of my pants. By the time we finished, it was obviously, "Help! Help!", and Pukka said he thought the little kid was hurt because he had seen them running them into the house. But there was still this constant "Help! Help!" so when I finished tying my pants, we headed back towards the sidestreet. At the same time, a guy in a pick up turned onto the street and got out. There were people running around in the yard and yelling, and I wasn't sure what was going on. When we got there, we quickly realized that the shorter person I had assumed was a kid was actually a short full-grown woman. She was still hollering for help, and the guy I had seen carrying the little kid was hollering other things and the guy from the truck was on the phone. Pukka went up into the yard and asked what was going on, and she starts hollering about how the tall guy had hit her and took her kid and wouldn't let her in the house. Pukka looks at truck guy and says, "You on the phone with the police?" The guys nods.

So we're kind of standing there waiting for the cops to show up. The woman's very intersted in telling us all about how bad this guy is, and the guy's yelling about how she's a liar. Then they start screaming at each other and getting all up in each other's faces. She turned away from him and I thought that maybe if I could get her to come talk to me instead of yelling at him he'd go back up on the porch. So I asked her something, and she started to come over to me, but then he yelled something and she turned back around to yell at him some more. And the logical part of my brain said, "Don't do this, this is a bad idea." but a louder part of my brain was saying, "I am not going to just stand here and watch him hit her again." So I went over to remind them that the cops were coming, and we could sort it all out when they got there, but they weren't paying any attention to me, and they were getting more and more agitated, so I just stood between the two of them with my hands on my hips to take up as much space as possible and let them yell over top of me. For a brief moment, I wondered why neither of the guys were coming to help me, but then I realized that either of them would probably be perceived as a threat, which was not at all what we needed. So I just stood there with my eyes down, grounding all this excess energy as best I was able. Fortunately, the police showed up quickly, and since we hadn't actually witnessed any crime, they let us go right away after they took Pukka's contact info "just in case". Decided we still wanted ice cream, so we walked down there and had some really good ice cream, and then came home.

And that was definitely the most notable event of this weekend. I'm still unclear what it means or how I feel about it. I'm fairly clear that Pukka feels I was unwise. He didn't see me insert myself between them, as he had turned away briefly, so it was a bit of a shocker for him. He always talks about how hard it is for him to keep track of my five-year-old self at the store and such. I'm not sure he'd realized my thirty-three-year-old self can be just as slippery under the right circumstances.