Duel Two: Trucker Granny's Revenge

The old lady crept along the analgesics aisle with her shopping cart like the lead villain in a mummy movie.

And not one of those sleek, hyper-drive new CGI mummies, either. Oh no, we're talking Old School, plodding, 2-miles-an-hour, long-deceased, vengeful yet been-around-the-block-enough-they're-waiting-for-you-to-fall-and-break-an-ankle, pharaoh-type mummies here.

The ones who'll off you when they're good and ready.

I thought nothing of it at the time.

I assumed her, quite wrongly, to be just your average elderly lady. The kind with bladder control concerns. And gout. And arthritis from knitting her cats legwarmers.

And then I made the mistake that would cost me.

I had five minutes before I needed to be back at work. And I ducked around her.


Have you ever seen Spielberg's Duel with Dennis Weaver?

Dennis Weaver is a businessman driving on a desolate Western road. He needs to get to a meeting quickly. So he passes this slow-moving, large, mud-spattered gasoline truck-- just one simple action, something that happens a million times on the roads every day.

Unfortunately, the driver is two gears short of a well-wired gearbox.

And because of this single pass... this simple gesture... this one moment in time he cannot take back... that unseen driver begins a relentless mission to eliminate Dennis Weaver from America's roadways and make him go "splat."

I'm telling you all this because I suspect Duel was actually based on a real-life story, and that this old lady was actually the driver of that truck.

I don't know whether it was the speed with which I went around her. Or a snotty clack of my plastic shopping basket. Or an impertinent squeak of my shoes on the grocery store floor.

But this old lady let me get ahead of her in the aisle just enough for a false sense of security. And that's when she changed-- shedding her Sweet, Grandmotherly, Octogenarian Disguise and transforming into Trucker Granny from Hell.

Yes, I had no sooner headed on my way, and began to think about things back at the office, when the old woman put on an astounding, rattling burst of speed, plowed the shopping cart forward and...

Rammed it hard into the back of me, catching the ol' Achilles heel and the less firm parts of my nether-regions.

The cart clanked and jarred. I tripped forward, catching myself. Fellow shoppers witnessed, wide-eyed.

And I have to tell you, it was at that moment, there was a part of me that was really impressed-- though not necessarily my ankle tendon which was throbbing a bossanova of pain.

I mean, not often do you underestimate someone so thoroughly as to have your impression proven completely and utterly wrong-- and with physical assault, no less.

And when I turned to look at her and said a pointed, "Hey!" (a brilliant comeback considering the surprise circumstances), Granny had transformed once more. Only now she had become also blind and deaf.

She could not hear my indignant, "Hey."

She could not see me before her. She just smiled smugly, steadfastly refusing to meet my gaze.

The turbo which she had relied on only moments before had burnt out, but she was storing up... for later I think.

Yes, Trucker Granny had earned a notch on her shopping cart handlebar.

She had made a glorious shining statement against the pushy, uppity young'ns of the world. She had taken a stand for batty, damn-well-gonna-do-what-I-please seniors everywhere.

I imagine I wasn't her first victim.

And I'm willing to bet, I was not the last.



Claire said...

An old dear like the one you described, tried something like that with me once.

I typed out the rest of the scenario, but then decided against it. It is probably not a good idea to let the world know what I do to sodding rude people.


Anok said...

I've also had a similar experience, only he waited till we were out in the parking lot. All throughout the store I swear I was tripping over this guy. He was slow - and liked to take up as much room as feasibly possible. Preventing me from reaching the tomatoes. And the onions. And the bags in which you put the tomatoes and onions.

So as I'm getting everything into my car guess who's parked next to me? The same old guy! I had left the rear passenger door open because my kid was getting into the car - and this guy in all his oblivious stupor slammed the door ON my child! And he just kept on goin' like nothing ever happened..and I wasn't there and my 4 year old wasn't crying - got into his car, and nearly backed into another customer.


TJ Lubrano said...

Aah how rude! I don't know why elderly people think the world is theirs and they can get away with anything. And they know...ooh they know...I think they some sort of spider sense or something. They know exactly the people who are in a hurry and they follow them, they make sure they are there just to block their way. And maybe it's their way of saying:

'Heh. You may think, I've lost my speed over the years and I can't do the things as fast as I used to. I sure know how to slow all of you down *evil laugh*'

Yes. it's scary. They use their speed of slowness to annoy every one else o_O. I had this one elderly lady who just shoved my groceries over the table, almost causing the to fall off, only to place a carton of milk on it. And while she was doing this..she slowly pushed my cart out of the way too and I had A LOT of groceries :|.

I wanted to say 'Oh I would've gotten out of the way if I had known you wanted to use the table'...but no eye contact whatsoever...no sign that she knew I was standing there. It was the strangest thing.

Jenn Thorson said...

Claire- Well, now I'm all curious! Did she know perfectly well what she was doing, like this lady? That was the part that was so amazing. I mean, if it had been an accident, I totally would have understood. But she had to use all her physical force to nail me with that cart...

That's some serious Granny Rage. :)

Anok- Did he know he'd squished Punky, or was he just that immersed in his own activities?

Jenn Thorson said...

TJ- I don't know if everything ends up being a kind of struggle, and they're resentful of it, so they try to assert power any way they can, or what.

Maybe I'll have a clearer perspective when I'm 80.

Joel Klebanoff said...

It's too bad you don't have to be licensed to drive a shopping cart. If so, the police could have take away her license for dangerous driving. Maybe after a certain age you should also need to get retested to continue to hold your shopping cart license.

Dave "Loose Cannon" Wills said...

I find this hilarious yet a bit disturbing.

Old people do in fact know exactly what they are doing. Whether they're driving, walking slow on the sidewalk or down the grocery aisle. And their best defense (and offense) is the old age card.

They'll curse you in one second ago, then next suddenly become blind, deaf, dumb, mute and have severe chronic short-term memory lapses.

It's truly amazing! Lol.

Jaffer said...

I am not sure what kind of game they used to play in their past - but some grans get startled when I excuse myself and grab something off the shelf.

Then they ram their walkers into me - a futile attempt -

I feel like that small super car - that does not even get a dent when a truck rams into it and gets destroyed.

Oh just thought of another one - Donna Quixote and Jaffer the Windmill !


Surfie said...

It would have served that old bat right if you had turned around, grabbed the front of her shopping cart, and rammed that cart into her crusty old belly! How do you like them apples, granny? If she doesn't want to risk a broken hip, she'll think twice before running her cart over the ankles of other shoppers.

Jenn Thorson said...

Joel- Or at least cited her for road rage/aggressive driving. :)

Dave- Some certainly do. Some, I think, have to concentrate harder at the task at hand than they used to and get tunnel vision-- which I do understand. But this lady, she definitely knew what she was doing. That was her Old Age Card, as you say, at work!

Jaffer- What, do they think you're planning to pickpocket them or something? Or smooch them up against their will?...You old lady Casanova you. :)

Surfie- Well, as you probably can tell, I'm not particularly confrontational. I just do my own thing and try to stay out of everybody's way. But if that's the sort of thing that set her off, you can bet SOMEONE was destined to get into it with her at some point. I'm surprised I haven't heard about it on the local news. :)

Jaffer said...

Hahaha... they are startled by the ever so handsome Sir Lancelot in his shining Armour appear in front of them ... and they accidentally hurt him ...

Real life - I'm some bearded fellow in a jet black coat - and I look scary when my tuque slips down to just above my eyes.
Man - I must give them a minor heart attack or something !

Hahaha - thanks for the laugh !

Beer Drinker said...

Wow. You REALLY need to work on your comeback. "Hey" was all you could muster?

Since she couldn't see you, you should have emptied the items she wanted from her cart and then taken the closest 3 or 4 dozen items and replace them there. BTW, that's the solution even is she could see you.

Deray said...

You should thank that she wasn't driving a scooter, she would have run over your foot or something worse. I had a lady yell at me during X-mas shopping season because I went around her granddaughter that was taking all the aisle at a department store driving around her doll in a stroller. I just didn't look back. She said something like: oh my God, are you in that kind of hurry?

As I mentioned, it was X-mas season and yes, I was in a hurry to get a deal that expired at 1pm, jajajaja.

Charlene said...

I've had different versions of that happen as well. I find the best comeback is to kill them with kindness. For example, I would have turned and said to the old lady in my most sugary voice, "Oh you poor old dear. Are you okay?"

I've been known to blow kisses at angry commuters... their reactions are priceless.

Jenn Thorson said...

Jaffer- Heh, just hope you don't run into one of those grannies who's taken self-defense classes. The cops will have to rescue YOU from HER. :)

Beer Drinker- You can see why I'm a writer and not an orator, huh? :) I'll remember your technique, though, should there be a Next Time. :)

Deray- Oh, when people have all the time in the world themselves, they just can't even imagine how rude and frustrating it seems when someone is moseying along and taking up the whole path. They forget the whole world can't afford to go at their pace.

Jenn Thorson said...

Charlene-- See, I like your tactic and I think I could do that-- if I could only get over my shock quickly enough to implement it.

screwdestiny said...

I hate old people, as much as I do children. And I'm not a fan of children. They think they can act however they want and it's okay because they're old. Well it's not okay. They accuse younger generations of being rude all the time (which is sometimes valid) but they are never any better themselves.

Mr. Knucklehead said...

"Bossanova of pain" was unspeakably clever, Jenn. Love it!

I often hit the local grocery store at lunch time, and there are lots of elderly bats present at that time of day. It can be frustrating, indeed.

Claire said...

Oh yes, she know exactly what she was doing. I made the mistake of looming over her 4 foot nothingness to reach something.

Don't judge me when reading this, she was ebil!

So I turned round and like Charlene, asked if she was okay, in a nice calm voice.

She replied: Oh yes, did I hit you then?

I replied: You know very well that you did, you stupid old bitch, do it again and YOU wont be.

Then strolled off mumbling.


I have also carried groceries for oldies and fetched things for them, so I am not ebil all the time, just to rude people.

ReformingGeek said...

Hilarious, but OMG! Um....I don't know if I could have held my temper and I would be reaching for my concealed......er.....light saber. Yeah. Light saber. Old-lady-zapper. Nothing left but a puddle.


I wish I could be around when the karma pays a visit to her.

We had an old man bash our car with his door right in front of us and then adamantly deny it when we confronted him. Sheesh.

Jay said...

I've seen Duel. Or Duell. Whatever. I didn't much like it, it seemed silly to me, but then I haven't been rammed by a granny lately.

I know how that hurts though. It's quite incredibly painful, isn't it?

Jenn Thorson said...

ScrewDestiny- I know some lovely older people-- but like in any group, there are just those people who feel exempt from rules for behavior. And that's what tends to bug me.

Knucklehead- Heh, thanks. Yeah, and on the day everyone gets their social security checks, it's a madhouse!

Claire- I know your Evil levels fluctuate :) I'm not worried about you kicking puppies and slapping sweet old ladies. I do however have visions of you taking on some mean old bat like Basil Fawlty might have as a guest. :)

Reforming Geek- I grew up with a lot of elderly great-aunts and everything, so I've been taught that you should be respectful of older people... but I tell you, this time it wasn't easy. :)

Jay- They ARE stronger than they look.

Barry said...

I have seen that movie 2 too amny times (twice). I thought Weaver played such a pussy and was an idiot.

But then again he had movie rules - you know when you are fleeing the big fast scary thing, stop and look back instead of just running, etc.

Jenn Thorson said...

Barry- There are certainly a few logic problems with the film. Why didn't Dennis Weaver just give up and try to go HOME sooner? He knew he had already missed his opportunity for the meeting with his boss.

Ah, but as you say, he had Movie Rules. Also, he was supposed to be kinda weak and non-confrontational. Otherwise, there would have been no plot.

TC said...

I will be this granny. Seriously Alzheimers runs so thick on both sides of my family I've told the kids they will never know whether it's the alz kicking in or I'm having fun with them. Everyone thinks it's sick I joke about it but it's better than crying and moaning about it!! LOL

Jenn Thorson said...

TC- All I ask is that you stay clear of Pittsburgh-area grocery stores.... Y'know, once the Alzheimer's kicks in. Of course you probably won't remember that. :)