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At the Gas Pump
Countering Panhandling in Dindustan

“What about people's techniques for handling or foisting off beggars, or keeping safe distance and perhaps civility? (I never give).”


Mister Bob,

Let me begin by relating an encounter that my assistant corner man of this weekend past had, before he drove down to Maryland to spirit me away into The Land of Knuckleheads.

The Pictish Convenience Store

I [Nero the Pict] was stopping in to gas up at the Wawa outside of town—not far from the Mystery Meat Gas Station—and I had settled in to fueling up with my back to the pump, keeping an eye on the two access points to left and right. It’s not hard to be vigilant when you’ve got yourself into the frame of mind that you’re heading down into Maryland and you know you can’t pack a gun.

A salt and pepper team roll up in a white van, the black dude driving. The driver boxes me in and says, “You got a cigarette?”

This while his white partner—who might have been mystery meat, but looked white—is getting out and coming around so that I’ll be boxed in and surrounded. The cigarette ploy is the oldest in a very old book of gambits to get your hands where they don’t need to be to defend yourself.

So I say to him, “I don’t fuckin’ smoke.”

He gives me the hard look.

There is hesitation from the partner.

In a tense short time, as I get a handle on my knife and get ready to deal with the threat, he—the partner—gets back in and they roll off and take up a stalking position on the side of the lot away from the pumps, up to no good for certain.

The fucker has a vehicle and is at a place that sells cigarettes, so it’s obviously just a ruse. After thinking it over, it was obvious that they wanted my car. It’s a small dull-colored beater, perfect for use committing crimes, unlike the van, which you don’t want to be driving away from a robbery or whatever unsavory business they were about.

Panhandling Counters

Unless they are a decrepit homeless creature, panhandles are generally sizing you up—interviewing you—for a larger and less voluntary extraction of your resources.

Nero correctly positioned himself, stayed alert while the encounter developed and made only one mistake, verbalizing. However, he minimized this by speaking abruptly and belligerently, without escalating or extending the exchange and not threatening verbally. If it is your nature to speak to strangers and you are not a large, relaxed, imposing, armed man, obviously confident of his prowess, than speaking is always a mistake, but the damage can be minimized. Going against your own nature might make you tense and inviting and it is imperative that you remain relaxed.

The clutch act that Nero used to derail this situation is a knife technique that is not recognized as so by knife experts, but which is the knife’s most effective use. By simply accessing his weapon, Nero obviated the need to converse, did not have to engage in acting, did not have to brandish or use his knife, but simply used it to plug himself into combat mode. Real killers with knives kill from the pocket or belt draw. The low IQ criminal class may not know this, but know in their bones that “the nigga who will stick you” stays quiet and calm and fills his hidden hand.

Beyond that, even if they do not perceive the knife hold, experienced predators will immediately understand that the target of their evil intentions has just committed himself to combat. Predators seek advantage, not competition.

Counters to Panhandling

Any time someone asks you for anything:

-Limit access to your personal space by moving or turning

-Identify the accomplice

-Coil for action [don’t go to a fighting guard] but have your legs and arms ready to accelerate without a preparative movement.

-Your body language must reflect that you are being attacked and you are ready to counterattack. If you are pacing like you are gassing up the car to go murder your brother-in-law for beating your sister and at the same time understand that you are being tracked by a squad of mobsters, there is no need to act. Either wait coldly in the best possible position to turn on your attackers or pace like an angry wolf.

-Never say anything beyond “no” and only say that if you believe they are trying to pick a fight. If he tries to expand the verbal intercourse the attack is now in progress. Shut up and prepare to rip guts from bellies. He should die three times in your mind before he can get out of his car or take three steps into the pit that is about to swallow him.

-If you have the option, pretending not to hear him and at the same time furiously scanning the near horizon for that bastard you are looking to kill, might do you some good.

Any healthy man should kill in his mind every day, for at least as long as he spends eating and drinking food.

Every strange man that approaches you should die at least once in your mind’s eye. The inability to visualize high stress activity is a symptom of the inability to act under stress.

If you are not at war with the world than you are nothing more than a beast of burden.

The Fighting Edge


Being a Bad Man in a Worse World

Fighting Smart: Boxing, Agonistics & Survival

Add Comment
BobMarch 13, 2018 12:08 AM UTC

With my build, there's no way I'm credibly pulling off Nero the Pict brashness. It would be dishonest, I couldn't deliver the goods were the glove picked up.

A knife is out of the question for legal reasons, but the visualization and positioning tips are good. Thanks.
responds:March 13, 2018 4:08 AM UTC

I have done well in this situation by not acknowledging that I was spoken to and being very active physically.