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By Tim Ellwood

I used to work for a major gun company back at the turn of the century. My job as a regional sales manager consisted of driving around a three-state area, going to gun shops. (It sucked, but someone had to do it.) I had taken over the North Carolina,Virginia and Tennessee territory and moved to central North Carolina from Florida. I was in western North Carolina and had a meeting scheduled at a shop first thing in the morning. Best thing to do when you have a early meeting is to bring doughnuts . . .

I did not know the town, so I stopped in the first grocery store I saw. I thought I was ready for anything. I had 50 or so sample handguns in my company van and was armed to the teeth.
I had been to shooting schools, “gunfighter” schools, taught knife defensive classes and was still in pretty good shape then.

A model 25-5 6″ .45 Long Colt revolver sat in a shoulder rig under my left arm. A Sigma in .357 SIG was on my right hip and I had a 642 in my left pocket. All that was backed up up with a balisong custom next to my wallet and a Spyderco police model in my front pocket.

I was running a little late, so I blew into the store, grabbed the fat pills and headed to checkout. I then noticed the store was busy. No worries, I thought, as I reached back for my wallet to get ready to pay so I could make my appt on time.

BAM Something large and heavy hit me on my head. I didn’t go down but was stunned and I started to turn. BAM I see it coming this time but can’t get out of its way. It was about the size of a carry-on bag, brown and must of been filled with bricks.

This second smack put me on the ground, as I look up I see a huge muumuu-wearing lady who must have been in her late 50’s with a really nice hat on, winding up her gigantic purse to hit me again.
She is doing a fine job of calling me every name in the book, without using any swear words.

I was still stunned. My left hand went into pocket and my right was debating on if I need the penetration of the .357 SIG round or the big bullet from the .45.

From her tirade I gather that I had cut in front of her as we were heading for the checkout. More than likely, I did. I was in total condition white and just wanted to get out of there and get where I needed to be.

BAM Right in the chest, luckily my right arm was across it (as I decided I need a big bullet) and took most of the blow. I truly believe she was toting a gold bar in that bag.

The crowd by this time was egging her on and she was starting to cock her leg back to commence kicking me. I had been in a similar situation a few times before, one where you knew you were going to have to “go to guns” if you were planing to live to see the sunset that day. Everything slows down and I remember thinking, if I shoot grandma, I am not carrying enough bullets to get out of here alive.

The manager had come around the counter and was watching the altercation. I guess he saw the grip of the revolver as my numbed hand was reaching for it and decided to step between us. He helped me up, picked up my doughnuts and walked me to the door. Someone had restrained Grandma, or I am sure she would have followed me out and bashed me again with that bag that had to have had a medieval mace along with some concrete in it.

I was sore and bruised for two weeks. It took me a year before I would go into a grocery store again.

The take away:
Never go into a store without looking around.
Always keep you head on a swivel.
Always have more that 50 rds. of ammo on you.
Never ever cut in front of a older large women in the store…they will kill you.
A gun or a knife won’t solve everything. Sometimes, you just got to take the beating.
I got free doughnuts.

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    • Correct. Not having her arrested will only encourage her to repeat this behavior. And next time it might be done to someone who cannot shrug off the blows as easily. Falling from the blow alone could result in severe impact injury. Grandma needs to learn some restraint.

      • Spend a little time in N.C.? She may be a local. Good luck pressing charges in a small town in western N.C.

        • As someone who lived in high country SC for a time I can verify that if this was one of the small towns up in the hills she probably would have had to kill you to even get a police report filed.

        • You can’t win if you don’t race.

          Call the cops. The store has video. If the cops don’t press charges, sue her. I hate thugs like that with every fiber of my being.

    • Remember, if you believe certain people it’s the gun owners who are violent and will start shooting over being cut off in line…

    • ^ This. Unprovoked assault is a crime. You let her get away with it, and she’ll do it again. Hell, she probably already had a history of assault too.

      • Yep, I see this all the time. I am a nurse and I work in the ER. I lost track of the amount of times a senior citizen has laid hands on me.

        People will scoff at the idea of a 70 year old being a threat to a 6’1 240 lb, but here is some food for thought: some of these senior citizens think/know that you will not respond force on force due to age and setting, that guy that was a junior welterweight and played rugby for a long time still has the grip and knows how to land a punch, and finally the pricks that are young get old too and now find that they have wide birth for their bad manners. Finally, these guys and gals may not have their wits about them, especially when my new age record for positive meth use is a 78 y/o women.

        Now people get one polite warning and one stern one, after that it is security and/or restraints for you.

        Keep up your situational awareness guys and gals!

  1. Ha ha winner for comedy article for sure. Some of these entries have been real tear jerkers hearing all the goods times people have had growing up and shooting. Hopefully Ican create those moments with my future children.

  2. He probably took the last bear claw. Never get between a fat person and their sweets. It will only end badly.

  3. Must be a Yankee transplant or else from the Miami area. Real southern gentlemen know better than to cut in front of a ‘lady’. Now he’s been well learnt.

    • Civility requires both parties to adhere.

      Let me give you the three year old version in case you are still under the assumption that this is acceptable in any fashion: two wrongs don’t make a right.

      The lady should have said something and left it at that. I catch my mother doing something like this, I’m slapping her.

  4. 3 guns and 2 knives and gramma took you out with a purse. Man card. Now. And, for writing about your shame you shall forever after have to walk a poodle named Foo Foo thru bad neighberhoods. 🙂

  5. im not sure what it says about me that i dont think this is funny. just made me angry. the author was a victim of a criminal assault. “cutting” in line is not an excuse to attack someone, and while the author may not have been justified to use deadly force, he was certainly justified to be indignant and outraged. maybe i just need to lighten up, francis. i dont know.

    • The situation is only funny in hindsight, in the image painted by the author. Battery is not a laughing matter, but given the circumstances and the presumably hostile crowd, whose testimony to the local constable might not been helpful to the situation, getting out alive–and with the donuts–might not be such a bad outcome.

    • I’m torn too.

      Generally a polite tap on the shoulder and an “excuse me, I think I was next” works well.

      It doesn’t matter whether it came from a purse, golf club, baseball bat, or fist, enough force delivered to knock someone down to the ground is a serious blow. That plus the windup to kick tells me this was in fact, if not in first appearance, a very serious incident.

    • In the last four years, I’ve noticed a significant uptick in the number of serious violent assaults committed by women. I’ve reconciled myself to the determination that if attacked by a woman (or women, plural), I’m going to have to respond in kind.

      Such is the decline of our civilization.

      • I am friends with a moderately anti gun man who lives in detroit and we were discussing this very issue one day. He told me he keeps a brick in his back seat for (and I am paraphrasing here) ‘The big ass bitches that step up’.

        • What is it with women who feel they can physically attack a man with impunity, just because they’re women? Imagine the outrage if a younger woman had cut the line and he reacted the same way, with brute physical force. He’d be arrested and charged with assault in no time. But a woman doing the same thing to a man? Somehow her behavior is not condemned, or at least not perceived as equally offensive. You know, she’s just a woman, let it go. That sort of thing. Which leaves a man with limited options. If he retaliates, he’s now the bully, because he’s perceived as the stronger one, even though he’s the victim of an assault. Women are a-OK with all the double standards in the world, as long as they’re the beneficiaries. But the minute the same standard is applied to their disadvantage, they cry foul. Sorry, can’t have it both ways.

    • I’m divided, too. These things are funny when they’re fictional or when someone really had it coming, but much less so when it’s real and there is serious and lasting impact. Then again, I do like gallows humor and old “Honeymooners” episodes are still funny. “One of these days, Alice….”

      Take it two-tiered, I suppose, first in the humorous manner in which it was intended, but also with an undertone of seriousness that grave threats can come from all shapes, sizes, directions, and even sometimes wrapped in a muumuu.

  6. What was the shoulder rig for the 625?

    You must be a pretty good sized man to be able to conceal a N-frame in a shoulder rig.

  7. So a simple ” excuse me, the line starts back there” wouldn’t have been enough? being old or a woman doesn’t give you cart blanch to attack people. definately should have called the cops.
    if nothing else for her own good . Even if they just warned her not to do that again. She will do that to someone without the maturity you had and get herself hurt.

    • You don’t understand the entitlement of the described demographic.

      You missed the significance of the large hat, the muumuu and being in the south.

      • Entitlement demographic, indeed. Any man who pulled that crap would have received a trip downtown, fingerprints and a new portrait.

        Count me among those who think Mr. Ellwood should have called the cops.

  8. She is the police chief’s mother. The smart manager knew that. Count your blessings and never forget to recon alien territory.

  9. If he had shot her $100 says nobody who was egging granny on would have done squat. Except maybe run away screaming.

  10. She was/is a violent criminal. That sort of dangerous behavior should earn jail time.

  11. That was just fantastic. I cringed with every blow she gave, and laughed all while I was reading this.

  12. Hmm, seems like that patriarchy forgot to show up for you that day. Can we hazard a guess as to the result had it been a grandpa and not a grandma? I’m glad your coolheadedness prevailed.

  13. Love the story(in the running!)-but gramma is a criminal. And those egging her on are worse. Ya’ shoulda’ shot her(lol)…BTW I have been in a grocery store and a woman wanted to kick my azz because I accidentally bumped her cart. I was 3 times bigger than her and at the time could have thrown her above my head(weightlifter) and killed her. AND I remember a woman screaming at me because I wasn’t vacating a grocery parking space and threatening to kill me-suburban little white girl. Young and old there’s some crazy females out there…

    • “Ya’ shoulda’ shot her(lol)…”

      Shot her, no, a nice heavy squirt of Bear-be-Gone bear spray in her face would have been an appropriate response.

      Granny would likely not repeat that stunt again.

  14. I work with a number a “fluffy folks” in my office and we always follow standard campsite protocol. Store everything in sealed containers, hide it out of site, and if necessary tie it up out of reach so they can’t get to it. Otherwise you’ll come back after lunch and find your cubicle wrecked. And for god’s sake….don’t come between them and the food. If challenged just let them have it!

    • Want to stop the “fluffy ones”? Bake a batch of chocolate cookies using Ex-Lax. That will be the last time they forage in your cubicle.

      • “Want to stop the “fluffy ones”? Bake a batch of chocolate cookies using Ex-Lax.”

        Ex-Lax today is *nothing* like the Ex-Lax of yore.

        Old Ex-Lax used Phenolphthalein (a common lab chemical) to work it’s magic on your sphincter. Labs use it for things like determining when a solution turns basic.

        Fortunately, E-Bay has lots of the stuff rather cheap. Caution – Google the dose, it’s rather small.

  15. Ha! I’ll bet you were in a Food Lion, the “perp’s” description could fit half their clientele. Funny as heck story, too.

    • That’s what I was thinking. A little tap to the knee and it would probably fold up–backwards.

  16. Seeing the author with all those donuts, grandma jumped to the conclusion that he was the cop who shot her little Fluffy.

  17. Fat, entitled, loves donuts — she must be the day shift desk Sgt. at the local P.D.

  18. FREE DONUTS = good.


    Sorry, but this was a funny one. Good write-up!

  19. Good lesson. Now substitute Armed Gun Dealer for Unarmed U.S. citizen (in the fully gun-grabbed nonsense utopia proposed by gun-grabbing A-hole/blue state/(D) heads.

    Substitute Mexico/Russia/China/___________ [add your own favorite flavor of co-Armageddon battle-royale attendee].. . with ALLEGED (in the sense that the Obama Administration would be oblivious to it) Attempted Murderess Subject – “muumuu.” Run the scenario back and forth in your head until you’ve raised ground-water and created a permanent rut.

  20. Not amused. Assuming this story isn’t unmitigated BS–I am unconvinced–such a thing should not have been taken so lightly no matter what town or state or the familiarity thereof. You should have taken the time to press charges for simple assault no matter how useless you thought it’d be. It might have been a better idea to be thinking about how to put distance between yourself and the assailant rather than the comparative merits of which caliber weapon to deploy. Which, again I say, stinks of BS.

    • Wow, nice. Tell a story that is embarrassing and get called a lair. Really? I think I might even still have some pictures of the bruises and my Girlfriend could sign a notarized statement as to the injuries, would that eleveate your concerns about the truthfulness of the story? On second thought, there is no pleasing some people, have a great day sir.

  21. I had something similar happen at the cracker Barrel in Gainesville. Old lady was blocking the line. I gave her the hairy eyeball, and asked twice if she was in line and going to pay, as it was her turn. She said no. So I went around her. She then proceeded to tell me what an asshole I was for cutting in front of her. SHE JUST FINISHED THE SENTENCE SAYING SHE WASN’T EVEN IN LINE! Senile? Deaf? Setting me up because he’s bored and old and has nothing better to do? I have no idea. Two people witnessed me asking if she was in line, if she was going to pay. And even thought I know damn well they saw and heard the truth of it, they still took her side! I don’t even know how long she was standing there staring at the cashier not moving, as she was already standing there when I had come out of the dining area. I was extra patient, was courteous, gave her 3 chances, everyone there knew it, and still she and the witnesses to the truth all turned on me as if paying for my meal was a crime against humanity.

    I wondered “What if this had been a defensive shooting incident? With witnesses like these, I’d be screwed!”

  22. “Sometimes You Just Have to Take the Beating”

    I disagree. Just because she was old doesn’t give her a license to abuse fellow citizens.
    Should have called the cops on her and press charges. Whether she was arrested or not would’ve been on the po-po’s heads but at least you would have shown that “sweet old lady” and that mob that there are consequences for every action.

    • I don’t call cops.
      I don’t call 9-1-1 and ask for an ambulance because they might send cops instead.
      I can’t think of a situation I might find myself in that’s already so bad it can’t be made much worse by the addition of cops.

      And I suspect this situation could easily have gotten worse with a few cops thrown into the mix.

  23. Having been born in the mountains of Western North Carolina and growing up in the nearby mountains of Virginia, I can understand how something like this can happen. We mountain folks don’t like Yankee city slickers rushing into our stores and pushing themselves to the front of the line. We do things slowly and politely. The author said he moved from Florida but I would wager that he was originally from the north. We consider outsiders carpetbaggers until they prove differently.

  24. I’m not going to defend the old lady – as others have said, what she did was assault – and I’m going to commend the OP for his restraint, but…

    What kind of jerk just cuts the line like that?

    Again – I agree that this was disproportionate retribution that crossed into a criminal offense, but still… Don’t be a jerk.

    • I think you misread the situation. There were two people headed for a busy checkout line. One of them made it there first. Maybe brusquely, but not intentionally. He wasn’t cutting in line, he just beat grandma Bear there and she was displeased.

      Still rude, but this is the kind of thing that happens unintentionally all the time, as in the case above. He just wasn’t paying attention.

  25. That. Sucks.

    Glad you didn’t make a bad thing worse, though. I doubt she meant to kill you, but who the heck can fathom the mind of a woman, amirite?

  26. As a bulk reply.
    1 Should have called the cops….. I had worked for this gun company before, but this time I was only a few months into this position….. I should not have had more than one gun on my person…… I also did not want to be tied up with coming back for court or hanging around pressing charges in a small town in a state I was not yet familiar with… biggest reason……I was embarrassed as all get out.

    2. Shoulder holster was a Desantis tilt SH, great for carting a large frame gun. I am 6,1 6,2 depending on what convenience store I am leaving, so I have been blessed with a large enough frame to conceal most anything.

    3. I had just moved from Miami, after living in FL for 25 years. But I was born and raised in AZ. Learned at a early age to hold the door for people, say sir and ma’am and be respectful of my elders. When this happened, I was just lost in my own little world in my head, thinking about what would happen at the shop, worried if I had enough doughnuts and trying to remember who won the race the last weekend so I could “bond” with the hillbillys!

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