We Wuz Robbed!

I need to vent some anger. This morning, Margarita and I went to Santa Ana to do some shopping. We boarded the bus to return to El Refugio. We took seats near the back door for an easy exit when we got home. Vendors passed through the aisle as always as the bus slowly made its way past the stalls along the narrow road from the terminal to the main street. Margarita sat on my left by the window holding my left arm in her right arm. There was a break in the parade of vendors and two guys got on the bus via the back door. Suddenly, I felt a dull knife on my neck. The front man said something which I didn’t understand. As I glanced right, I could see the home-made shank, the short stocky guy holding it, and another chubby fellow behind him. Margarita said, “He wants your ring”. In a lot less time than it’s taken to write these sentences, I was ready to elbow the knifer in the crotch, spin up out of my seat into the aisle, and kick him into the other guy who was close enough to the stairwell to fall out. The surprise of a victim’s fighting back would have deterred them both.

BUT, my wife is a Salvadoreña. Whereas I was not emotionally moved, just prepared, she was afraid. There’s a lot of fear here. She pulled my arm to her rendering me incapable of successfully engaging the would-be thieves. I slowly pulled off my wedding ring and she quickly removed hers. The guy took them and they both bolted off the bus into the market place crowd. Nothing to do; nothing to say.
I’ve had cell phones lifted from my belt case twice on bus trips to San Salvador. In the sardine cans that ply that route, I didn’t feel a thing. I don’t carry a cell phone anymore. Two points for the bad guys. But these two clowns were ripe for a fall. It was my sweet wife’s fear that cost us our rings. She tried to lighten it up by stating it was a good thing they didn’t ask for my wallet. True! But I would have had to get up if they’d asked for it. That might have worked to my advantage. Assuming the other guy didn’t have a pistol. Now, we’ll never know.
I’m out two wedding rings and I’m pissed. I’ll get over it. When I can, I’ll buy us two more rings. I feel naked without mine. I’m sure she does too, but she’s glad I’m in one piece. This woman truly loves me. How much more could I be blessed!
Margarita and I sat and talked about it this afternoon.  She told me something I didn’t know.  For the ten to fifteen seconds we were accosted, there was a third guy sitting behind her with a knife to her neck as well.
A policeman friend told me that sometimes the vendors or one of the bus employees check passengers for rings or other easily obtainable items of value.  When they exit the back door, they tip off the punks as to who, what, and where.  So, we were set up.  She was right to be frightened and I may have gotten her hurt had I carried out my intention even successfully for the two punks I knew about.   God is good!

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