Attacked by a banshee

I had a run-in with a banshee the other day. Evidently, banshees have no names, and this one wanted mine.

The creature in question, and her consort, own or work in a downtown building that sits perpendicular to the building where I work for a couple hours a day, twice a week, early in the morning. Along the side of my building, and the back of theirs, runs a thin strip of property that looks like an alley. No one can drive in it though, because people park right in the middle of it. Shortly after I started working there, I learned why: it’s not an alley, and it’s not public. It belongs to those side-street buildings. Here, I’ll draw you a picture:

Map

I park in spots behind my workplace that face that private strip. When I leave work, because it’s a crowded area, I pull forward into the private strip, turn right for about 20 feet, then right or left into the public alley. No harm done. Neighborly cooperation–I thought.

On this day, just as I was about to move forward, the banshee and her consort pulled up behind their building so that I couldn’t pull forward. I couldn’t back up, either, because a truck was jutting out from our loading dock, right behind me. I was trapped. The obvious answer, of course, was more neighborly cooperation.

Banshees and their consorts don’t do neighborly, as I was soon to find out.

I gestured through the windshield at the woman who got out of the car, and she came closer to see what I wanted. I opened the car door and said, “Could you back up just enough so I could get out? I have someone blocking me from behind.”

I expected a cheerful, “Sure! Be glad to!” Silly me.

At this point the man got out of the car and said, “This isn’t an alley, it’s private. You can just sit there and wait for the truck to leave.”

My jaw dropped in disbelief while indignation rose like a tide. “Well, thanks a lot!” I said, and sat back, resigned to an indefinite wait in a cold car.

However, the woman was now heading toward my car, where I still had the door open. Oh good, I thought. I can better explain what I wanted. So I again launched, naively, into the I-just-wanted-to-get-out-of-my-parking-space  speech–and then I glanced at her. She wasn’t hearing me. Her eyes were glazed and her jaw was flapping, and she was going on and on about how it was THEIR property, and it was NOT an alley, and the people from where I work had done nothing but ABUSE…

OK, lost cause, I realized. You don’t expect rationality from a banshee. I gave up.

“Just forget it,” I told her, in mid-tirade, and I shut the door.

Well! That set her off even more. She got even closer and starting pounding on my door, and although I was trying, at this point, to avoid eye contact, I was sure I’d find flecks of spittle splattered on my window.banshee

“I want your name!” she shrieked at me. Why? I wondered. Don’t you have one of your own? Wisely, I refrained from saying that, but I did give an emphatic and disbelieving, “No.”

With that she grabbed my door handle and yanked the door open, repeating, “I want your name!” Banshee or not, she was beginning to look downright ridiculous.

I said no again, and shut the door again. She tried opening it again and there we were, like a couple of little kids, playing tug-of-war over my door.

Notice, this wild woman who was having an apoplectic fit because I dared to want to drive on their precious strip of ground, had no problem swooping onto OUR parking lot and wrenching on MY door. That’s when I realized that, besides being nameless, banshees are also rather brainless, running on some kind of demented instinct to attack.

She  finally let go of my door handle, only to then squat in front of my car, rummaging through her purse and then writing down my license plate number, bellering out each letter and number as she wrote.

Well, I thought, she obviously knows how to read. Funny she has to have my name instead of finding one for herself.

She finally left off the attack, arose, and started up the outside stairs of her building, aka The Bat Cave. But she wasn’t done yet.

‘HAVE. A. NIIIIICE. DAY!” she shrieked.

And I did. How could I not? I earned many a belly laugh in the retelling of this tale and got some great material for a new blog.

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About Monica Sawyn

I'm a retired newspaper reporter/columnist, and although I still freelance, I miss the weekly column I used to write. I still "see columns" in everyday life and need a place to put them after they're written--thus, this blog. I'm Catholic, have been a Benedictine oblate since 1977, and live with my husband and our beagle in Sturgeon Bay, Wis. When I'm not writing, I'm probably reading, sewing, taking photos or walking the dog. I actually have two blogs here: one about ordinary things at monicaspen.wordpress.com; and one about Catholic and Benedictine things at heartsponderings.wordpress.com.
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21 Responses to Attacked by a banshee

  1. Kay Krause says:

    Ok I think I would take off any reference to you and print this thing and leave it on their car. Oh yeah, I would indeed, of course I would tempted to print a few more and leave them on a few cars.LOL

  2. gtrgeorge51 says:

    I LOVE IT!!!

    One of the motivations of moving from the “Big City” of Chicago to Door County, Wisconsin, was that we might possibly get shut of selfish, possessive, territorial people. I guess not… Like those seagulls in the movie “Finding Nemo”: “MINE! MINE! MINE! MINE! MINE!”

  3. Jennifer O'Neil says:

    I love your story however I feel for you in having to endure this type of torture. I have people like that on a fairly regular basis here @ work and they do look absolutely ridiculous. I hope she thought back on the day and felt like a complete creep. You know what they say, what comes around goes around. Hopefully she will get hers in due time.

    • Monica Sawyn says:

      Oh, I have no idea that hindsight has shown her how ridiculous she was. And I’m also sure the guy with her, although he started it, probably advised her to just drop the whole thing. The license plate thing was just bravado on her part. Fun to write about this, though! I’m always looking for grist for the writing mill. LOL!

  4. tom koehler says:

    I’m all about revenge, a dish best served cold. A little research could determine the actual ownership of the properties in question, and if it is determined that the “alley” is not in fact hers, well…you could maybe have a new parking space.

  5. Art says:

    You handled that VERY well. Much better than I could have. I must commend you on your patience and dignity. You are a class act. I doubt I could have resisted the urge to give them both what they so justly deserved. Still it IS a good story. I hope someday they may realize what a severe beating you dealt them with your restraint. Banshee is too nice a word for her. The real title begins with a “B” but is more appropriate. BUT, you have illustrated the number one rule of “debate”. That being, “You can’t argue with stupid!!”

    • Monica Sawyn says:

      Your last line says it all, Art. I remember, way in the back of my mind, so far I hardly noticed it at the time, was the thought that I shouldn’t say or do anything to give her any REAL ammunition.

  6. blb1 says:

    I hope if she tries to run your license she has to pay. She’s lucky it wasn’t me as I would of been calling the police to report a threat to my safety.

    • Monica Sawyn says:

      You know, I should have calmly taken out my cell phone and dialed 9-1-1 right in the middle of her rant. I wish I’d thought of it. I’m not a bit worried about the police running my plates, or my employer being told, since she was the only one acting like a lunatic. I have a feeling her consort, who actually stood inside peeking out the window at me after she went inside, probably told her back off or she’d only cause herself trouble.

      But I did get a fun blog out of all this!

  7. sarahlmandl says:

    That was completely crazy! I agree with Art, you are a VERY patient woman. Like blb1, I would have been calling the police as soon as her hand touched my door. Wow. By the way, I love the picture of the screaming banshee. I have no doubt that is exactly what she looked like. Well played.

    • Monica Sawyn says:

      I’m anxious to head back to that job on Wednesday, and see if I run into her again. And if she doesn’t park in front of me, I’ll still use her space to get out of my parking space. I’d love to know if she’s looking back on that incident with embarrassed hindsight.

      • Art says:

        Sadly, people like that don’t seem to have hindsight, or the delicacy of being embarrassed. She is probably spreading HER version of the story where YOU are the monster. (and she is ?normal?) This calls for a cell phone video on youtube.. LOL

      • Monica Sawyn says:

        You may be right, Art. I keep wondering what kind of lousy start she had to her day, or what kinds of issues she’s been dealing with to make her so ornery. Poor thing. She probably needs prayers.

      • sarahlmandl says:

        If she isn’t looking back at it with embarrassment, she should be. Should I be praying for you Wednesday morning? 😉

      • Monica Sawyn says:

        Usually, we’re there and gone before they ever arrive, and that was the case today. It’s only when our delivery truck is late that we get pushed close to their arrival time. Something I just found out from a fellow worker who saw the whole thing: the man who was with this banshee actually stood there and photographed either my license plate or me in the car. It was all an attempt to intimidate me, and it isn’t working. By the way, I now know their names and the business they own, an arts supply store. Guess who WON’T be buying photography supplies there?

  8. Bill Sturdevant says:

    Hi Monica. Remember, I was right there, parked next to you. I heard every word and saw every action. I, if she had tried to do this to me, probably would have told her that I was on the verge of calling the police and having her arrested for assault. Even if she wasn’t arrested, I would then make certain that word of her actions and the completely negative attitude of her and her companion was in some way sent to all of her customers, as well as the neighboring small business owners in the area of 3rd Ave. One thing we don’t need in Sturgeon Bay is people who think they are better than everyone else around. That kind of attitude was one I hated in Mke, and I don’t want to see our pleasant community ruined by the big city attitudes of certain selfish individuals. Although we have our share of people who don’t want to be associated with the average person if they don’t have to, They know that the average person is the one who keeps their businesses running smoothly. I think the actions of these two people are despicable, and should be made public for them to face and live with, especially when they stooped so low as to actually take pictures of Monica and her license plate. This kind of foolishness should not be tolerated in our fair community.

    • Monica Sawyn says:

      Thanks for the support, Bill! You did indeed see it all. Now that it’s over, I’ve had a chance to think of all kinds of things I probably should have done–like calmly taking out my cell phone and calling the police. Someone asked me if she’d been drinking. I don’t know whether she has a history of that–but at 7:30 in the morning? I would LOVE to spread her behavior all over town, using her name (which I now know) but that’s just not my style. However, if anyone in town reads this blog, and asks, I’ll tell them.

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