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Stalked!

Before the orders to stay home were given, the Moth and I were returning home from casting our vote in the local elections, in a suburb we weren’t familiar with.

This particular suburb is notorious for its colourful residents, an interesting “teeth to tatt” ratio and frequent domestic altercations. That didn’t faze us at all, as I’ve a dear friend living there, who really loves it. Never a dull moment, she says. Always a police siren to wake you up from an unscheduled Nanna Nap! Lol!

Not really knowing the directions through this delightful beachside suburb, the Moth decided to “chuck a U- ey,” (which is Aussie speak for making a U-turn in one’s vehicle), in order to return to our Home by the Sea.

It was a straightforward and technically correct maneouvre, but shortly after we made the turn, a silver commodore, with heavily tinted windows, overtook us at great speed. Not really registering his presence yet, my Moth (Man of the House), and I continued our merry banter discussing the predictions for the upcoming elections, when that same silver commodore slowed to a snail’s pace, this time driving in front of us.

The Moth clicked the indicator to overtake this car, muttering something about a ‘smart ass’, when the same silver commodore swerved again, deliberately blocking us. The Moth indicated back to return to the original lane. The silver commodore did the same.

This cat and mouse game repeated itself several times until the Moth began frothing at the mouth.

I was nonchalant, but suggested we might take a side road detour to avoid him, but the Moth was worried he would continue to follow us. “Don’t be ridiculous,” I said. “This isn’t the Fast and the Furious! He’ll forget about his game in a minute.”

The Moth, then, had a change of heart veering quickly down a back street, far too late for the silver commodore driver to follow.

Phew! I thought as we closed in on the road towards home. I was relieved the silly incident was now over.

On turning the next bend, a lump of bile coalesced in my throat. For there, parked on the side of the road, with the engine running, was the same silver commodore! I hoped he wasn’t lying in wait for us. Unfortunately, he was!

In scenes reminescent of the seventies film, “Duel”– this dude, continued to stalk and harrass us for the next 10 minutes. I can only assume it was a dude from the size of his hand on the steering wheel, as that was the only body part visible through the heavily, (possibly illegally), tinted windows.

Perhaps he had just had a bad day, or lost his job from Corona, I am not sure, but the dude in the silver commodore with his rapper-styled Air Freshener dangling wildly from his rear vision mirror, continued his road rage game for several more kilometres, at times tailgating and overtaking us and just as quickly slowing down in front of us, causing us to brake suddenly.

It began to get a little frightening.

“I don’t want to go home,” I told the Moth. “I don’t want him to know where we live.” But the Moth had a plan.

The Moth took us for a drive, not to our home, but directly to – the local police station! Luckily for us, the parking spot right at the station’s front door was free when we reached it. The Moth parked the car and got out.

Strangely enough, the silver commodore with its heavily tinted windows drove straight past our parked car, and the Police Station entrance, with due care, observing all the usual speed controls.

I suppose he did not want to attract attention – for some reason.

We chucked another ‘U-ey and headed for home.

100 thoughts on “Stalked!”

  1. Phewww… I’m so glad to know that you’re both safe! No matter the reason this guy did this, trying to get rid of him must have been so scary! Did you take his license plate’s number to report him?

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    1. I did get a photo of his number plate. The funny thing was when I tried to photograph the driver’s seat and his face, he would speed up or slow down so that my view of his face was occluded by something. I did get a video of him tailgating us in the side mirror. When the Moth went into the police station, it was so full of people that he didn’t both lodging a complaint. We have the video though if we ever needed it. How are things in lock down in Canada, Catherine? Are you managing okay?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. At least, you have proof, if you ever need it… Some people are so strange!!

        Here, things are okay so far… We haven’t left our apartment in a week and a half. But the numbers are quickly rising, and Montréal is, by far the epicenter in Québec, and to know that we’re in the hot spot is beginning to be quite stressful. But we’re both healthy and working to stay that way 🙂

        I hope you two are well and safe too, Amanda. How are things in the Brisbane area? Is everything closed, and people locked down too?

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Hi again Catherine, Sorry I missed replying to this comment. For some reason, there was no option to reply via notifications, which another blogger has been noticing happening lately too. I am glad to hear that you are both well. Since last month, we have had a few weeks of partially total lockdown. Only essential shops are open, liquor stores for some reason are deemed essential! Hardwares stores also are open so the Moth is happy. Everyone here is health at present, and probably due to the strict social distancing rules which people are finally understanding. Schools are all but closed to the children of essential workers so kids are at home and parents are getting creative with them. I am on leave from work due to being at a somewhat higher risk than others. That is okay with me although it is like being retired. I have to find a new routine, and I don’t feel that productive, and yet being home is pretty satisfying. I guess I am a homebody after all. Would you call yourself one too? Or not?

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  2. Very … ehhh… interesting. But driving to a police station is the only sensible recourse in a situation like this (if you know where to find it). — But I’m actually more interested in something else. You write that you were voting in a “suburb you weren’t familiar with”. This concept is completely foreign to my German but also my South African soul. You vote were you registered (i.e. where your first residential address happens to be). No discussion. And by necessity you know that suburb unless you have just moved there. Polling stations are usually so central that they can be reached by foot unless you live very far in the country (usually they are either in townhalls or in schools). Does your story mean you can vote anywhere you want in Australia?

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    1. Yes you can vote anywhere, eklastic, but you have to fill out a different form, in addition to your regular vote. I guess historically, we had a lot of mobile workers who travelled long distances from farm to farm and they needed to be able to vote anywhere, as it is compulsory to vote here in Australia. You get a fine, if you don’t vote! It is our constitutional vote so everyone does. You are right however in thinking we had moved to a new area.. Furthermore, we voted in a pre-polling arrangement, to avoid the big crowds on election day. This is something new for us and it required us to travel further to reach the place where that pre poll was held. Does that make sense?

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      1. Thanks for the information. Very interesting. Particularly being obligated to vote. Also the historical dimension makes sense. I know from the US that you have to register to vote first and then you can vote. Since we have very strict rules on registration (if you move, you have to notify the authorities of your new address within 2 weeks) voting is strictly connected to registered address. I love to learn about other countries in this non-stressful wordpress environment.

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        1. We do have to notify authorities similar to your rules, but we are free to vote in whatever locale we happen to be in, on voting day. I even voted once, in Germany, when I was in holiday. I attended the Australian Embassy in Berlin and voted there. That was a fun experience. You can also lodge a postal or early pre-vote, if you don’t think you’ll be available on voting day. They get you anyway, you see! There’s no escaping. Lol. Not that I’d want to not cast my vote. I enjoy exercising my right that has been hard won by the people, in generations past.

          Liked by 1 person

    1. Me too. I have never had that experience before. The hand on the steering wheel and darkened car interior is the stuff of nightmares, or horror movies, Nancy!
      How are you going over there? Just as well I didn’t book my flight to come visit!!!

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    1. He is a pretty cool Moth. Street smart. I am glad I snared him, Drake ! Lol!
      But you raise a good point. They are found in many places. What do you think is their primary motivation in doing this?

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    1. Hehe. Margaret. He is my Moth! Sorry you, haven’t met him before. He has been around for around 35 years or so!! He likes a bit of anonymity though. Occasionally he pops up in a photo!

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  3. Good to know that you all are safe. It’s quite a scary experience and you applied your presence of mind to get rid of the stalker. It’s better to file a complaint with the Police if you know the registration number of the stalker’s vehicle.
    Please be careful and stay safe Madam..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your concern Ally. I’m sure it’d be ok now, although if we travel down that way again, I’ll definitely keep an eye out for a Silver Commodore. Could have been a different story, though, if we drove back home, so I’m really glad we didn’t. And one day he might be useful, if I feel like writing a crime fiction story character in a silver commodore! I’d name him Zed, I think!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Not something I would relish going through again. My pulse rate did rise, Michael, particularly when I saw the car stationed on the side of the road, waiting to pounce.

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        1. Perhaps someone who felt insignificant, cheezed off, powerless, lacking in common sense or totally irrational could easily do this. Mind you, his rationality returned quickly enough to scoot off when we stopped at the police station!

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  4. That must have been so scary. I’ve heard that advice (to drive to the nearest police station) given to young women who find themselves stalked by a male driver, but it certainly is something that anyone – at any age or gender – should remember to do. I’m so glad it worked out for you. I wonder what that idiot was thinking?? There is so much pent up anger in the world.

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    1. I think he was taking out his frustrations on us, Janis. The Moth turned in front of him, so perhaps, he felt powerless, pushed down or insignificant, and decided to assert a level of control in a very negative and dangerous way. The sort of guy to steer completely clear of, don’t you think?

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        1. To think a bully/pscho/nutter/fool might be easily armed with a firearm is a truly terrifying scenario. He may have had a weapon too but it is much less likely here, than in America. How do you handle that prospect, Janis?

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  5. Scary situation, but you handled it well. Aggressive behavior freaks me out. I don’t get it and I don’t like it– which I suppose is why aggressive people do what they do. Stay safe.

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    1. Thanks, Ally. I think that there might be more of this type of behaviour, in society, in coming months. Pent up frustrations in people who feel powerless and weak via loss of income, health or family support. They find a soft target on which to vent. When I see the hand on the steering wheel and darkened interior of a silver commodore, in my mind’s eye, I do get a slight shiver and think it could have been horribly worse. Have you ever experienced a “creepy type,” following you?

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        1. It seems so. Bullies generally have a low self esteem so may feel a bit bigger and more powerful when they can frighten others. You also had the common sense to think of driving to the Sheriff’s office! Well done! I can only hazard a guess what to do if you were driving out west or in a remote location.

          Liked by 1 person

  6. Oh my crickey glad yas are ok, We have had a similar nasty time but with a neighbour, it rocks your world considerably. Even on a recent trip down the coast my son & I had to call the police, as a man towing a caravan was driving so erratically he was crossing 2 lanes no indicators & hitting the dirt on either side as he went, with cars clicking 110klm, & him doing between 60 & 110, we weren’t overtaking, but warning others as they drove past us, only to watch him push them off road as they sped past. (Thank the Lord no one was hurt)we finally managed to wave down a highway cop who followed him with sirens & lights for about 15mins before the silly duffa pulled over. There’s quite a lot of silly duffas out there. Gold stars & a smiley stamp for the moth,
    lol, haven’t heard the fraise moth since I used to read the readers digest.

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    1. I am not sure where I first heard the term Moth. I toyed with naming him ‘Math’, as in Man about the house, Workingin acres, but thought that sounded a bit like a European form of Matt!!
      You’re experience with the car, swerving wildly sounds worrisome, also. I wonder if he was drunk, high or falling asleep? I am glad you were able to stave off what could have been a fatal accident. What happened with the neighbour, if it is okay to ask?

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    1. Yep. I did , Peggy. Unfortunately the police station was overflowing with customers so we didn’t end up lodging a report. It did the trick anyhow. Have you ever had an experience like that?

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      1. Your stalking was extreme. We’ve had people try to make us hit them, but it didn’t last long. Most frightening was a motorcyclist who repeatedly came near our front tire.

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    1. Thanks Marlene! His behaviour at the police station indicated he had some concept of what it was! And for the next little while, he was more than likely wondering if or when, the cops would show up to his door for a little chat!! So if he had a conscience, it was probably worried for a time. His own doing, of course!
      There does seem to be some turbulence out there in the community, doesn’t there? Hope it settles down. Are you still doing okay?

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      1. Good to know, Amanda. Don’t think I know where the police station is but I probably would have called it in while he was following me. Cell phones are great for that kind of thing. We are still doing grand. Had a little walk this morning and when we got back, daughter started cooking our breakfast. I do the dishes. 😉 Works out well. Bear hugs to you.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I did have to check on Google – using my cell phone as we aren’t sure of every station in this area yet. So I quite agree that cell phones are extremely useful. I love using mine for information sourcing! Calling the incident in would have been a good thing to do and we didn’t even think of that. Hopefully I won’t have to use that suggestion ever again, but I will remember it, in case I need it.
          A cooked breakfast sounds nice.
          Eggs?

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Eggs are good. I love them for breakfast. At the moment, I am enjoying them hardboiled chopped on top on wholemeal or sourdough toast that had been thinly spread with lingonberry (cranberry) jam. Yum. A scandi breakfast.

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          2. That is my kind of dinner. The Moth loves a hot meal so without him, I would be eating this kind of meal too! Mind you, I have to steer clear of berries at the moment as the salicylates in them cause my ear to ring. It is a bit annoying as I do so love to eat berries, of all kinds!

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    1. I know there are more and more cases of road rage each day. There are a lot of angry people out there, Chris. As @Janis said, it could be worse for us if they had easy access to guns. Glad they don’t. I would not have wanted to encounter him with arms!

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  7. That’s horrendous. I am glad you both escaped OK! Its often difficult to believe that there are such strange,mad and dangerous people around.

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  8. Wow! Scary, indeed, Amanda! I’ve had similar encounters, which is why I carry a firearm with me, whenever I leave in my vehicle. I’m not a gun nut by any means, but I’m leery of other drivers (people in general, of course) and don’t want to end up in too vulnerable a situation. It’s sad and incomprehensible that some people just can’t let a bad driving experience go! Road rage can be devastating and lethal.

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    1. HI Alejandro, I can’t imagine you being a gun nut! And I do get that a lot of Americans carry guns. The Moth had an Aunt that married an American, but retained her Aussie citizenship. Her husband carried a gun in the glovebox of their car, until one day she discoverd it and was horrified at the thought that if the police were to stop her she would be deported as an ‘alien’ with a gun! Aside from the gun debate, I can imagine you wanting to be safe out on the roads. Road rage appears on the increase and even more so now, if people become paranoid about the Corona contagion.
      The Covid curve here is starting to flatten, but I don’t think we can be complacent yet. What about you?

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      1. Here in the U.S. state of Texas, our esteemed governor has declared churches, gun stores, and liquor stores “essential businesses.” I know! I’m as surprised as you are! LOL! I believe many religious institutions, however, are treating this COVID-19 situation more seriously by switching to strictly online services. Gun sales across the nation have increased over the past month, since people started realizing how serious the COVID-19 issue really is. It’s amazing how all of these gun rights aficionados consider themselves strong, independent people, but harbor overwhelming fears that someone (or something) is going to storm into their lives and attack without mercy.

        Right-wing extremists always warn that liberals are determined to snatch away their guns and Bibles; yet it never happens. On the other hand, liberals always warn that conservatives will undermine voting and free speech rights. And they’re usually right! In the years since Barack Obama was elected, conservative-dominated state legislatures around the country began enacting stricter voting regulations. Understand that most conservatives bristle at the thought of any kind of regulation. But they really don’t have problems regulating other peoples’ rights to free speech and to vote. How sad.

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        1. Hey Alejandro, My apologies for responding to this comment, late. I just found it in my spam and rescued it!
          I so agree with you on your points. I can see people are frightened and there are whole prepping communities, seeing this presumably, as the portentous of armageddon! And they want guns to protect themselves. But we can see that in other countries, this fear is unrealistic and doesn’t happen often. I hope it never comes to that. The more guns in the community, the more access people have to guns, and the increased likelihood that some deranged nutter or terrified constituent will wield the weapon in a dangerous way. I agree that guns don’t kill people – the shooter or the person kills people. If the guns were not there or access was more restricted, shooting incidents have to decrease! They may use other means, but at least random shooting attacks that are a knee jerk reaction, might be lessened.
          In terms of conservatives versus liberals, you are spot on. Conservatives do not want any kind of regulation at all, ironically! They want to regulate free speech and civil rights, but woe betide anyone that suggests economic or financial regulation! It comes back again to fear! Have you read any of Northern Dragon’s posts on this subject?

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          1. Clarification: some people have no problems regulating other people’s lives, including free speech and voting habits. But they become enraged when other people have the audacity to attempt the same with them.

            In 2018, one high ranking state official in Georgia publicly expressed that so many people were turning out to vote in elections for governor, state and U.S. Senate and other positions. He even called it what it is: “exercising their right to vote.” And I’m like, really! Isn’t that amazing?! People actually engaging in the most democratic of all political processes – voting! That year Stacey Abrams was seeking to become Georgia’s first African-American female governor. She narrowly lost to the old White male conservative. She demanded a recount, but I don’t know if it was ever granted. That the voting process in Georgia wasn’t protected by the highest-level officials is hypocrisy at its worst!

            A lot of social and political conservatives have used that more guns = greater safety. But, if that was true, the U.S. would be the safest country in the world, and we’re not! We have one of the highest homicide and suicide rates, as well as one of the highest rates of accidental injuries and deaths due to firearms. The former two are usually the result of guns – either legal or illegal. Somehow, though, many of those gun proponents haven’t made the connection. It’s a little like people who say it’s okay for men to have sex before marriage, but it’s not okay for women.

            Almost every day, it seems, I read a news article about a child discovering a parent’s unsecured firearm and accidentally firing it, which often results in a death or serious injury. In many cases, however, the local legal system prosecutes whoever owned that firearm.

            I also get annoyed by men who believe guns are symbiotic with their masculinity. I even wrote an essay about this on my blog in 2012.

            No, I haven’t read Northern Dragon’s post on the issue. Can you direct me to the link or give me the title?

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          2. Alejandro, I agree with you on all counts! You are enlightened and have vision. I have been abused by some American folk when I discuss or mention gun control and am hesistant to bring it up with Americans, so it is really refreshing to have a discussion where I am not villified. I would like to see more people like you enter politics! Although it is such a dirty game!
            There are so many good posts at Northern Dragon’s blog – here are a few I found interesting: https://northerndragon.blog/2019/08/11/the-alt-right-playbook/
            On capitalism – https://northerndragon.blog/2019/08/03/binding-the-beast/
            On voting and the media/democracy
            https://northerndragon.blog/2019/06/15/the-price-of-democracy/
            On economics
            https://northerndragon.blog/2019/09/28/a-tale-of-two-cookies-economics-101/
            Let me know what you think of them.

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      2. The COVID-19 scourge may be flattening in Australia and much of the world, but it seems to be worsening here in the U.S. Much of it is due to the incompetence of the federal government. After denying the reality of this crisis, our “Dear Leader” is now claiming the media (a favorite target of his juvenile vitriol) has been overestimating the impact to the U.S. economy. Ove this past weekend, he said the downturn is “artificial” because so many states are demanding self-imposed quarantines. I’d like for him to say that to the people who are fretting over rent, car payments, utility bills, groceries, etc. I know what it’s like living paycheck-to-paycheck.

        A couple of days last week I ordered food from a nearby restaurant where I had to pay online and let an associate come out to my truck. Each time I gave the person a USD 10 bill, and you would’ve thought I’d handed them a thousand USD! The restaurant and bar businesses are suffering heavily here, as they form the backbone of any community. I mean, when you visit a new city or town, what’s the first thing you normally want to do? Check out the cuisine! Unemployment claims in the U.S. have been rising to levels not seen before. In Texas, they rose some 1600% in the month of March alone! Economic experts warn nationwide unemployment could exceed 30% in the coming months; levels not seen since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

        On top of that, health experts – including the great Dr. Anthony Fauci – state that, even with some mitigation efforts, the U.S. death toll could rise above 100,000. That would exceed the death toll of the 1968-69 Hong Kong flu – the last great influenza pandemic to affect the U.S.

        No, indeed, complacency at this point would be detrimental. Still, as I’ve stated before, it’s often difficult to save people from themselves.

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        1. The warnings weren’t heard in the halls of the White house or Trump tower, but soon it will hit the politicians hard, in the guts! Another Depression like society is a real possibility. And 30% unemployment is a terrifying thought.
          It is so sad for the hospitality workers and my daughter is similarly affected. She is lucky she has a home to come back to, her children’s generation sadly, may not have that if such a catastrophe were to happen again in the future.

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    1. The thought that he was mentally disturbed has crossed my mind, Pooja. It is entirely possible. I was glad to be out of there safe and sound.
      On another note, I have been working on our joint Bhaktapur post, but it won’t be ready for a few more days. Is that okay? I will email it to you, when it is complete. Is your email addy on your profile/blog somewhere? If not, could you send me your email to amandamac5(at)hotmail(dot)com and I will find you that way.
      It has been fun going back to my 1986 trip and there was so much that I have forgotten. I love this opportunity to make the memories come alive again.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hi Amanda. Of course! No problem! I am actually also quite busy during weekdays, as my work hasn’t been affected by Corona (thankfully), so a few more days is just fine 🙂 Yes my email is in the About section of my page! 🙂 I am so looking forward to your 1986 photos and stories of Bhaktapur. I checked my photo gallery and I think I have enough photos for the post.

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