On Freeload and Almost Getting My Ass Kicked in Downtown Missoula
After writing about the Train-Hopping Scabs of Capitalism I felt obligated to actually watch what I was being preemptively critical of.
And I’m glad I did.
Daniel Skaggs and his support crew pulled it off with Freeload. No one can accuse this film of romanticizing the modern hobo lifestyle. And I’m left wondering, what didn’t make the cut from 18 months of traveling?
The film was very well received by tonight’s audience. I stuck around for the question and answer, then left.
On my way back to my car I came close enough to getting my ass kicked that I had to call 911 to get the guy to back off. Seriously.
As I passed Red’s bar some guy asked me if I had a lighter. I said nope, in stride. The dude replied “you don’t have to be a fucking dick about it.”
I should have just ignored him, but I didn’t. That said, I don’t think my response of “Um, I’m not being a dick, I just don’t have a lighter” warranted a sudden confrontation. Before I knew it this guy was in my face, doing the alpha chest-bump. He really wanted to take it beyond verbal, but I wasn’t taking the bait, so he pushed me against the brick wall of the Bodega.
At this point two Bodega girls spilled out. Witnesses. I didn’t escalate his push, so he got more verbally aggressive, yelling inches from my face. I kept my composure best I could. Looking around, I became aware of an older woman and another guy who apparently knew this aggressor, but they weren’t intervening fast enough, so I pulled out my phone and dialed 911. In the chaos of dealing with dispatch I gathered the old woman was mom. She shuffled her drunk son into her car. I knelt down and got the license plate number.
They took off, so with the immediate threat gone, it wasn’t worth pursuing further. That didn’t stop the other guy, the brother, from letting me know what a douche I was for calling the cops. He was at least not drunk and somewhat reasonable, but at that point I wasn’t really interested in familial justification for why I had to go into fight/flight mode.
Downtown Missoula, folks. We’ll try to pass laws to fuck with train kids but let nightly drunkenness go on and on and on, whatevs.