My readers may or may not have heard of squeegee people. Those of you who haven't need to hear about them. This is especially true if you spend much time traveling by car, particularly in big cities.
Squeegee people will approach your car in traffic in some major cities holding a squeegee in one hand and a cup in the other hand. They will start cleaning your windshield without securing your permission. When they are done, they hold out their cup expecting to be compensated for their "work." But paying them isn't optional. It's required. Anyone who refuses gets the side of his car keyed with the metal frame of the squeegee. It's a form of extortion that street people learned from politicians who shake down corporations they later accuse of representing "powerful special interest groups."
The solution to squeegee people is pretty simple. You must keep a firearm in your car at all times, especially when driving through a densely populated urban area. My weapon of choice is the Taurus Judge. My ammo of choice is the Winchester PDX1 self-defense round.
Of course, just having a gun in these situations helps. Chances are, you'll never have to use or even brandish it. This was true of a friend of mine who had an encounter with one of these squeegee people just a couple of months ago. The man approached the car, cleaned the windshield, and then held out his cup waiting for his “tip.” Then things took an unexpected turn.
My friend responded in a way that would have made fans of the movie Grand Torino proud. He held up his left hand in the shape of a gun and dropped his thumb to mimic the dropping of the hammer. The Clint Eastwood imitation worked. The man withdrew his cup, smiled, and quietly went on his way.
Notice that my friend, who was indeed packing heat, didn't have to draw his weapon. He just calmly let the man know that he had one and that he wasn't going to allow some punk to extort money from him under the threat of keying the side of his car using the metal portion of the squeegee.
It was just another crime that didn't happen and another insurance report that didn't have to be filed. And who wouldn't be happy about that? I think some of you already know the answer.
Because I so loved hearing the story of my friend's successful encounter with the squeegee extortionist, I decided to share it with another professor here at UNC-Wilmington. The professor is one I've previously spoken to on the issue of guns. We have opposite opinions on the issue but we also have a very good relationship. Accordingly, I feel comfortable planting a stone in his shoe from time to time.