AN UNCLE BEN MOMENT?

On Saturday afternoon I was leaving one of the stores downstairs from my apartment. As I exited the door, I could hearing someone running with some considerable pace to my right. I looked over and it was a dude running down the concourse. He was really booking it. Now along with retails stores, this complex contains a bus loop and a rapid transit station, so once in a while you’ll see people jogging to catch a train or a bus. This dude, however, was running in the wrong direction, away from all points of public transportation.

As he ran past me, I was wondering why he was in such a hurry. Maybe he left the iron on? Late to meeting someone? He was full-on sprinting though, so whatever was making him run like this, it seemed urgent. A few seconds after he ran by, another man came jogging along, moving much slower than the first dude. He had a phone to his ear, talking to someone, and he was obviously following and looking for the sprinter. Huh. The second man looked like a taxi driver to me. The age and body shape was pointing me to that line of thinking. If I had to guess, the sprinter had probably ducked out on paying the cab fare. This happens a lot to taxi drivers unfortunately.

From where I stood, I could see down the street a fair bit so I just stopped to watch. The sprinter kept looking behind him. Before the second man showed up, the sprinter slowed down to a brisk walk. As the second man rounded the corner though, they made eye contact, and that forced the sprinter to take off again, all while looking back. The second man then continued his pursuit, though again, at a much slower pace.

It was at this point the sprinter disappeared from view so I continued on with my day. Before I turned away though, for a brief second I was pretty confident from where I was standing, I could have chased the first guy down. Not sure why that thought popped into my head.

Now interestingly, the sprinter originally passed by me close enough that if I wanted to stop him, I could have stuck out my leg and tripped him. Of course, at that moment, I had no idea another dude was pursuing him so I really had no reason to stop him. It sorta reminded me of that seminal moment in Spider-Man’s history where Peter Parker decides not to stop a petty thief running by him, who later on kills his Uncle Ben in a robbery. Of course, I don’t have an Uncle named Ben so perhaps my thinking was too far-fetched. I really wish I knew if that second guy eventually caught up to the sprinter.

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