|It was a cold day, below freezing, a few weeks ago.
Par for the norm, people out and about had bundled up to combat the frigid temperature: wearing thermal underwear, flannel shirts, heavy-duty jeans, two pair of socks, boots, mittens, hats, and so on.
People were going inside and emerging from convenience stores much the same as any other day. However, something took place inside this one particular convenience store that was so tense, it captured my attention, and I feel compelled to share it with you.
The fellow operating the cash register was a clean-cut, casually dressed fellow in his late 50s, I’d say. There was a skinny boy, late teens, shopping for something in one of the store’s aisles. Then, suddenly, the front door to the convenience store swung open.
In walked this stocky man, dressed in winter garb such as mentioned above. For some strange reason, this man immediately exuded a menacing presence that permeated the entire store.
It was as though everyone inside the store just froze in place and observed this stranger’s every move. And, readers, I must confess that I too was spellbound.
So unnerving was this scene, the teenager originally inside the store, ducked behind a shelf and silently slid down to a sitting position, out of the stranger’s sight.
After shopping a few seconds, the stranger walked up to the counter and placed his items in front of the cashier.
The cashier, wearing a terrified expression mumbled that he didn’t want any trouble.
With a deep voice, full of confidence, the ski-mask-clad stranger told the cashier he didn’t want any trouble, either. I had no doubt the stranger was merely seconds from pulling out a sawed-off shotgun or handgun and placing it against the cashier’s head.
It was obvious to me that an armed robbery was in progress.
But instead of pulling out a shotgun or pistol, the stranger placed some money on the counter and quietly vacated the convenience store.
And now, it’s time to fess up and tell you the rest of the story:
Indeed, it was a cold day a few weeks ago.
I was sitting on my couch watching television. As I channel surfed, I came across the stranger in the convenience store scene.
Immediately, I was drawn in because, as mentioned, the mood was so engrossing. In all honesty, I thought it was an advertisement for a yet to be released big screen motion picture.
I remember thinking, “Man, this going to be one hel of a psychological crime thriller. I’ll have to go see it.”
By now, most of you are aware what I was watching is the relatively new television commercial for the Volkswagen Beetle convertible.
In said commercial, a stocky fellow dressed in a heavy coat and a ski mask walks inside a convenience store to buy some snacks for himself and his three friends who are outside in the VW convertible. The group has been riding around with the top down even though it’s freezing cold.
When they realize what actually has happened – still wearing their ski masks, they have been mistaken for robbers – they flee the scene.
The commercial’s motto is that every day, including freezing cold days, is a top-down day with the VW convertible.
There are many top-notch commercials out there today: Geico, Progressive, Dos Equis Beer, etc.
However, the VW convertible ski mask commercial gets my vote for No. 1.
My point, though, with this article is not about quality commercials.
Rather, it’s about human perception: If I had been in a real-life situation, such as described in the VW commercial and was legally carrying a firearm, would I have pulled out my piece or have waited for the scenario to play out?
Granted, in this day and age, it’s not wise to wear a ski mask inside any place of business.
It’s all about perception, and someone could very well misperceive who you are and what your true intentions are.