Living in condition Yellow

I have a CCW and practice almost weekly live fire and dry fire from an appendix holster. I also thought I was walking around in condition yellow. Well today I had a non threating experience that made me question if I am as aware as I thought I was. While having breakfast with three other men outdoors on a patio ( I live in tables are separated about 10 feet). I took a seat at the rear of the area so I could see the patio. During our table conversation, I notice two men get up from a table close by. One walked out of the area and the other came directly toward us. In about 1 second he was asking if we wanted to here a joke, then when directly into telling us a dirty joke. When he started to speak, I had the thought to say no, but did not open my mouth. He told the joke none of us wanted to hear and left. The complete event took about 5 seconds. After reviewing this in my mind, what really bugs me is that if this guy actually wanted to harm us I was setting flat on my butt and never even tried to react. Thank the Lord, this guy was just being stupid. I did learn from the event just how fast bad things could have happened and I plan to be more alert in the future.


You know, @Steve2, we live in a mostly civil society, and we just don’t expect sudden random violence in many contexts. Maybe you’re being too hard on yourself, because you didn’t react to what wasn’t a serious threat. In other words, your subconscious judgement was correct. If things did go south, maybe you would indeed have reacted better than 99% of the other diners there.

Long before I started to carry, there was I was a time I was at a restaurant, walking to my table when an older gentleman came up to me and said “nice sport coat.” Before I could even say anything, he had a pinch of the sleeve between his fingers and was commenting on the quality of the wool.

I guess I could look my reaction the same way you describe yours. I don’t know, what’s the boundary between vigilance and paranoia?


There is a fine line between being alert and being paranoid.

I had a similar situation just a couple days ago. Was on my way home from a week of work in SoCal and stopped at a gas station in a somewhat sketchy area that actually has a surprisingly good Indian restaurant inside. On my way back to the car I was turned around by a very large man with his hands behind his back asking me what is your name several times. After giving him my first name a couple times he said where’s your wallet several times. I have pretty good threat intuition which was not going off. Perhaps because I had just seen him inside talking to one of the workers and assumed he either worked there or was related to them. Even so, I pulled out my throw away money clip ready to toss it to him as a distraction and he pulled both his hands from behind his back revealing… a wallet. He must have found it in the store and was looking for the owner. He just could not get the point across smoothly partly do to English not being his first language and mostly due to his reluctance to just ask if I had lost my wallet, since many of the sketchy locals would just say yes and take the wallet.

A person with an over sensitive threat radar could have easily over reacted in this situation. I did learn a lesson though. Anywhere but CA I would have had my hand on or near my firearm. My throw away wallet is in my offhand pocket along with my backup knife. So I could not reach for both at the same time. Need to start carrying the knife or a tactical pen or maybe get a stun device to carry in place of my gun when my 2A rights are denied.


@Steve2 I have to agree with @Alces_Americanus . Until there is a threat there is no threat. Hard to say whether your guard was down or not. At least you came away with food for thought. :sweat_smile:



Thank you for sharing that story. I like the idea of a through away wallet.


I had to walk through Seattle to get on the light rail to get out of town. Paying 32.00 a day for parking was not a willing price I wanted to pay to have my car parked for the day. I was walking to the station at 11:30 at night when a guy starts heading towards me asking me if I had a smoke. I replied, Do you have a light? He did. We introduced ourselves to each other and went our own ways. I call this a orange-yellow condition. It is a possible threat that could go bad but, I came across as a cool guy and things worked out well. Though he did not know I was carrying and I was ready to react but, I reacted probably different than he expected or he just wanted a smoke. I did have a lighter on me but, he did not know that either. I do not venture down to Seattle anymore but, I know Mark will remember me if we ever did run into each other again.


I’m always living in “CY”. Except once! I had just started my gas pump when I turned to face an old lady not more than 3 feet from me. She just appeared, like a Cheshire cat. It turned out she had a flat tire and was asking me for help.

Sure shootin’ she was 2 bays from my truck, with a flat.

Gas stations are the highest risk places you can not afford to be in anything but “CY”

And yes, I helped her with her flat tire.


Flip-side true story:

When I was sixteen or seventeen years old, I served on the State Staff of Texas Baptist Men and we had a big training conference down in the Hill Country for the upcoming weekend. The State Director of TBM picked me up and we were headed to Waco to rendezvous with others on the event staff. We were in a compact Mazda pickup truck cruising down the highway when we saw a sedan with flashers on ahead on the shoulder and 2 elderly women standing behind an open trunk. John was a combat vet of both Korea and Vietnam and a very accomplished and experienced outdoorsman. He slowed, pulled off on the shoulder just ahead of them, stopped and left the engine running, and said, “You stay in the truck. I’ll holler if I need help. I’m gonna go check it out. There’s a pistol in that glove box.” And with that he was off to check on the old ladies in distress.

After about 2 minutes he came running back to the truck, jumped in, and sped off. After he was up to highway speed, he told me they had a flat and couldn’t get the spare and jack out of the trunk. “If you could be so kind,…” He started to get the spare and jack when he hears whispering and his Spidey Senses went off. He stood up and turned to face them as one lady said, “Just do it already!” He saw a pearl handled stainless revolver in the other woman’s hand half tucked insider her open purse. He ran for his truck without looking back and we split.

Moral of the Story: The situational awareness mostly happened when he passed the “stranded motorists” and looked the scene over before pulling over. It continued with him pulling up about 100 feet before stopping, leaving the motor running, and telling me to stay put. Finally, with just a bit of old combat veteran’s head on a swivel, he was paying attention to his surroundings even with his head in their trunk trying to retrieve a spare tire and jack.

@Steve2 , I think you did fine. A wise old warrior once said, "If it worked it wasn’t stupid."


I had a similar experience, no interaction of any kind, but it was getting dark, and a guy decided to squeeze himself between me standing next to my parked car, and the next parked car, maybe 2’ space. He was casually dressed, there was no eye contact, no sense of danger. I didn’t attempt to prepare for potential altercation. Why? It wasn’t a surprise, and I didn’t freeze, like, you feel trouble is coming but unable to act.


You were aware of the people around you, knew the other guy had left, and watched this guy walk up to you. If at any time you felt threatened you probably would have reacted differently.

You didn’t feel these two other people were a threat as you watched them. Nothing tripped your “spidey-senses”. If he would have had a different demeanor, would you have acted differently, @Steve2? I’d bet yes. But nothing about his demeanor was off-putting as he approached you.

As @Todd30’s story reminds us all, not everyone who approaches us is a threat - they might be - but they might be just a person wanting to chat or needing help. :smiley:


Thanks, the stories and feedback from the community was very helpful


So quick. That’s a real wake-up call although it ended well for everyone concerned.

I once was pumping gas just before sunset when a guy approached me saying he needs exactly $6.71 to get his meds from a nearby Rite Aid. He was a handshake away from me and it was a busy day at the pump.
I didn’t have my permit at the time and all I had was a knife with me. I looked at him and made a quick judgment that he’s just simply a person in need and the Christian in me prevailed. All I had was a $10 roll of quarters I keep for car wash and vacuum. I gave it all to him and wished him Godspeed. He was grateful and left.
Could I have handled it better? I guess that’s a question each one of us asks after the fact.


About a year ago I was driving my old junky looking 1965 ford f100 to the bank ATM. I was in the process of getting money out of the atm through my truck window, when I saw two men approaching the front of my truck. One man came right up against the front of my truck to my driver side. I thought, am I going to get robbed? My hand went down to ward my edc. The man says , hey partner, what year is this old ford truck? I said , 1965! He says to the other guy , see it’s a 65!! Boy, what a bad choice by those two to approach someone at an atm!! Bad choice! They didn’t realize what could of happened! But I believe they could of probably got the jump on me or it might of been close if they would of had bad intentions.


Welcome to the Community @Dale44.

Lot of responsibility that goes along with the right to carry!

1 Like

So, 2 old ladies with a flat tire were somewhat playing like the movie Thelma and Louise? Really?

Seems a better option for sitting would be OWB carry or chest rig, imagine sitting in a resturant booth? For walking around and staying on your feet, then IWB works I suppose.

Happened in the mid-80s. Movie came out in the 90s. These women were in their 60-70s. Not a convertible; a white 1980s model Crown Vic. Happened north of Mexia, TX, on SH 14. Anna Nicole Smith was from Mexia. Yeah, “really.” Why?

Was your truck ion gear so you could accelerate OUT of the situation?

That situation is about one of the worse that happens at atm’s. I usually have mine at ready nearby not on my person concealed driving around.
I had a bad situation happen about 2AM once just after leaving a dairy farm I worked at in the countryside. A pickup truck started tailgaiting me with bright lights on down the country road covered in about 8+ inches of snow. I couldn’t outrun them so I did a flip around and they did same continuing to do the tail gate thing. I thought they would spin me out and by now I’m a little scared and a lot pissed. I had a sub compact 9 with 7 rds. at ready but not pointed. So, I pulled to left lane and stopped and two drunk guys in the truck pulled up to my passenger side and turned on their dome light and started to curse at me calling me a f…in mexican. I’m a white American born and raised in that local area. I’m glad I didn’t shoot their radiator or other plans I had in mind. I left after I told them they found the wrong person, they quit the chase. Stupid drunks, still pisses me off to think about it.

1 Like

Just sounded like something out of a movie. Guess you got to watch out for them old ladies now.