It’s rare that my view of the general public (in my town, at least) is vindicated: we have a disturbingly large population of asses. People that will body-slam you with their trolley in the supermarket to get one of the fifty boxes of crackers first; people who will step on your things if you happen to drop them and people who expect something for nothing, to be applauded for their very existence – and it seems the latter features the most in the local ‘mature-aged’ bracket.
I met two of the latter today – I was walking around the beach with my trainer. It should be known that I have wonky vision – just wonky enough that I tend to trip and misjudge distances (and before anyone asks, yes I am legally allowed to carry a driver’s license). Today we were walking along a narrow path and several pairs of walkers were headed towards us. I paused to walk behind my trainer when the old lady coming up said in a loud voice, “excuse me!” I honestly thought she just wanted to know the time or directions – and I couldn’t have been more wrong.
She and her husband verbally abused me for not moving over enough – and this is a very narrow path – to the point where her husband went to push me over. My trainer and I just stood there with our mouths open. A million things went through my mind, but I was so stunned at their rudeness that I couldn’t dredge up a single response.
My response came about a minute down the road – a simple, “in my day, we said ‘excuse me please’,” would have put the old cranks in their place plus would have made me look like a much nicer and, frankly, better person than they were. I thought my trainer was pretty close to saying something, but we both justed walked off, stunned.
I hope those old cranks didn’t think we – I – were giving in, that we didn’t say anything because we’d been ‘caught out’. No, it was because there was no need for such incredible nastiness. When I recounted the story to my mother, she described the couple perfectly – apparentally she had a run-in with a suspiciously similar couple several years back (my mother made the mistake of smiling at this couple whilst walking the dogs, and moving further off the pavement.)
I think the fact that disturbed me the most was the fact what if I had a serious vision impairment? Had been deaf? Do they just verbally assault anyone who agitates them? If I were more of a drama queen, I could have claimed assault as the husband attempted to push me
If I see them again and they address a comment to or about me in my earshot, I’m afraid I will have to speak up despite my phobia of confrontations. As long as I stay super polite, I doubt it should end in a slinging match (or fisticuffs).