We're supposed to be a modern, civil society. We're supposed to be polite to each other, share public spaces and practice acts of common courtesy.
As such I've heard of instances of people spotting another person dumping trash on the street, and then approaching that person, and politely saying "oh excuse me you dropped something" to remind them that it's wrong to litter on many levels. I've done this sort of thing too, and generally I believe it's necessary that we enlighten the ignorant among us.
So, last week a guy was walking just ahead of me into a Tim Horton's, and although he clearly saw me right behind him, he didn't seem to have any interest at all in showing a little bit of the aforementioned common courtesy by holding the door for me, even slightly.
So, I quietly said "Thanks".
He heard me, but he said nothing and we both joined the line.
Minutes later though in front of about 20 people in line and a jammed lunch-hour T-Ho's, the guy decides to make his move, and he starts squawking and shouting and swearing at me, and basically challenges me to a fight.
This is a grown man.
I ignore him. That is, until he escalates his tirade, and starts yelling louder and proceeds to call me a "fucking pussy". Kids, I might add, are also in this store.
Now my Irish blood is up. Way up. So, I calmly take off my sunglasses, put down my coffee and rush briskly right up into his face with my arm fully cocked. I should add that although I was still in control, a guy in the lineup sees my rage boil over, and puts an arm in between us, which what might have separated me from a visit to jail.
As I rushed up to him and got nose to nose with this douchebag, for a split second I see fear in the guy's eyes, and for me, that was enough.
So I calmly said, "you're not worth it", turn my back on him, put my sunglasses on and very slowly walk out, sipping my coffee. This was quite deliberate to project to him that I didn't see him as a threat.
As I exit, I hear him continue but I simiply ignore him. I fully expect him to come outside after me, and I'm fully ready for anything, but he doesn't.
So I slolwy walk back to work and try to settle down. About 3 minutes later I hear him yelling again, this time from about 200 yards away, jumping around and continuing his threats. I guess he wanted to scare me by suggesting he was following me.
"Oh I know where you work you fucking pussy! You fucked with the wrong guy!", he screams, with his cellphone up to his ear as if he's on the phone calling some gangstas to come take care of me.
So, perhaps I was wrong for saying what I said initially, or perhaps it's just the price to pay for trying to remind our fellow man, that we're all in this together.