Sunday, October 23, 2005

If I Could Just Get a Costume, a Phone Booth and the Ability to Fly, I Could Go Around Fighting Line Cutters and Space Invaders Everywhere

I wouldn't say I'm the most confrontational person around. I tend to bitch and complain more than I actually do anything, but there are two things that I can't ever allow to pass by without some sort of comment or action. These things make me absolutely crazy, and when they happen, I leave my body and my host becomes possessed by some kind of psycho, skull-cracking she-devil.

The first is line cutters at the store. You know, the people who act like, "Why, I just didn't know that there were twenty other people waiting! And here, I was wondering why there was this big, giant group of people just standing in such an orderly formation at the cash register like that! A line is what you're calling it?"

If you deliberately cut in front of me when there is clearly a line, I am so going to call your ass out. Honestly, though, it has almost never gotten that heated. I usually just step forward and say, "Excuse me, but I [or that guy, or that lady] was next." Nine times out of 10, the cashiers aren't going to do it. I've waited in vain for that to happen. The way I see it, someone has to do it, and it may as well be me. Most line cutters, when it's called to their attention, feign surprise and move to the back of the line. Work on the stealth there, pal. And stop assuming that your time is more important than everyone else's.

A few years ago, a lady actually challenged me on whether she had cut. We went back and forth, and I told her that maybe she needed to put down the bottle if she thought she had gotten in front of the line fair and square, because she was delusional. I don't know why she didn't key my car or wait for me outside the store and stick a shiv in my side once I emerged, because I was totally prepared for that.

And lady, you totally cut in front of me. I'll bet you don't even have a blog, so my word is final. Ahh, the perks I never anticipated.

The other thing that drives me nuts is the Personal Space Invaders. I know a man who enjoyed coming up to tell me random, totally uninteresting things, and he would get right up in my face to do so. I could see his every pore and cavity. The last time he did it was when he got two inches from my face and said, "Guess what time I went to bed last night?!" I took one giant backward step of obviousness and said, "Wow, I have no idea." I make it a point to avoid him now.

I've told people off at the grocery store, too. Many years ago, a guy kept bumping me with his cart at Arget-Tay, and after about the third time, I turned around and said, "Are you close enough? Do you need to get closer? Back off!"

Now I've got a new, subtle weapon: a gigantic purse. It not only holds my camera, several lenses, a book and my wallet, but it affords me a good 12" of clearance when fully stocked. It's not enough for my comfort, but it's a start.

It came in extra special handy last Wednesday while I was at the drugstore. The guy behind me, or shall I say practically on top of me, waited his turn. If he had been any closer, I would have been giving him a piggyback ride through pharmaceuticals. I could hear him breathing in my ear.

I did what needed to be done: I pretended like I didn't see him, picked my giant purse up off the counter, flung it over my shoulder and whacked him.