Friday, June 16, 2006

Encounter with an idiot

One of the perks of taking public transport is the opportunity to getting close to the scum-eaters of the local society.

On my way back from work today, the tram's seats were about a third occupied, so there were plenty of spaces. I sat at an empty row’s aisle seat, and promptly got lost in thought about the air-temperature moderating effect of rainfall. In the window seat across the aisle was a Japanese-looking lady staring absently into the murky blackness outside.

Some minutes into the journey, a man dressed in sports attire boarded the tram. With a hooded shirt, tracksuit and white running shoes, he emitted the aura of a chav.

He walked down the aisle, not to be given away in a marriage ceremony, but on the lookout for a seat. The Japanese-looking lady remained in deep thought; I was reading a message on my phone. When he reached our row, he reached to the seat next to the lady, and picked up the corner of the coat draped over half the seat, and folded it up back into her space without so much as an ‘excuse me’. That done, he sat himself on the aisle seat that he had forcibly cleared, while the row behind remained completely unoccupied.

The lady gave him at him with a look of annoyance, folded her jacket on her lap and returned to her thoughts. The chav leaned across the narrow aisle, tapped my on my shoulder to get my attention. He reeked of uselessness, a general sensation that this character probably exhibits antisocial behaviour. He also stank.

He was quite annoying; I ignored him. When it was impossible to do so, I gave him what I thought to be evil stares. He’d stare back with his version of evil stare.

Once he banged on a plastic partition sheet, and when I looked up he was gesturing with a finger pointing up/ outside or something. Strange language, definitely not HTML. I gave him the condescending stare again, and he returned with his gaze.

Near the city centre, he came to me and mumbled unintelligible. I inferred it to be along the lines of “since we don’t like each other, there’s a tram stop coming up.” He then waited at one of the doors.

“A voice from behind me, nearby, asked softly, “Are you all right?” It had a diluted Indian accent.
“Yes, I’m fine. Thanks.”
“Was he trying to be a jackass?”
“Oh, very much so. You meet all sorts of characters on public transport.”
“You shouldn’t have taken his shit. Could ask him to go away or something. I’d have beaten him up if I knew he was bugging you earlier.”
“Yeah, that’s true.”

Annoying chav alighted at the next stop and disappeared into the murkiness of night time Melbourne.

That little encounter had me thinking, if I had to shed that non-confrontational approach and run a tosser into the ground, will I be able to do it?

When I arrived at my stop, I turned around and thanked the man behind man for his concern. He and his female companion were getting off at the same stop. It was the first time I took a close look at them, and I would guess they hail from the northern regions of the Indian subcontinent, being fairer in complexion and all.

I think Yvy would find that man quite fetching. Not that I’m a connoisseur of men, Indian or otherwise. The girl was quite pretty though.

Anyway, he had a more confrontational approach and recommended that no one should tolerate this kind of shit form anyone.
“Beat him up if he doesn’t stop [after you tell him off]; the cops would understand.”

That little discussion had me rethinking my strategy of general non-confrontation. In more populated locations, I could probably push that non-confrontationist back a little. But in quiet places, it’s best to play it safe. After all, if you don’t run a tosser into the ground, you run the risk of getting ploughed into the ground, with no one around to help.

On the matter of running tossers into the ground, I should polish up that back thrust of mine in case non-confrontation fails. No point having a one-shot-kill weapon when that one shot misses.

Yes, the momentum transfer of a back thrust is that fantastic. You get linear and angular momentum all dissipated in the impact- fantastic stuff.

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