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Yesterday afternoon as I was heading home I stepped into the corner grocery store to pick up a few odds and ends. I was in the dairy section reaching way back into the refrigerator to grab the freshest milk. I mean, we all know they put the stuff that is due to expire soon in the front right?

Out of the corner of my eye I saw a young man come down the aisle but I thought nothing of him.  I finally had my hand on a carton of milk that was not due to expire for weeks when WHAM!  The glass door of the refrigerator was shoved harshly into my back and I stumbled further into the refrigerator against the shelving and cut my arm.

Guess I don’t have to tell you who the culprit was.  He strolled past me as if nothing had happened.  But it had.  And I was incensed.  Not a good thing for me to feel, but it forewarned of worse things for the stranger.  Not thinking, I leaped after the stranger and my hand snagged and grasped the back of the collar of his tee-shirt.  Caught by surprise, he gave a strangled gurgle when his tee-shirt dug into his neck as I yanked him toward me.  Why did I do that?  I don’t know.  My brain was on automatic and something inside me said, “Not today buddy!”

He was taller than I and his muscle ton was well-defined by his tee-shirt.  If he had chosen to swing at me, even blindly, since I was behind him, I probably would have slid down the glass doors like the birds in the Windex commercials.

He started to curse and squirm so I let him go and stepped in front of him.  A Finger wagging lecture at the ready, I noticed his eyes go wide as if he was afraid.  Mentally I’m telling myself.  “Yeah I showed him!  He should be afraid!”  That feeling of overcoming the bully lasted a few seconds.  By then, one of the store owners stood beside me; in his hand was a wooden bat.  That was what caused my assailant’s alarm.  The store owner had seen the whole incident from the mirrors placed in the corners of the ceiling in the store and had come to my “rescue”.

Though big in size, it turns out the stranger was only sixteen.  I asked him way he had done that to me.  His explanation?  You’re going to love this…  He thought I was old.  He saw the white hair from behind and thought I was a senior citizen.   There were so many things wrong with the whole situation, but the most glaring to me was not that he had shoved a person or even a woman into a refrigerator.  No the most unsettling issue was that he thought it was okay to shove an elderly woman into a refrigerator.  Even his apology started off with “I thought you were way older….”

What the heck are we teaching our children?  This is tomorrows future?  What a scary thought!

Now I have an errand boy for the next 6 months.  He had a choice, either do my bidding for six months or I call the police and he gets arrested for assault.  He may not know anything about respect but he will by the time I get finished with him!

Any suggestions?

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Posted by on July 6, 2011 in Life Observation, Literary


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