Do you ever speak without thinking? It would be unnatural if every utterance we ever made was carefully weighed up before it left our lips. Sometimes we all shoot from the hip, acting in haste and repenting at leisure.
Last week I was in our local "Lidl" supermarket, tootling along with my trolley and minding my own business. I reached the vegetable section and was in the process of putting a couple of courgettes in a plastic bag. Suddenly a hand reached across my trolley, brushing my arm and the plastic bag. The hand grabbed hold of a shiny black aubergine and without thinking I said to the owner of this hand, "Don't bother saying excuse me!"
It was a young man - perhaps mid-twenties. He retorted, "All right! Calm down mate!" No belated apology for his rudeness,
I fired back, "No you calm down you twat!"
Then he said, "You want to hit me or something?"
"Hit you?" I replied. "No, I don't want to hit you. I just want to give you a little lesson in basic manners!"
With a silent sneer and an inability to make any suitable riposte he slunk away with his aubergine.
Don't get me wrong. I am not saying that I acted correctly. It was all over and done with in a flash. It may have helped that I am a big guy - six feet tall, seventeen stones and built like a brick outhouse. With all the walking I do my legs are like telegraph poles and I can easily adopt an ursine facial expression so threatening that it would easily scare away a legion of Islamic State jihadists. But what I mainly take away from the supermarket incident is the immediacy of it - speaking instictively without forethought. That kind of thing could easily land you in trouble.
|An ursine expression|