15 December 2015

Thoughtlessness

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

33 comments:

  1. I have found myself in situations where I have challenged people being rude. Sometimes though I have noticed when people are challenged their defence is verbal attack, a bit like your situation. Sometimes I shut up , other times I speak up.

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    1. Perhaps I should have said. "Please forgive me for reprimanding you. It was thoughtless of me. Any time you want to be ill-mannered or ignorant, jut go ahead sir! It is not my place to advise you otherwise. After all, I am just a human doormat."

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    2. To which his reply would have been "Ya wot?"

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    3. Sorry Yorkie , my response was ambiguous . I meant the rude guys response to you was a verbal attack .

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  2. Unfortunately, these days it is the kind of thing that can get one into trouble. With all the idiots roaming around you never know who is standing beside you, driving on the road behind or in front of you...ready to explode if you even cast them a sideways' glance.

    However, I'm on your side...I probably would've blurted out similar if in a similar situation. I find it very difficult to take a backward step, and ten out of ten times will stand my ground! Bad mannered people really make me very annoyed!

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    1. We are like chips off the same old block Lee!

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    2. And a bloody good block it is, too!

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  3. The basic principle is that the guy was extremely rude and then went on to compound the situation. Yes, if you could have it back you may do it differently.

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    1. Thank you for considering the situation Red. You could have been a judge!

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  4. Tsk, tsk. Doesn't take much to set you off, Mr. Grumpy Gills. You should have made light of it and yet still made your point, with humour perhaps. You know the old saying, "You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar..." Just sayin'.

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    1. You are right of course but that's my point - speaking without thinking means you might not pick the right option. Mr Grumpy Gills? I like that Mrs Clampett!

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  5. Wow. I just looked up courgette and aubergine. What a surprise. I was expecting long, crusty bakery bread and a nice dark wine or something - definitely NOT zucchini and eggplant!

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    1. I meant to translate those words for American visitors.

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  6. That young man certainly didn't show good manners. Calling you "mate" on top of being rude only added to his negative points.
    Of course I sometimes (often?) speak without thinking, like nearly everybody does. But I am getting better at holding my tongue the older I get.
    Also, especially for a woman it's not always advisable to speak up when confronted with rudeness. It depends very much on the situation: are there others around? is the offender on his/her own? is it actually worth it...? Most times I'm afraid the answer to the last question is "no", but I do think rudeness and bad manners should not be allowed to always win.

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    1. As usual, well-considered Miss Arian. You are right the word "mate" added to my annoyance. Perhaps you should take up karate! I can imagine a fashion photo with you posing in your white karate pyjamas.

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  7. Typical Yorkist bluntness if you ask me. Any other Englishman would have given him a sideways glance and a barely audible 'tsk' and maybe a belated, sad shake of the head if he were really angry.

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    1. I will have to practise that "tsk" business. It doesn't come naturally. "Tsk...tsk...tsk...tsk!"

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  8. Now if you shopped in Waitrose..... Just sayin'.

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    1. It's a long way from Stornoway to Milnagavie... just sayin'.

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  9. Yes, I do this all the time. It will most likely be the death of me. I will be run over by a 60 yrs old cyclist riding on the footpath when I suggest he is a big lad for 14 years.

    Ms Soup

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    1. He might dismount which you would probably find disappointing Alphie!

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    1. If I had turned to the left and found it was you, I would have chased you round the store with a leg of lamb. I have heard that you are partial to a lamb shank.

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  11. I know exactly what you mean. I'm more prone to it as I get older. One of these days it's going to get me in trouble.

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    1. And I am more prone too Steve. It's not the first time I have shot from the hip like this in the past few years.

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  12. If the young man had been grabbing beer, or a package of cookies, I might consider him rude. But it's hard for me to imagine a rude young man buying an eggplant. I think you Brits just demand too much personal space. If you'd chastised me for being rude in a similar situation, I would have hugged you and really watched you squirm.

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    1. And I would have licked your chin as if it was an ice cream cone Jan!

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  13. I try so hard not to put pictures of my family on my blog. How the hell did you get a picture of Big Bear?

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    1. I have told myself for years that when I turn 75 years old (if I make that milestone) that I will start smoking again and say exactly what I feel to anybody at anytime. I will have earned the right by that time.

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    2. I found the picture of Big Bear on a soft porn website called coloradohunks.com. On that site Big Bear uses the alias Boo Boo but I guess you knew that already Mama Thyme.

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    3. We did, years ago, have a very large bear that roamed the neighborhood that we called Boo Boo. It is a comical story that I think I will use for my next post. Thanks for reminding me.

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  14. Wow I am shocked , why on earth did you revert to verbal abuse to another human being, the shop owns everything until you have paid for it!.
    Guess I have a different take, being a management of violence and aggression tutor for NHS.
    People can only make you angry and verbally aggressive ifyou allow them. Sure there are extremes but more than 99 percent of people have a baseline of calm n peace.


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    1. Jacqueline - You are talking like a hippy who has had some kind of mental trauma and is now receiving therapy! Please come back to the real world. Here, have a peanut!

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