From the “Tales Too Terrible To Tell” department …
(Though, this tale? Not so terrible.)
Still, I’m certain it was terrible for the guy involved.
I was on a mission.
I was in the Sacramento airport minding my own business, gazing out the grand windows overlooking the tarmac with its planes coming and going. I had my backpack and computer at my feet and I was checking emails while waiting the call to board the plane. Of a sudden, some guy appears to come up to me just out of my field of vision and leans against a post about eight feet opposite me. I looked up only to his belt level when I saw him extend his foot and kick a zarf* someone had dropped. It rolled its way a mere foot from me.
I was astonished at the gall of this dude. That partially crumpled piece of trash was somehow bothering him enough he felt the need to move it completely out of his vicinity with an economy of energy that could only be summed up as lazy. Furthermore, it was rude of him to kick the thing in my general direction. What an ass.
I looked up at him and made eye contact.
“Really?” I asked him. I bent over and picked it up, leaving my belongings where they were, moseyed over to the nearest trash bin and tossed the sleeve into the waste. I walked back and took up my same position, leaning against a stand at the window.
I again looked over to the man, made eye contact and stated matter of factly: “That was hard.”
He looked away from me. I couldn’t tell if he was embarrassed, didn’t know what to say or was content with the fact he had no justification for what he’d done. At any rate, you could tell the guy was uncomfortable with how I reacted to his actions.
The call came to begin boarding and I gathered my stuff and got in line. I noticed the guy was 20 folks in front of me and decided I would seek him out wherever he sat on the plane and sit right next to him.
As the crowd worked its way finally into the plane, I noticed Shmucko had weaseled his way into a window seat. He was sitting in a row that was completely filled so there was no chance of me plopping down next to him, heightening his anxiety during the hour’s worth of flight. Damn.
I did, however, get the opportunity to pass him a couple times after deplaning: Once while strolling to baggage retrieval and again just before I caught my ride from the airport. Both times I passed an icy stare his way. He knew it was me but didn’t look my way. I don’t believe he appreciated either instance.
In fact, I’m positive he issued a sigh of relief to see me board a vehicle and depart from the premises …
*zarf: hot beverage sleeve