Tonight I met a very tall man.
I am not short – but he towered over me.
He was very well educated and very well dressed.
His girlfriend was a gorgeous young woman.
Every year at Massive’s Annual Xmas party – I end up at Goreme’s to purchase a Kebab to sign off the night.
When I walked in this distinguished gentleman protagonist was waiting for his Kebabs. Then he and the proprietor discussed payment. The crux being that a kebab with “the lot” requires an extra fee.
Our tall bald protagonist storms off with his lovely girlfriend – leaving the Kebabs incomplete on the counter.
I am then assaulted with curses from the proprietor. “This man acts like an animal” – “This man – his mother works in Kings Cross” (Translation – His mother is a prostitute) – “This is what is wrong with Australia – animals like that”
Based on our protagonists accent its more likely that his mother worked, as a Judge, at Crufts – but I listened and understood.
I could only agree that our protagonist was rude and for some reason decided that tonight was the night to renege on a deal, an act that in middle eastern culture is the equivalent of taking a dump in someone’s loungeroom.
He could have at least haggled.
After he left, my kebab came, I paid and I left. I could not resist. I ate it before I had walked a block – and then I walked back and ordered one more.
Waiting in the shop, two blissfully silent minutes past.
Our protagonist bursts through the door with two bags of Burger King, and shoves them towards the proprietor saying “look look. Only cost me $14.00 – look!”
He was making his point and from the grin on his face obviously having a ball.
I just had to say something. – “What is your problem’ Why are you dong this'”
“Why are you getting involved'”
“Because you are being rude, and given whats been happening lately…”
“I am not being rude”
“In what way is anything that you have just done not rude'”
He walked right up to me.
At no point did I feel threatened – he was not a thug – just a young, tall, handsome and confident man from Great Britain. But he was so tall. He smiled and was ever so sure of himself – I felt my lips quiver.
“Why are you getting involved'”
I had to say it.
“Its people like you wot cause unrest“
“This is my argument with this man – why are you getting involved'”
“Because you are being rude, and given whats been happening lately I don’ think you are being very responsible – you entered into a verbal contract with this man to purchase some food and then you…”
The proprietor who was obviously very agitated bussled the man out of the shop – and I agreed quite happily to walk outside to continue the conversation
“Do you know anything about contracts or torts’ A Tort requires a duty of care on both sides and…”
OMG – I was in an argument with an upper class twit lawyer…. So I could take him on if it came to an argument about physics, chemistry, assembly language, solving partial differential equations, information theory, the web 2.0 movement, linguistics, entropy, quantum loop gravity and knot invariants in low order topology – but damned law – so I attacked on the only front I knew that lawyers were weak on.
“Do you know the difference between right and wrong'”
He paused, just for a moment.
The proprietor who was obviously very agitated asked me what I wanted on my kebab – and then called over the police who just so happened to be passing by.
The police seemed to recognise the situation and were completely on their toes. They could not have handled it any better, The man was questioned as to whether or not he ordered some food. Did money pass hands’ – The shopkeeper offered the the open cadaver of a kebab and probed at its innards with his finger angrily shouting- “This man is an animal – he is what is wrong!”
Our protagonist is asked to be on his way – the police say sorry – but “we can’t arrest someone for being an asshole”.
I paid for my kebab, the proprietor exclaims “100 times I say – you are a good man!”
I wanted to tell our protagonist much more – but he was off with his burgers under one arm and a model under the other.
I wanted him to define civilization and the requirement for self constraint. I wanted to ask him to consider what has been happening lately – and question if he has a duty of care towards our fragile society’
He will get home and feel good that he made a great argument and that he was perfectly within in his rights to do what he did.
And the proprietor of Goreme will go home and tell his community and family of the disrespect he got at the hands of someone that society says we should aspire to be.
I’m pretty sure he’ll go home, wake up the next day and realise that he’s an asshole, or if not at least you got him one step closer to that realisation.