Snapshots from Green Victoria (tedwords) wrote,
Snapshots from Green Victoria

A Not-So-Short Note on the Loss of Civility of Discourse within our Western Culture

It had been a lovely day at Universal Studios, full of rides and food, walking and...well, chafing. The third and last in a string of three blissful days.

So, we're walking out of the Persian area, and pass by this 40-year-old woman with brunette hair who was on the heavy side. She's standing with another middle-aged woman and has a four-year-old child by her side. And we realize--too late--that she's busy taking a photo of the attraction next to us, a statue with a ring of fire in it. We didn't realize it because we were, frankly, part of a large crowd, it was the end of the day, we were tired, and busy talking about the Harry Potter ride we had just been on.

As Corb passes her, we heard her say, loudly.

"Thanks a lot, ASSHOLE."

This stopped Corb right in his tracks. Had it been the word "jerk," had it been simply, "Thanks a lot," he would have turned to apologize for the mistake. But that? It kind of flipped our switches. Hey, it was the end of an eight-hour day.

Calmly, he turn to face her, along with Theo.

"What did you just say?" 

The woman looked over at Corb, a little surprised, I think, that he had the nerve to confront her. "You walked right in front of my photo," she said.

"I did, and so did three hundred other people, all looking at the same thing," he said. "It was a mistake."

"Oh no," she said, convinced that he had deliberately intended to ruin her photogrpah. "You walked right in front of me."

"Oh right," said Corb. "I was walking down and all of a sudden I saw you, and thought to myself, 'How can I ruin that lady's photo?'" Let me tell you, Corb is REALLY usually pretty good about that. I can't tell you the number of times he's pushed me aside and told me to hold off, because someone's in the middle of taking a photo.

In the meantime, I had been walking away with Ashes. But at this point, I will confess, I did turn around. Now, maybe you know me. I tend not to be as calm as Corb usually is. And I must confess friends, I did not handle myself in as gentlemanly a manner as would be appropriate with a fine lady of such obvious breeding and manners. Instead, knave that I am, I walked back and said, as loudly as her first comment, "Sorry your shot was messed up, BITCH."  Then, I placed my kid gloves back on and headed away from the theater of war. 

"Oh, my goodness!" said the woman, suddenly shocked and appalled, and sounding a little like Sarah Palin. "You just shouldn't be using language like that."

Corb smiled at her, pointedly. "No, YOU shouldn't."

The woman grabbed her daughter's hand. "You shouldn't be making scenes like that, especially in a park for children."

Corb's smile grew wider and deadlier. "No, YOU shouldn't."

"Why...why..." The woman glared at Corb, her eyes tiny little slits. "Why, I have half a mind to call my husband over here to beat the shit out of both of you."

Corb, who stands six foot five, smiled even more. "Bring it on."

"Why, why..." And with that, Corb turned to take his leave. "I think this sort of behavior is just disgraceful," she called, as he was leaving. "You've probably been drinking all a family park!"

Now, I can assure you, the only liquor that either of us have had at Universal came from my end...and that was one beer consumed at lunchtime the day before, after trying to wrestle for a table at one of the dining areas. Corb, to the best of my knowledge, hasn't had a drink in weeks.

At that point, because it was just so ridiculous, and she sounded so pious, Corb grabbed Theo and turned back around.

"Now that one makes a lot of sense," he said. "So I've been bar-hopping at Universal, have I, drinking with a 14 year old?" 

The woman probably knew she was sounding like an idiot, sputtered out "probably." Then, she  turned her four-year-old around and started to turn away, with her friend in tow. "Just go do...whatever it is you're doing."

Now, listen. I am perfectly willing to admit that perhaps the woman didn't intend for her comment to be quite as loud as it ended up being. And, I'm willing to also admit that my comment was ill-timed, and it would have been best not to fight fire with fire, but simply let Corb do his thing. And also, I confess that I do not know her back story: perhaps she was terrifically tired, too, and had been pining all day for that ONE PERFECT PHOTO of that fire statue, to bring meaning to her otherwise miserable, drab existence. Or perhaps the poor lady suffered from Tourette's syndrome, and could not help her unfortunate ejaculations. 

That being said...

If you're going to have the nerve to be so obnoxious, the very least you can do is to own up to what you've done and not pretend that you didn't start things. It's a bit hypocritical to suddenly try to play the "I have a child card" after YOU'VE been the one using "vulgar language." And, just a bit too late, since you've just used "vulgar language" in front our OUR children, too, not to mention all the other kids in the area.

Also, if I may be so bold, don't threaten to bring your husband in to fight your battle. Corb was in no way going to threaten this lady physically, and had not even used one speck of bad language with her (that all came from me). Furthermore, he had a 14-year-old boy by his side. Yes, I will grant that he is six foot five and probably towered over her, but it's doubtful that he was really going to do anything to justify bringing in the other half. Violence is not going to ensue. 

Finally, I think it's interesting that her friend didn't say a word during the entire conversation. My guess is that this woman is probably a little bit aggressive most of the time, and it's quite possible that her friend was happy to see her finally get what was coming to her. Which she certainly did, with Corb taking the lead.

Such is the state of civility within our Western culture, however. Two groups ready to go to war over spoiled photograph. It kind of boggles the mind.

So, in case she turns that photo over to the FBI and a massive manhunt ensues, now you know our side of the story.

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