Miss Manners

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic
A group of young girls, me and their spit on my neck. The story of my wonderous walk home and how I ended up with phlegm running down my spine, and their connection to the chess game of violence.

Submitted: July 13, 2011

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Submitted: July 13, 2011



I had gone to see ‘Transformers 3: Dark of the moon’ in the cinema, on a warm, bright day. A wonderful film by Christopher Nolan and an action-packed thrill ride in a seat. So I was on my way home, I’d just been dropped off by a friend’s mother and was walking down the road, the six o’clock sun still shining bright into my eyes, and I diverted off-course into my local convenience store. I just bought some sweets and a bottle of drink, so I payed the large and sweaty woman who served me and set off on my way. I exited the shop with some difficulty, trying to pass two teenage girls with orange faces who arrogantly saw me coming and decided to stay put. When I got past them, their friends were on the same path as me, four of them. I was walking quite fast (due to my large legs and stride), and eventually overtook the girls.

It was as if my overtaking them was offensive in some way, because one of the girls who seemed to me like the ring leader, spat on my neck. Now I’ve thought about it and have concluded I did nothing wrong, I did not speak to them, or look at them. I simply walked past, minding my own business. I guess I’ll never know why she spat on me, I won’t lose sleep over it but what really bothers me is the attitude. As if spitting on my skin wasn’t rude enough, she then felt the need to laugh it up, and point out the apparently hilarious colour of my hair (ginger). This kind of person is not uncommon in the city I live. It is also not uncommon in the world. So after the spitting and laughing, I made my strides longer in order to leave so that they would be out of my hearing range. Once I was out of hearing range, and they were out of sight. I set off calmly home.

As I was walking, I was wondering in my head why people act this way. The girl was about my age, as were her friends (about 15) and I personally have never spat on a person, nor have I pointed and laughed at someone whom I did not hate. The girls had no reason to hate me; they had never seen me before or spoken to me. So yes, why do people act in this manner? Maybe they simply enjoy making fun of people with whom they have no quarrel. Perhaps they come from broken homes, in which there are many arguments and much sorrow. Even then, I wouldn’t care, to act in that way despite personal problems is simply stupid. Maybe (and probably the most definite theory) they just want to look big and cool in front of their friends. So there we have it, a couple of theories as to why people behave this way.

I was actually watching a television show the other day about anti-social behaviour and bullying, it was discussing ideas on how to stop the two problems. If I’m perfectly honest, there is no way to stop anti-social behaviour. To stop it, you’d first need to not have bad parents in the world, to have wonderful teachers and role-models and to have perfect people and societies (a utopia). Because if a world is the slightest bit crooked in some way, you’ll always have bad people. There can be no good without the bad. Believe me, I wish more than most we were free of anti-social behaviour and bullying. But we never will be, we can think of it as a much less extreme form of terrorism, we can hold it back, weaken it, but never beat it.

The trouble with the rat race is that even if you win, you're still a rat.
- Lily Tomlin

Humanity has lived too long with anger and violence to know different. It often prefers to solve problems with force. Now being spat on is hardly violent, but what the girl did (spit on me) makes her a very small pawn in a very large chess game. It makes her part of humanity’s violent culture. A culture I’ve tried to avoid. So who knows, maybe some-day she will realize what she did was wrong, I have no doubt she’s done worse to others (she had that kind of attitude) and I hope she sees different. I also hope others see different.

© Copyright 2018 David Grey. All rights reserved.

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