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Saturday, June 13, 2009

What the...QUESTION

Last Saturday, I was walking down the street, MY street, with the five-year-old daughter. We walk past a house where I don't know the residents, unfortunately a too common occurrence.

In any case, there are about a dozen tween or young teen boys gathered along a stairway near the side of the house, with at least one adult male, when one of the boys yells out "faggot!"

I take a couple steps before I start looking around to see who he's yelling at.

"Yeah, I'm talking to you!"

At first, I think to to say nothing, but then wheel around and say, "Do you really think that's appropriate," and walk away.

LAME response!

Afterwords, I pondered. What was I doing that would make someone that I heretofore had not even noticed refer to me as a bundle of sticks? It probably was my long-sleeve jacket, which I wear even on hot, sunny days like that one lest I get sunburn on my arms. Since the vitiigo, this is a real concern.

I came up with my treppenwitz response: "You are a castrato!" He probably wouldn't have known what that meant, but to my mind, it was satisfying, in the moment at least, for it would have addressed the fact that he could be "brave" and yell out 30 feet from the street while he was with his pack, knowing my response would be limited while I was with my child. Pretty damn clever of him, too.

So, what would YOU have done? I know it's a moot point. With the prescription sunglasses I was wearing - good for reading, not distance - I wouldn't even necessarily recognize him.

If my child weren't there, maybe my response would have been different.

Or maybe my initial response, to do nothing, was the best?

And I'm peeved more with the adult, who said and did nothing, at least during this brief exchange.



Greg said...

I would have ignored him completely. I'm kind of a wimp anyway, I'm not terribly quick at coming up with responses, and morons like that don't deserve my breath anyway.

If he had said "fag," you could have offered him a cigarette. That would have flummoxed him.

Maybe it was all the show tunes you were singing, man!

Nik said...

Yeah, no easy answer. There are just a lot of frickin' idiots in the world, and unfortunately, too many of them are ready to escalate to extreme violence for no reason at all. That said, what douchebaggery, especially with your kid in tow.

Scott said...

I'm with Greg. Had it just been the kids, I might have said tried to come up with something witty that would have gone over their heads, but most likely not. I don't think that fast.