Have I got a whopper for you! Yesterday afternoon after a long day at work I managed to get a seat on a very crowded city bus. I have an app on my cell phone for the game Bejeweled that I like to play sometimes so I can zone out for a bit on my commute home. I settled in and pulled out my phone and began to play a game with the sound option turned off so I didn’t disturb anyone around me.
A short while later a man and his little girl, she looked to be about five years old, managed to get into the two seats behind mine (remember, this bus was extremely crowded and available seats were few and far between). The girl was in a sour mood to start off with but I couldn’t really blame her, it was so cramped in there!
After another minute or so she started to whine, “Dad! I want that. I WANT that!” At first I didn’t pay any attention and just focused on my game. Then she got even louder. That’s when I felt a tap on my shoulder. It was her dad and he said, “My daughter wants to play with your phone.”
Just like that: a flat out statement. He didn’t even bother to phrase it like a question. I stared at him for a few seconds and said, “Excuse me?” To which he replied, “My daughter wants to play that game on your phone.” He made a jabbing gesture toward my cell with his index finger and looked at me expectantly, like it was obvious I should just hand it over to her.
“No, I don’t think so”, I replied, and turned back to my forward-facing position. She started complaining again about how unfair I was being and he tapped my shoulder again, a bit harder the second time. “It’ll only be for a few minutes. It’s a kid’s game anyway!”, he grumbled.
I turned back to him and said straight out, “Kid’s game or not I’m not giving her my phone.” To this she started wailing at the top of her lungs and her dad stared at me like he wanted to punch me.
Again I turn back to facing forward in my seat and tried to ignore them. “Why is she being mean?!”, the girl cried. Her dad responded with, “I don’t know, Honey, some people are just really rude.”
Thank goodness my stop was only a few streets away at that point. I couldn’t wait to get off that bus! 0920-11
I just love (not) how crass, rude people redefine rudeness to be any behavior or action that deprives them of what they want by entitlement.
Veruca Salt, for those unfamiliar with the name, is a child character in the book and movie “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” who demands that her father give her whatever she wants, regardless of who owns it.