Note: I chose not to edit the profanity so you could see how truly offense and unnecessary the language was in this particular incident.
So, last night I was waiting for the bus. Snow was falling and the temperature had dropped significantly. Everyone was huddled inside the bus shelter trying to keep warm. I pulled out my book and decided to read for a bit. Suddenly my nostrils and then my throat started to burn. I felt like someone was running a sharp fingernail up and down my throat. I knew there could only be one culprit- CIGARETTE SMOKE. I thought to myself, would someone really be so rude as to light up a cigarette in a crowded bus shelter? Especially when no smoking signs are posted in several places on the shelter walls? My question was immediately answered as soon as I looked to my left. Yep, a young woman and her boyfriend were sharing a cigarette with little regards for anyone else standing in their proximity. As outraged as I was, I believe in picking and choosing your battles. Would this be one I wanted to fight? Should I say something or just keep quiet? I looked around at everyone else in the bus shelter and noticed that some people looked irritated. I couldn’t take the burning sensation in my nostrils and throat any longer. Here is what happened:
Me (trying to sound as nice and sweet as possible): Excuse me, ma’am could you please smoke outside the bus shelter?
Young Woman (looks at me like, Is she talking to me?): Hmph.
Me (getting testy): Some people have asthma, some people are allergic to cigarette smoke…
Young Woman (loudly with much attitude): BITCH! You don’t tell me what to do! If you don’t like it go take your ass outside in the cold! Stupid bitch. I should fuckin’ slap you!
Me: [speechless, bug eyes]
Young Woman: Fuckin’ bitch aint talkin’ to me. I’ll smoke anywhere I like. I’ll slap her.
Middle-aged Woman (speaking to me): It’s the ammonia and other chemicals in cigarettes that bother people. I get nauseous.
Young Woman (looking from me to the Middle-Aged): I don’t give a fuck!
Elderly Woman also in the bus shelter: Young lady, there’s a sign that says no smoking [she points] right there and right there.
Young Woman: I don’t give a fuck bitch! I don’t care about no fines. If you wanna call the police I’ll give you my cell phone to do it.
Elderly Woman: Okay, give it to me, I will!
Young Woman: Don’t you wish. [Laughter]. I should fuckin’ slap everyone in here. If y’all don’t like it you can kiss my ass!!!
Fortunately, the young woman’s bus came. You could see the relief on everyone’s face as she boarding her bus. Once she was gone a woman admitted she wanted to say something too but was afraid. She said she thought the young woman was going to assault me. She asked if I was ever afraid. The funny thing is, I was so shocked by her reaction and so disgusted, I didn’t think about being afraid. Once she became hostile and started threatening to slap me (and everyone else) I was appalled- not afraid. Somewhere in my mind I might’ve asked myself, could I take her if I have to? But I just knew it wasn’t going to come to that because I wasn’t going to stand there and argue with her.
Anyhow, I can’t believe someone could be so rude.
What is the rudest encounter you’ve ever had with a person?