Saturday, March 22, 2014

Why I am a Bad Person

Sometimes I fear I present myself as being rather angelic in this blog. So I feel compelled to record dissenting opinions. I just had a run-in with two old ladies in a supermarket and I fear I was rather tart with them.

I was carrying my basket along an aisle and I bumped it against the trolley of one of the old ladies. (It wasn't a supermarket trolley, but rather the kind of upright-standing trolley with the handle at the top, and a leather or fabric covering around the case.) Reader, I didn't even notice I'd hit off her trolley-- or, if I did, it didn't register on my consciousness. It was a glancing blow at best, a tap.

Lady (very crabbily): "Don't hit off my trolley!"

Me (cheerfully): "OK!"

Should I have said sorry? Maybe.

A few moments later, I passed the old lady again and now she was complaining to a confederate, another old lady, about me.

"He didn't even apologize!".

I can't remember what I replied, but it was still not an apology and I used the address "ma'am", rather smarmily. I don't think it was unpleasant, though.

The first lady scooted off and her confederate scowled at me and said: "It's nice to be nice".

I said: "It is nice to be nice, but...this is so trivial!"

Lady: "It's not trivial!". And she scooted off, too.

So, there you go, reader. Never say this blog isn't warts and all. Was my reluctance to apologize because of a stiff-necked pride, or because of an aversion to that kind of peevish pettiness? Let the Almighty decide.

Update: Later on in the day, I was getting on a bus and there was an old lady getting off who was pushing pretty much the same kind of trolley that had featured in 'Trolleygate' earlier. Sometimes I let my shyness hold me back, but-- remembering today's encounter-- I pushed myself forward and helped her down with it. "Thank you very much, sir", she said. "God bless you!"

So my score today is: 2 Old Ladies Annoyed, 1 Old Lady Thankful.


  1. You didn't apologise for a minor wrong you didn't even realise you had committed ... they were unforgiving and judgmental as a result. Does that mean you were an occasion of sin for them? Probably not, as you couldn't have predicted their reaction. Pray for them.

  2. Well, not to get all "Four Yorkshiremen" over this, but that's nuthin', lad! Not too long ago, I wasn't out of confession for more than 10 minutes when I had an altercation with a guy crossing the road in front of my bike, involving loud use of a 4-letter expletive by me. The fact was, both of us were actually in the wrong, traffic-wise. I didn't apologise, although I did have the opportunity. Spent the rest of the day feeling bad about it. I suppose I still am, to be retelling it now.

  3. I suppose the only way to beat that would be to actually fight with the priest in the confessional immediately after absolution.

  4. Moral of the story - beware of aul wan's with trolleys. I had an incident during the week - leaving Doctors surgery with wife we discovered the door was locked. I went back up the stairs & said to " lady " at reception - " sorry, the downstairs door seems to be locked " ; her reply, a haugty " and " !. My riposte is not fit for a family blog. So there are a lot of weird/ill-mannered people out there.

  5. Ha, I like that moral! And who said this was a family blog, anyway?!

  6. I wouldn't call it pride. When people take an obnoxious attitude like that it's a bit ironic if they start complaining about you not apologising. I'd just put it down to a misunderstanding in which 2 people ended up annoying each other. A bit like that Russell Crowe video with that interviewer at the Noah premiere. I don't think either was in the wrong. It was just a bad misunderstanding that snowballed a bit.

  7. Ha. I was at a dinner party on Wednesday where I mentioned this and debate raged about it for almost an hour. Half the table was on my side, the other half took the part of the old ladies.

    I didn't see the Russell Crowe video!

  8. Ha ha It must have been some dinner party. I hope I'm not being rude here, but are all these dinner parties work related? You've gone to some before I think.

  9. Nothing rude about asking. Yes, it's the same group of friends every time, and I know them all through work one way or another. They're fantastic actually. We all get along really well and the conversation always flows.