ARRRRRRRGH. People can be such complete idiots sometimes that I fear for the future of humanity. Yesterday, I went to the gun show with Juan and Zach and Roger. I was waiting at the front of a very crowded booth for the sales guy to be available. An older guy was also waiting to my left.
Then, a large beer-bellied bearded man whom I’ll call Fat Guy elbowed his way past the older guy. The older guy got annoyed at this, and told Fat Guy not to cut in line. Fat Guy then said something very similar to, “What the @#%^ are you talking about, you old @#$^? @#$% you! I oughtta take you outside and beat you!”
Fat Guy looked like he was going to get violent. Now, I don’t know about you, but I hate it when people violate social norms like “wait your turn” and “be polite”. So I decided I’d had enough of being a bystander, and said something like, “Moderate your tone. Be polite. Wait your turn.” to Fat Guy at about half of my max volume.
Fat Guy then looked at me and started blustering. I held his gaze—you don’t look away from people like that, not if you can help it. I think that might’ve unnerved him. I saw that he was 40ish, an alcoholic, probably not well educated, used to making threats, and most sadly, would not learn anything from this experience. I do not know what he saw in my eyes. I did see that Zach had noticed the stupidity going on and was right behind Fat Guy, ready to have my back should Fat Guy do anything stupid.
Fortunately, Fat Guy was not that dumb. He buckled and slunk off. I’m not sure why he did, but I was relieved. I was wearing khakis and a polo shirt—basically, the standard business casual uniform for computer guys—and a moderately expensive watch. Maybe he thought I was in too high a social class to assault. Maybe he was just being stupid and was unwilling to continue his stupidity when multiple people were calling him on it.
The strange thing is that I was the only other person who stood up to Fat Guy. I don’t know what it is, but many people seem to have decided that ignoring bad behavior is appropriate. This works on animals who are on an “ignore bad behavior, reward good behavior” training program administered by a trainer who knows how to implement that program. Human society is not a training program. We all have a responsibility to call people who are behaving badly out on their bad behavior—yet most of us are reluctant to do that.
This needs to change. Stand up to those who are rude, and to those who abuse people. Tell them that we will not tolerate that. Don’t rely on others to do so. The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good people to do nothing. . . and unfortunately, I see a lot of people out there. . . doing nothing.
Anyway: After all the kerfluffle, I finally got to talk to the sales guy. “I was interested in the Yugoslav rifles; do you have one I could look at?” “Um. . . we don’t have any here, they’re really popular, they don’t even have any at the main store, you could call back in a week or 2 and they might have one. . . .” So after the waiting and the needless drama, I didn’t get what I wanted. Figures.
Oh well, I spent most of the rest of the morning tagging along with Juan and/or Zach to a bunch of other places in the gun show. Then all of us except Juan went to lunch, and we found that Yupha’s Thai Kitchen had closed. Bummer. That was a good restaurant, and fairly cheap. So Zach, Roger, and I went to lunch at Fuddrucker’s, which was OK even though it sat in my belly like a sack of lead. Argh. . . I’ll have to eat healthier next week to make up for the restaurant food that I ate on Friday and Saturday.