i walked into Rite Aid this morning to buy Advil. By the front entrance, a snarly older gentlemen in a satin baseball jacket, demanding the lone cashier working this early in the morning follow him down the aisle so he could point something out. I don't know what exactly it was, but it was obviously displeasuring him and he wanted Cashier Guy to fix it, yesterday. There was arm waving involved and I believe some sort of terribly insensitive Rosie-O'Donnell-esque comment on the Asian language and how "here in America everyone should speak English" directed at the cashier. And then more arm waving.
So I quickly get my travel sized-bottle of Advil. I get in the one functioning line. I am, maybe, standing 2 feet from the counter, behind the customer finishing up his transaction. The line forms behind me, including Bitter Arm-Waving Semi-Racist Satin-Baseball-Jacket-Sporting Crotchety Man, Who is Old and Therefore Might Be Senile So Maybe I Shouldn't Judge. I feel a tap on my shoulder. All capital letters used in this exchange are perfectly un-exaggerated, btw.
Crotchety Ol' Maniac: "Are you WAITING for someone to cut in front of you?"
Me: "...... Um....." (looks in front of me at the very 2 or 3 feet of space I have left between myself and the customer at the counter, so as to not be UP SAID CUSTOMERS ASSHOLE.) "Shall I move up a little for YOU?"
Crotchety Ol' Maniac: "I THINK that would be MOST APPROPRIATE."
And then he let out the biggest half-sigh/half-"geeeez" I've heard since being around 13 years old. There may have also been an eye roll.
Oh sir. Please. You cannot one-up a champion preteen sigher/eye-roller such as myself. Especially when you are in yr seventies.
Anyways, this story isn't really that good so The End.
But what does one do here? He's obviously crazy and lonely and mean and likes to start shit with total strangers? Do I take the bait? Tell him, quite sweetly, I do not respond to Weirdo Crotchety Ol' Maniac-style rudeness? I think I was just thrown because this wasn't yr run-of-the-mill downtown drugstore craziness, which I find at every single CVS I go to during working hours (talking to you, Farragut N. Holla) but my friendly neighborhood minivan strip mall Rite Aid, next to the bagel bakery where the yuppie work-at-home dads from Old Town take their kids for breakfast every morning. I mean, there were no curse words or punches thrown, so???
I didn't really have time to react beyond our initial exchange unfortunately, seeing as it was my turn to approach the counter (which I did VERY SLOWLY, just to be a passive-aggressive little piece of work) and bought pharms and I was out of there. He sighed his weird old-man sigh the entire. time. i was buying. the. Advil. CHRIST. I have been thinking about comebacks ever since. So far the only thing I can think of that would have really been awesome is just to look him in the eye and say "YOUR MOM."