Wednesday, February 01, 2006


Tonight I was assaulted in a grocery store. At about 5:30 pm, while narrow label-packed rows were crowded with too wide carts pushed by their after work hungry-little-Quebecer owners, I was edging my way to turn a corner when I encountered the face. A scowly little face of some random grocery consumer struck me as she turned suddenly around spinning her large cart with her. She had decided to change direction. Problem was, there was no physical space for her to do so, so she made some. I casually looked at her unconvincingly, as if my facial expression would incline her to instead turn the other way, but she had other plans. As I did not move backward because I was directly behind my cart and in front of a display of boxed juices (the 99 cent concentrate juices, the really awful kind), I could not move without some manoeuvering of my own. So I did nothing, hoping she'd come to her senses and push forward, turning 2 feet ahead of her at the next aisle. But no. She did no such thing, and in fact, in what seemed a split second, she began to move her cart in the direction of the juice containers, and me and my poor cart, in effect squeezing me between the cart and the pile of display. At first I'd thought she made a mistake in distance judgement, but no. She continued to push me into the direction she wanted to go in until I could not move, my stomach was pressed against the hard plastic shopping cart handle, and I began to panic, wondering if she'd continue to push me even further into the middle of the display, or worse, completely cut my middle open with the sheer force of her scowly power. She roared by me with some cute French obscenities, to which I replied something to the same effect in a more direct English curse, then stood there wondering just what had happened. I took myself and my violated cart to the beer aisle (which, as I was thinking, was the only good thing about Quebec at that point) and just stared at the local brew for about 10 minutes. I really should have gone after her or something. But in that exact moment, I had no idea what to do. My natural inclination was to do nothing. Experience my own demise, or something like that. It's been a long time since I've been pushed. I don't let myself get into situations like that anymore. And I'm quite shocked I didn't know how to react. My 33 years on this planet have prepared me for little confrontation, apparently. What a strange thing to happen in a grocery store. I'm only glad she didn't pull out a pistol. Holding up that deal of a cereal box on sale wouldn't have helped me one bit.

Something like this had happened to me before. I was in a laundry mat at 7pm one night when some random guy walked in, straight to the back where I was folding or scrubbing, didn't say a word, and started to have his way with my body, via his disgustingly strange hands. There was a buzzer I was able to ring after squirming loose from said wierdo, and pressed it for an eternity until someone came to give me "change". Freak took off, I filed a police report. Nothing else happened. Shouldn't there be some kind of Fred Flintstone martian that pops out at those times to set you straight? Geez.

What is our world coming to? Soon, we'll be ordering groceries off the internet and rarely leaving our houses. We'll all be too afraid of each other. What are we going to do about it? And, how should I react when some strange old guy leans over to me on the first day of one of my classes as I bend to pick up a paper I've dropped and tells me that I'm a wild one aren't I... I mean, what the fuck? Can I get a bodyguard please?

I'm going to bed.


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