“It looks like she already had too much pie.”
Those nine words released my inner sister girl; my honey badger alter ego---the woman who will go there with you.
I turned my gaze toward him and said, “You didn’t have to say that about her. She didn’t say anything to you.”
“You look like you’ve had too much pie yourself.” He replied. “You’re fat.”
And we were off to the races.
Now most of what was said is unprintable. Additionally, I was literally seeing red. Curse words and phrases that started with “b*tch-ass” were flying out of my mouth so fast that by the time I calmed down I blanked out.
Plus we want to keep this little recap clean for the kids and for those of you who have more delicate sensibilities.
Nonetheless, I can generally paraphrase our initial interaction thusly:
Me: "Yeah I’m fat. What about it? What do you have to say about that? "
Aggressive Panhandler: “You’re fat. Shut your fat ass up.”
Me: “Yeah? I may be fat but I can still get laid. Could you get laid if you wanted to? Could you still get some?”
My candor and willingness to embrace my less than bikini perfect body befuddled him.
I was loud---too loud for an enclosed space like a CTA bus. With the exception of my voice and the voice of the aggressive panhandler, you could have heard a pin drop.
You could see the University of Chicago kids silently praying that the bus would quickly get to their stop before gunfire broke out.
The conversation lasted a little less than ten minutes but these were some of our more memorable exchanges:
AP: I bet you wish you had this. (Showing me what looked like $50.00 in his hand)
Me: Really? I have a job. I don’t have to try to hustle people that can’t get away from me on the bus. You’re the type of black person that makes us all look bad.
AP: You should shut up and mind your own business.
Me: Well I’m not. And I’m not letting you sit up and talk about a woman who wasn’t doing anything to you while she’s walking away. If you had something to say, the least you could have done was to say it to her face, b*tch.
And my personal favorite:
By this time, most of the Chicago students had left via the back door. It seems that no one wanted to cross our paths.
This is the rated G sanitized for your protection version. What occurred on Tuesday was much more profanity laden. While in my eyes the panhandler deserved everything I said to him and much more, I am in no way proud of my behavior.
I disturbed everyone’s ride, I had to show a rarely seen side of personality and I lowered myself to wallow in the baseness of this guy’s world.
I shouldn’t have done it and I apologize to everyone who was on that south bound 6 Jackson Park bus that night.
I’m quite sure the lady didn’t need me to stand up for her as she looked quite capable of defending herself. Yet there was something about the panhandler feeling that he had the right to spew his misogynistic crap at the expense of this woman that set me off.
Note: If you’re going to criticize someone about their body, you may want to have hit the gym yourself a few times. I didn’t notice any six pack abs when he was lifting up his shirt and showing everybody his “combat scars” from Vietnam.
Just a thought.
Despite his clearly diminished lot in life, he still felt that his brand of masculinity one upped everyone’s right to a peaceful bus ride as well as the dignity of woman whose only intent was to get safely home.
During our exchange he eventually started moving to the back of the bus as other women joined with me in giving him the what fors.
Let me tell you what you don’t want---A group of tired, pissed off angry black women uniting as one to take you to task about your nasty attitude. Avoid that at ALL costs if you can.
The takeaway---What I did was reckless and potentially dangerous. Do NOT do it.
Our panhandler brought me down to his level but you know what I say?
If you’re gonna wallow, get real dirty.