Spittin' Mad

Ask, please, if you want to borrow something of mine.
I’m at one of those sporting competitions that start at an ungodly hour on what should be a leisurely Sunday morning. I have brought a thick Sunday newspaper to keep me occupied for a bit.
I leave my spot at a table for a few minutes to buy a Diet Coke and I come back to see a guy reading my newspaper.
Okay, I guess I left it there, even if it was pretty much laying atop my coat. I decide it would be nice of me to share it.
But there’s no ‘Is this yours?” or “Can I look at this?” from him, when it’s obvious that the paper was mine.
He rifles through the paper, messing up some coupon pages that come fluttering out and onto the floor.
“Um,” I say, looking at him evenly yet still smiling. “That’s my paper."
He looks at me like I’m somehow intruding on HIS moment. “Yeah. I am waiting for someone. I’m just reading this.”
I’m slightly annoyed at his ballsy reply, but whatever.
Until the guy does that thing where he sticks his finger in his mouth, wets it with his tongue and touches the corner of the page, so he can more easily flip to the next story.
Then I become simultaneously grossed out and unglued.
“You know what? I didn’t even have a chance to read that paper today, but you can go ahead and keep it now that you’ve LICKED IT!” I hiss.
He looks stunned for a bit, and I’m not sure it’s because he didn’t expect me to call him on it or because he’s embarrassed that I saw him PUT HIS SALIVA ON MY PAPER. After a couple of seconds, he picks up the paper, rolls it under his arm and walks away.
“You’re WEL-come!” I call after him. Another guy at the table across from me looks up from his iPad, shakes his head and grins. “Some people,” he remarks.
Some people, indeed.
Do you have any stories to share of total takers, who are less than hygienic on top of it?

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    Lynn Rogers

    Some mothers tell their kids to look both ways before crossing the street. My mother's mantra was, "If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all." I took that to heart, and like to think of myself as nice. Except when other people aren't nice, which is increasingly true today, and I can't help but point that out to them. Maybe that makes me bitchy-nice (sorry, Mom), but I feel like calling someone out on their rudeness can make a dent. About me: shockingly, I live in the suburbs and drive a minivan covered with obnoxious stickers from my kids' sports and schools. Professionally, I'm a writer, for newspapers, trade magazines and other publications who will assign me stories on anyhing from meat handling requlations (stringent!) to how physicians can best spot deep vein thrombosis (huh?). When I'm not writing, I am a blur in my minivan, driving my kids around, and scolding drivers who cut me off or don't pull over for an ambulance. Reach me at lynnpetrak@sbcglobal.net

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