The McDonald’s coffee cup bounced off the back of my head and into the gutter. The drunk had surprisingly good aim. Still on the bus, he lurched unsteadily and looked radically pleased with himself as the doors closed. The bus moved on. I stared at the discarded coffee cup; brain trying to make sense of what just happened. My moment of confusion was cut short by a voice.
‘That’s not mine.”
The original owner of the offending coffee cup had gotten off at the same stop. She was crazy. A solid eight on the crazy scale. And now she was staring at me. I’ve learned from my short time in the city that generally, getting stared at by crazy people is not a good sign. They carry zippo lighters and lots of plastic bags. This particular crazy lady was not much of a threat however so I casually stared back.
Ok, casually staring back at a crazy person is just about as hard as it sounds. First off, while you’re trying to cast a level headed gaze, they’re doing this twitch-eyed-deer-in-the-headlights look that makes you want to either laugh out loud or call the police. Secondly, very quickly, your logical faculties kick in and you begin to wonder, “Why, in the name of all that’s holy, am I staring back at a crazy person?” Today, my answer was simple. Someone threw this crazy person’s coffee cup at my head. And I was not backing down.
She twitched her eyes, mumbled nonsense, twitched faster, shuffled feet, flared nostrils, and bugged her eyeballs but I didn’t even look surprised. Raising my eyebrows nonchalantly I continued my stare. She continued acting crazy. After ten seconds of this she stuck both arms straight out, declared again that—in fact—the coffee cup was not hers, and walked away like a zombified grandma. Victory. I threw the coffee cup away and made a mental note to upgrade her crazy score from an eight to at least a nine-point-five.
True* story. Just wait until you hear what happened on the bus!