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As Nasty as I Wanna be

February 18th 2013 21:00

As part of Edmund the psychologist’s training on what to say when people start harassing me, I have been trying to come up with a whole smorgasbord of lines to use. Ditto Fred. The problem is “they always come up after the event” as Fred puts it.

But sometimes I can get lucky.

About two years ago my sister and I were walking along Martin Place in the CBD when we noticed a bridal party behind us. It had been raining so the groom had a large umbrella in his hand. The problem was he kept banging it into us. Finally, frustrated, my sister snapped at him. He then had a go at her for being in the way.

I couldn’t believe it. The walkway in Martin Place must be at least twenty metres wide. There was plenty of space for his posse to walk. If space was an issue, why the hell would they walk behind us?

I then flung back one of my brilliant lines. “Have a good wedding. You will probably be divorced in two years’ time.”

That shut him up. I was thrilled as rarely do I come up with a smart line in the heat of the moment. When I told Edmund, he gasped in shock which surprised me. Surely in his line of work he would be well aware of how nasty people can be.

“Well, they probably will be divorced,” I said in my defence. “Statistically there’s about a one in two chance. And so what if I ruined his day? Serves him right for being rude to my sister.”

“Your view is people get what they deserve,” said Edmund.

“Hey, you were the one who told me to read Anna Karenina so you would know there’s an epigraph at the start of the book which says ‘Vengeance is mine; I will repay. Romans 12:19.’”

I later said to Fred “The next time someone has a go at me about walking and reading at the same time I’m going to say ‘At least I can read, you illiterate person.’”


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