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Why you Should let Sleeping Dogs lie

December 4th 2012 21:05

JC (Jesus Christ). Just hours after writing my previous post I was reading a book while lying on my side at one of the lounges at the Art Gallery of NSW. About half an hour later I heard someone say, “Excuse me, you can’t read in here.”

I turned around, expecting to see one of the security guards. Instead, I saw a middle aged woman.

“No one wants to look at you. You’re not a statue,” she continued.

I went back to my book. “Mind your own business,” I said, deliberately not looking at her. This was a tactic Edmund, my psychologist friend, taught me: by deliberately reading I was telling her she wasn’t important enough for me to deal with.

“Excuse me?”

Without missing a beat or moving my eyes away from my book, I said loudly, “Mind your own business. If you have a problem, take it up with security.”

“I will,” she said before storming off.

A few minutes later one of the security guards came over to see what the commotion was all about. Luckily, it was one of the guards who knew me.

“Did she complain?” I asked.

“Yes. She walked straight past me and went to Ray. I came in to see what was going on.”

I then told him what happened.

“You did the right thing,” he said. “You’re allowed to read in here. She has no right to tell you what to do.” He then went back to patrolling.

But ten minutes later he was back. What now?

“She’s now complaining to the people at the information desk. I could tell from the looks on their faces that they think she’s off centre. If you see her again and she starts on you tell one of us as that’s harassment.”

I was so angry I could hardly concentrate on my book for the rest of the day. I then wondered if she picked a fight with me because she thought with me being Asian made me an easy target. I remembered how several years ago I was with Karina when this guy made racist comments behind me. I gave back as good as I could take.

“He probably thought that I wouldn’t say anything but this Asian bites,” I said.

“He picked on the wrong Asian,” she said, laughing.

While Karina has compared me to a Rottweiler, Brett thinks of me as a raging bull. That said, Edmund is constantly telling me not to get into fights with strangers.

“You never know who you’re dealing with. They may be chronically angry people and it could escalate. They may be schizophrenic-“

“How likely is that?”

“Not likely but still…Just walk away. It’s not worth it. You’re never going to see these people again.”

“That’s exactly why I should have a fight with them. It’s not as if I’m going to see them again so why not scream back at them? Tell them to f*ck off, call them a c*nt. And it’s not as if I started it. If they want to pick a fight with me then they have to deal with the consequences as I like to retaliate.

“People talk about karma but the problem is it’s so passive. I like to take matters into my own hands. And if you believe in karma you will tell yourself that one day they will infuriate someone so much that they will retaliate in such a way that that person will never try to upset another person again.”

“Yes,” said Edmund.

“Well, I want to be that person.”

I think Butterscotch would have been proud.

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