In preparation for my Sunday evening routine – watching ‘Dancing with the stars’ – I popped out to the Spar for some snacks. In particular popcorn.
The queue was winding and long, and the lovely Polish woman behind the counter was dealing with the customers as fast as she could. The queue wended its way through two aisles close to the checkout. Separate from the queue, but in the aisle was a young gentleman – I suspect he is Korean as he works in the neighbourhood Korean bar. He was examining the hair care products. Because he was kneeling, and because of the people in the line, it meant that any customer who wished to join the queue needed to walk through a different aisle to get to the back. Or perhaps said ‘excuse me’ to allow safe passage.
Not so for a certain, tubby, moustached gentleman. I smelled him before I noticed him – the pungent odour of stale alcohol, mixed with a noxious whiff of dried sweat. He was muttering and mumbling about what a fucking disgrace it was that only one till was open. Perhaps he had an important business meeting which required his immediate presence with the eight pack of Czech lager?
He then proceeded to shove the guy by the head and shout ‘Get out of my way you fucking ****’ (a racial slur used against people from China). There was a sharp intake of breath from the assembled people waiting to be served.
The guy looked very distressed. I was called to the counter and bought my popcorn. As I slid by the drunk (who was a true blue Dub, who I suspect lives in a famed street close to my own – possibly unfairly famed for being a bit poor and criminal) the drunken lout was still mouthing off at the innocent bystander. The phrase ‘go home’ was mentioned.
I am naturally averse to confrontation, but I was enraged. There was no need for this at all.
‘How about you shut up?’ I said to him as I passed him. He looked like he was about to instantaneously explode. The blood rushed to his head and his face turned a rich purple.
I decided that a speedy exit was advisable. I exited the shop with the melody of a Dublin, alcoholic. racist screaming ‘Fuck you, you ugly c***’ ringing in my ears.
I am still quite shook up.