There are a lot of things that irritate me.
You get your food at a restaurant and sit down. You take a bite. And the person sitting across from you pulls a napkin and start to blow his nose. He then uses the napkin to wipe his fingers.
The person then takes out his cellphone and starts to talk loud enough for everyone to hear him. With not quite half of my food eaten, he then begins to cough, open-mouth, into the air.
Looking around for a ball bat or a big long stick but unable to find either, I slowly wrap up my food and get up to throw it into the trash can. As I open the door to leave, he lets out one of those coughs spraying the air with germs. He has a napkin in his hand but doesn’t have time to lower his telephone.
I remember, way back in school at the old Boys High, a boy named John. He was a Class A student. He always had his homework and was very pleasant to all the teachers. All the teachers thought John was the model student. Always “yes, ma’am” and “no ma’am” and homework in hand.
Now that model student had one habit that did not go over with the other students. John was a bully. He would find a small boy or girl and, for that day, he made life miserable for them. When someone tried to tell the teachers what John was doing they were not believed.
In my growing up, I was what people referred to as tall and lanky. That meant tall with very little meat on me. I knew that in a rough and tumble with someone the size of John I would not have a chance.
I took my old Barlow knife and began to make me a weapon for the day John decided to jump me. I got a stick and whittled it to fit in to my hand. I made a round end on it. A good poke in the stomach with one of the ends would made you think. A round end to the face and you didn’t want any more.
I had a friend who I will call Jack. Jack was small. He was about half as tall as me and weighed less. I lived on what was the short end of Avenue D back then. I watched John and knew that he was going to make Little Jack his next victim.
I got Jack to go home with me that evening and showed him how to use the weapon that I called “The Equalizer.” I worked all evening showing little Jack what to do. With my equalizer in his pocket, ready for the next day, Jack went home.
Early the next morning we all met on North Fifth and started to school. John joined us along in the area where the Fifth Avenue Church was located. He ran up behind Jack and shoved Jack to the ground.
I knew it was coming. He always did his foul deed before he got to school. If it didn’t happen on the school grounds the teachers couldn’t do anything about it. But the teachers all knew what was happening when the smaller boys came in with a bloody nose.
Jack got up slowly with his hand in his back pocket. Then John did the wrong thing. He grabbed Jack by the front of the shirt and stuck his face in Jack’s face. I saw it when it connected above John’s right eye. He dropped to his knees with blood pouring down his face. Little Jack was so scared that he kept swinging at John. John got to his feet and ran down the street in front of the church.
I got Jack settled down and we went on to school. John didn’t come to school that day. As I recall, John became a good boy and didn’t pick on any more small boys.
Another thing I have never liked is for someone to come up and start messing with my hair. Call it a phobia or whatever — don’t mess with my hair. And you can talk to me all day telling me how wrong I am but do not stick your finger in my face. A finger in my face with ugly words gets my blood pressure up.
Also, have you ever been somewhere and heard loud vulgar language? You look around and there, standing where everyone can see them, will be two people talking loud enough for the whole world to hear. Every word is a cuss word or some type of vulgar word. I think that a person who can’t talk without using foul language should stay at home, away from people.
Last, but not least, is the person who is telling you something and keeps saying “you know.” No, I don’t know. If I did, I would not have asked him. That’s a lot like the person who is telling you something and keeps saying “blah, blah, blah.”
I could probably go on and on about the things that irritate me. I will stop and let you think about things that irritate you.
Why do people blow their nose when someone is trying to eat? Why will someone cough all over you and not cover their mouth? Why do people talk when they go to hear someone speak? And why does someone want to jump on someone else? It’s not always the big guy on the small one. In some cases it’s a small guy that wants to get a reputation for being bad and whipping up on big guys.
I’ve often wondered why anyone says “blah, blah” and “you know.” Do you know?
Lonie Adcock of Rome is a retired Rome Police Department lieutenant. His latest book is “Fact or Fiction.”