Hey there, everyone! I'm back. And I have so many things to report.
We'll start with the trend that seems to be emerging, and I'm not quite sure what to call it. "Interesting people"? "Random people"? "People who are all up in my bizness despite my minding my own"? After this story, you'll see what I mean.
So, my posse and I were up in Vancouver for a conference (as I mentioned). The weather was spectacular - clear, cool, downright magnificent. In part because of the weather, and in part because we like to eat delicious things, the lot of us decided to take a stroll one afternoon in pursuit of gelato. (Gelato really has nothing to do with this story. I just wanted to mention it because it was very delicious.)
We'd finished our gelato and were walking along, the six of us, minding our own business, when we were approached by a man wearing a long trench coat and carrying a few full grocery bags. His tone was very casual, but he did end up standing closer to us than we are generally used to.
DUDE: I'm very hungry.
US: We're so sorry.
DUDE: Can you give me some money? I'm hungry.
US: Sorry. We don't have any extra.
DUDE: Look at me. I'm homeless!
DUDE: I smell like shit and everything!
We were all caught off guard by his deconstructive analysis of the situation, but we responded with our usual, genuine kindness.
US: Wow. That really sucks.
I couldn't help but notice that he did not smell like shit. While I was noticing this, he was pausing for a moment to consider his next move.
DUDE: How about a cigarette?
At this point he moved in very close to my face.
ME: Mm, sorry. We don't smoke.
DUDE: You don't.
He took a moment to consider this, and I think decided he needed to kick it up a notch. He said this next part really slowly and deliberately, like maybe he was on his way to a tirade. And he was still quite close to my face.
DUDE: You know what you are? You are fucking--
ME: The worst.
He was caught off guard for a second. He hadn't anticipated my honesty about who were were in this situation, but he liked it. I swear I saw a twinkle in his eye. He was still mostly not pleased, but at least he had some good material.
DUDE: The worst. The fucking worst. You are the worst of the worst!
ME: Yeah, we'd have to agree.
We somehow then parted ways, and the group of us tried to make sense of what had happened exactly. We were all pretty surprised about how calm yet in our space he was. My PIC said that it might have helped his cause "if he'd hidden that six-pack of beer." But more than anything, we were all quite taken with the idea that we'd just been called "the worst of the worst" by a man who seconds before had said he smelled like shit.