Monday, June 4

Racial Abuse

In the rush of peak time Tube travel it's not unusual to witness some cases of commuter rage: those sudden bursts of unreasonable aggression triggered by an unintentional brush or bump or over-eagerness of some to get to where they want to go. I'm usually a chilled out traveller, choosing to be amused by the incidents involving others rather than becoming involved in any myself.

I do have an above average walking speed though, and it has gotten me into trouble a few times as I try to overtake people choosing to get in my way unnecessarily by taking their sweet time walking. I usually react to this with a smile and apology (and afterwards, a profanity under my breath) and manage to defuse the situation before it becomes anything worse. Sometimes, however, that isn't quite enough.

Take tonight for example. As often happens with me I was becoming squeezed by two people who either didn't see me coming or, more likely, didn't care. I had no choice but to bump into the one cutting me up the most. I duly apologised and went on my way, only to be followed by a barrage of abuse.

My normal response is to obviously ignore such things. Not because it's the mature thing to do, but because it's the best way to annoy these people further. If they don't give up (as was the case here), I then turn to super-patronisation to try to really wind them up. So: "hey man, chill out" or "I'm really sorry mate. No, honestly I am". You get the picture.

My reward in this case was to be called a "Paki c*nt". Now I've been racially abused before, but never in such a blatant and cliched way. In fact I was initially a bit dumbstruck at the incredulity of it, before breaking out in a bit of a giggle. Was it possible for someone who lives in London (although thinking about it now I might have detected a Northern accent) to actually say these words with a straight face? With any kind of credibility and concern for originality? It seemed so.

I even asked him to clarify exactly what he said. Unfortunately he declined.

1 comment:

  1. lol. you broke out into a giggle? love it. way to make someone look stupid