Have you ever been in a situation where you can see a confrontation coming from a mile away, and you know it’s not going to be pretty?
When I was waiting in line to pick up my prescriptions, people were bunching up in front of the counter, rather than in a neat line. An increasingly-frustrated middle-aged woman came towards the pharmacy and had squeezed herself in front of the twenty-something guy who had been standing in front of me. I was annoyed, but I wasn’t planning on saying anything. But the guy in front of me wasn’t about to give up his place in line.
Sure enough, when he was next to come to the counter, the woman jumped up towards the pharmacist. Chaos ensued.
“Excuse me,” he said, “but I was here first.”
“No, I was in front of you,” the woman insisted. Well, I suppose she’s not completely wrong: she was in front of him, but she definitely wasn’t there first.
“No, you jumped the line,” the guy insisted, as he approached the counter to claim his territory, “and I just want to get my pills and get out of here.”
Then came the unthinkable. The woman glared at the guy and said, “Well, so do I. And I have cancer.”
Oh, snap! The cancer card! She just pulled the cancer card! How can this guy possibly have a comeback to that?
“Oh, yeah,” he began, as he pointed to his head, “brain tumor! Wanna fight?”
That shut her up fast. He got his turn in line, and cancer woman had to wait her turn.
And no, they didn’t fight. But I probably would’ve paid to see that.