Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Perilous Prosthesis; Or, I (Yet Again) Put Myself In a Ridiculuous Situation

Several years ago, I was walking near Kings Highway and Ocean Avenue, past the little triangle with the benches and the greenery, when I heard a man shouting at the top of his lungs in Russian and using what a teacher of mine used to call Language.

As he sounded quite abusive, I stopped and tried to understand the situation. The man and his friend, both of whom seemed to be in their sixties, were screaming at a woman, who looked about ninety. She had been feeding the pigeons - which, admittedly, she should not have been doing. However, instead of telling her so respectfully, these two gentlemen had already made her cry, thrown her bag on the ground, and seemed to be having themselves quite a merry time thinking up obscenities to shout at someone who was obviously not a contender.

This sort of thing never fails to instantly provoke me to rage, overriding any instincts of rationality or self-preservation. Thus, I marched up to these folks and quietly but rather trenchantly (I thought) informed them exactly what I thought of their sorry conduct. They replied, using Language. Unlike the old lady -who had by then removed herself from the scene of conflict - I was not impressed and answered in kind, adding that a criminal past and an alcohol-soaked present was No Excuse. For anything.

It was at this juncture, as I recall, that one of the gentlemen proceeded to unstrap his prosthetic leg, and wave it at me, with curses and threats. I informed him of the relevant criminal statutes and produced my cell phone. This served to render them somewhat quieter, almost contemplative. On my part, I saw no need to linger and thus departed, saying that If I caught them At It again, I would call the Police right away.

Am not sure what Conclusion, if any, can be drawn from all this.