Wednesday, August 09, 2006

A CHAIR IS STILL A CHAIR...


... EVEN WHEN THERE'S NO ONE SITTING THERE.

Picture it: I was early to the Argo Tea Cafe last evening in order to lay claim to a little space for my fellow Stitches in Britches knitters. I sat at a table, and put my bag on the chair opposite me to ensure at least one chair for my friends. I then brought out the lace and commenced knitting.

A few minutes later, as overdressed tourists sought some way to kill time until the theatre next door opened their doors, a woman in High Uptight Episcopalian Drag walked up, tilted the chair so that my bag slipped to the floor, and started away with the chair -- without so much as a howdydo.

Lucky for me, the chair was close enough to me that I could reach out and grab it before she could wisk it away. Now, normally, if someone had asked if they could use the chair, I would explain that I was being joined by someone and they were welcome to use the chair until my guest arrived. Usually another chair has been vacated before anyone shows, so the issue is moot.

But this woman didn't ask nicely. And that got my Irish up. I grabbed the chair and said, "I'm sorry, that seat is taken." She replied, with a snear and a sickly-sweet Southern drawl, "Where I come from, a chair isn't in use if no one is sitting in it."

I kept my hold firm, and met her snear with a wilting look that would have made my mother proud. And I said, in a volume certain to attrack the attention of at least a few of the people around me, "Well, that may be how they do things in Bugtussle, Honey, but here in the big city we ask politely and say please and thank you."

She increased her snear and say, in a mocking tone, "Please?"

And I met her mocking tone and said "No."

Still holding tight to the chair, she said loudly, "Well, I never!"

And all I could think to say in reply was "Believe me, Honey. It shows."

People in the near vicinity laughed out loud. She released her grip and slunk away. I felt like I had lost ten pounds.

13 comments:

Sarah said...

Good for you! Ironic, if she would have asked, it would not have been a problem.

I can see it all in my head.

DianeS said...

Good for you! Some people need to be reminded of how to behave in public.

Michelle said...

That? Rocks. That story made my day.

Tiennie said...

That's awesome! I love that you were so quick witted and it wasn't a case of "I wish I had said..."

Elisabeth said...

Priceless. I can totally see the scene in my head.

Terri D. said...

Time to drag out an old cliche but sometimes they're called cliches because they're apt: oh no she didn't. Your momma would be proud.

CarryFairie said...

Wow, I'm not sure why, but sometimes the gall of people still amazes me...

Good on you though! I'm afraid I'm definitely one of those slower witted people...I just get cranky and stew...which is when I manage to come up with great little one-liners...

Cortster said...

Ohmigod, whether this is a 50% truth or not, it was wonderfully gratifying to read. On behalf of the rest of us who would've probably been left sitting in shock (perhaps before retrieving said chair, walloping said shrew over head with chair, and returning to start position with chair), thank you for your charm, wit and chutzpah!

I will treasure this account always.

mc78 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
mc78 said...

Woo hoo! I would've just ripped the chair away in silence. What was she wearing? Was there a scrunchy involved? Was there one of those quilted handbags?

mc78 said...

Woo Hoo! I would've just ripped the chair out of her clutches without a word. What was she wearing? Was there a scrunchy involved? Was there one of those quilted handbags?

Paul said...

HA! Good for you! And she probably still doesn't understand....

Diane said...

OMG that's priceless! "Please?" NO. Hahahaha.