The Case of the Misplaced Anger by Oscar Taylor-Kent

(This week on my blog I am posting an entry every day, and each entry will be written by somebody other than me. Today’s entry, an anecdote, is written by my friend, and fellow writer, Oscar Taylor-Kent. If you enjoy the entry, you might like to visit his site or his YouTube page.)

One of my friends (whom will go unnamed due to privacy reasons (I’m just joking, it is Adam)) will constantly recount strange anecdotes from his past and present. Everyone loves them. Some people find the sheer amount of them odd. How can so many crazy situations happen to one person? But maybe they happen to all of us more than we think, and we often don’t really try to remember them like Adam does. So I had a good old think, and remembered one curious situation of my own!

The Case of the Misplaced Anger

Shortly before going to college I was making more of an effort than usual to spend time with my friends from secondary school, as I was not sure how often I would see them once we’d parted ways. Often these meet ups would happen in town, as that’s just the sort of place where people meet. We would usually stop by one of the many food establishments for a bite to eat while we were there.

This particular time I was only hanging out with a friend of mine named Michael (this time an actual pseudonym). We had decided to stop by McDonald’s because it had been both directly in front of us, and it is cheap. Due to the fact it was just the two of us, we arranged that Michael would hold our seats, while I would go to order and procure the food. This is why I was in the queue for the tills alone.

As quite often happens in a McDonald’s queue it was very haphazard. Despite a sign requesting customers to please queue for tills individually, everyone was bunched up some distance from the tills, waiting for tills to be free. It was like an Argos or something. Clearly this had confused some people as one or two were hovering, unsure, in the cursed limbo that was between the queue and the tills. One lady in particular looking particularly agitated, and kept looking around at apparently nothing in particular. Her eyes would settle for a microsecond on the menu, drift to the specials, look over the tills, catch the various eyes of the queue, then dissect the space in-between. It was quite haunting.

Naturally I was glad to leave this behind when a till became free and the man behind it looked at me, tilted his head a little bit and made a quick and small hand gesture, followed by a soft nod. The silent communication was thus: “are you waiting?” to which I nodded and stepped forward: “ah, yes, I was waiting, here I come now”. I’m probably remembering it slightly wrong, but rest assured it was certainly a pleasant moment of being on the same wavelength and perfect communication, which put me in initially good spirits.

“Hey,” I said, arriving at the till. At this point, the harried woman from before appeared beside me, and cut me off before I could go on. She said a lot of swear words, generally along the lines of “I have been waiting a long time to get served and it is rude to be skipped over”, except far more incoherent and threatening, and the fact she had made no real effort to waiting in any sort of line. During her tirade the server and I shared a tiring look of “really?” Once she had calmed down I said

“Oh, okay, well I don’t mind if you go first.” The lack of confrontation on my part bamboozled her sense, as her face immediately crumbled. Like the flicking of a light switch her anger immediately became deeply apologetic. She said some things, but I don’t remember what. I wasn’t enjoying the situation, so I walked to the other side of the tills where a woman was free to serve, and serve me she did.

When I returned to Michael, he asked me what the scene I had caused was all about. “I don’t really know,” was all I could say.

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