Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Remember, you're in public

▪ A guy next to me last week in class spilled some coffee on the floor. Not much, just a couple of sips. We were toward the back of the room, so not many people noticed. (I probably noticed more than I should've because I was so jonesin' for a caffeine fix at that point in the morning that I briefly - very briefly - considered slurping that puddle off the floor. But I digress.)

Does this dude leave the puddle be, hoping it will evaporate? No, he's more considerate than that. First, he tries to disperse it with his shoe, but rubber soles aren't known for their liquid-soaking properties, are they? Ah, but you know what is? Denim! He rolls his jeans down over his heel and uses his pants to wipe up the coffee. Ingenious? Perhaps. Thoughtful? Almost certainly. But you wouldn't see too many women pulling that move, would you?

▪ While walking the streets of Iowa City the other day (well, strutting really - down the sidewalks in Tony Manero style; it's my natural walk), I noticed a couple nuzzing in the corner outside the main library. C'mon kids, get a room! The woman - who was wearing a retina-burning pink jacket - stood on her tip-toes, trying to get intimate to her guy friend. But as I got closer, it became apparent that she wasn't inching up for a kiss. No, she was in the guy's face, SCREAMING.

"F@#$ you, you god&#$% @$hole! Get the F@#$ away from me! No! No! F@#$ you! I could rip your F@#$ing head off! I hate you!" (And I ain't paraphrasin'.)

If the guy could've crawled up the wall, a la Spider-Man, to get the hell away from her, he would've. I think he was actually trying. He was also holding out his hand in that "Please put the gun down, no one has to get hurt" fashion. But he seemed genuinely speechless. Either that, or I couldn't hear him over the shrieking.

And then there's me, trying to walk along like I'm minding my own business and can't see (or hear) what's happening, yet slowing down enough so I can catch some of the drama. You know, I don't think they noticed me eavesdropping. I'm that smooth.

▪ On the bus early one morning, one of my neighbors decides to eat his breakfast during the ride in. No big deal, right? Who hasn't nibbled on a granola bar or donut through a morning commute? Except this guy was eating rice - and some extremely malodorous fish - out of a Tupperware container. And he was using chopsticks! I tried not to stare (I was holding my newspaper over my mouth and nose), but the dude's skill was admirable. He didn't spill one grain of rice - let alone a hunk of smelly fish - over any bumps or potholes, nor when the bus came to a stop. And he didn't stab a chopstick through his lip or cheek either.