That time that I got yelled at by a stranger.

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If you know me, you will know that I will run a MILE from confrontation. Nothing sends a chill up my spine when a friend or aquaintence says to me “I think we need to talk.” I go into some sort of panic and think “What the fuck have I done now…” I am getting sweaty even writing about it now.

Gutless Wonder, thy name is Woog!

Some people are the opposite though, and you can see it wherever you look. Cranky people. Rude people. Mad at the world people! And I had to deal with several this morning as I handed out how to vote cards for the local Labor candidate, who I consider a friend. Now I like handing out at elections as it gives me an opportunity to really get to know the community. A suburb snapshot, if you will. After my time this morning handing out, I am pleased to say that my suburb is full of very nice, polite, informed folk who knew who they wanted to vote for. I stood with the Liberal hander-outer-er and made delightful small talk about the weather.

When people would approach us, they would pick either pamphlet. “Yes please...” or “No thanks”. And then there were the folk who, out of simple politeness, would take both.

I would stop and chat with the school mums. Everyone was having a jolly old time. The smell of onions and democracy was in the air! And then a lady approached me.

She would have been in her sixties, of small frame and dyed dark hair. She made a direct b-line for me. I smiled at her and began to say “Labor for Bra…..”

“YOU NEVER GET ANYWHERE BY BEING A LIAR!”

I started to get whoozy. People stopped and looked…

“I HAVE SPOKEN TO DOCTORS AND THEY SAY WHAT SHORTEN SAYS IS A COMPLETE LIE…”

The earth started spinning. I meekly offered…. “I am just helping out a friend…..”  (Because gutless wonder)

And those seven words, those seven little words were a trigger to her, and she sprayed me like one might do if one eats too many prunes. It was astonishing. I looked into her watery blue eyes, lined with (in my opinion) too much liner. I saw anger. And then her mate dragged her away.

“Have a nice day…” I said.

The next group came by, and an elderly man took one of my flyers. He neared at me, crumpled it up into a little ball and threw it at me.

“Nice.” I said as I retrieved the flyer, smoothing it out. I looked at the Liberal dude, who rolled his eyes. And then I burst into hysterical laughter. I explained to him that I am a writer, who likes to tell stories about mundane things, and this stuff was pure gold to me. It is JUST to sort of shit that needs to be shared. And if I am that person whom other people’s anger needs to be taken out on to make them feel better, then I am willing to cop that one on the chin.

I will just peel the lids off a couple of dips, chuck a few bottles of wine in the fridge, and prepare to regale my tales of woe to the assortment of people I am expecting this evening. Why, with the assistance of vodka, I may even embellish a little! (Although this story you just read is not embellished. I plan to add a little police action, perhaps a can of mace and me getting beaten with a Liberal poster…)

Did you vote?

Did you see any shit go down?

How was your sausage sizzle? BBQ or Tomato sauce?