Last Friday morning, I was waiting to cross at the only traffic light which separates my home from my work. As I waited for the light, a very normal looking guy walked up beside me and bumped my elbow.
Guy: "Oh, pardon me!"
Me: "That's okay."
Guy: (pauses a few moments) "Excuse me but..."
(I turn and wait, expecting to be asked directions somewhere.)
Guy: "Do you know what this is?" (he shows me the front page of some local free newspaper, all folded up and ratty.)
Guy: "Do you want to buy this from me?"
Me: "Uh... no thank you."
Guy: "Then you can just give me some money because I didn't have breakfast yet."
Me: (absentmindedly) "I didn't have any either." (it was the truth! I woke up late!)
Guy: (immediately) "You're a slut, you know that?"
Me: (raising an eyebrow) "Huh?"
Guy: "You're a whore! You know that, right? A dirty &%@#@$ whore! (screaming) WHORE! WHORE! WHORE!"
Me: (very calmly) "I see."
Guy: (raising his fist right into my face, he starts gathering spit in his mouth. he spits in my face but nothing comes out) "^&#%*@# WHORE!" (he runs across the road against the traffic, all the while screaming back at me) "You whore! Whore!"
Me: (smiling) "You have a lovely day now."
Guy: "&@*#$ YOU, WHORE!"
Saturday morning, I'm at the local "nice" grocery store (Loblaws on Dupont). I have my little collection of purchases laid out on the black conveyor belt. Just one very normal looking man is waiting behind me. There's no rushing, no line-up, everything is fine. There are plenty of rubber dividers available for customer convenience.
The guy behind me begins to put his groceries on the belt. He puts his shopping into MY shopping. He places two large oranges on top of my bag of spinach, and mixes his cans and boxes right in with my stuff. I CAN'T BELIEVE THIS IS HAPPENING. Our groceries are all jumbled together. I look at him: he's got no expression on his face. He's not trying to be funny or trying to start something. He seriously thinks this is fine. Meanwhile, my reality is falling apart.
A stranger threatens and insults me on the street and I just brush it off. But another stranger disregards supermarket etiquette and days later, I'm still freaked!