Monday, October 18, 2010
On the war path
It happened during lunchtime. I had installed myself with my book and my cup of tea in one of the deep armchairs at Timothy’s coffee shop when suddenly ... I heard someone sniffing. A loud, truly disgusting sniff.
I looked around. Who was it?
Was it one of the Asian youngsters at the next table on my right? No, they were too busy talking. Then again, some people can talk and sniff at the same time.
Was it the tourist at the next table on my left? In his jeans and checkered shirt he looked like the type that couldn’t be bothered to blow his nose.
Was it the distinguishing looking gentleman two tables down? No, surely not. He was impeccable dressed, sporting an expensive looking watch and was reading a hardcover book on finance. Surely he could afford a handkerchief and wouldn’t be so rude as to pull up his nose.
Was it the lady by the counter? She had just ordered a cup of coffee and a muffin. With a handbag clutched under her right arm and both hands full she didn’t exactly have a hand to spare to blow her nose. Was she the sniffer?
As she passed me I heard the disgusting sniff again. Was it her? No, definitely not, the sniff had come from further away.
For the next few seconds I was on high alert, looking and listening at the same time. At the next sniff, a double sniff it was, I identified the sniffer ... the distinguished looking gentleman.
I couldn’t believe it. He looked so perfect, from his impeccable haircut, down to his beautifully tailored suit and his polished leather shoes. How could he be so ... so ... sloppy not to carry a handkerchief or at least some paper tissues!
I sat there, fuming, steam practically coming out of my ears. Was I gonna have to put up with this ear torture for the next hour? Was my hour of quiet reading gonna be ruined by this bozo? No, it was not. I was gonna say something. I was gonna do something. But what? I didn’t exactly want to cause a scene or embarrass him (and me in the process).
At the next sniff I threw caution to the wind, grabbed one of my travel pack tissues, got up and walked over to his table. My heart was hammering in my chest and my mouth was badly in need of a swig of tea. What if he said ‘I don’t need a tissue’ or ‘Who do you think you are approaching me?’ or anything to that effect.
Having arrived at his table I deposited the tissue next to his coffee and said “Perhaps you would like one of these”. I was perfectly polite, I didn’t look at him and I immediately walked away.
He didn’t say anything, but by the time I got back to my table he was blowing his nose. No more sniffing. Aaaah, peace and quiet at last.
Let’s hope that Mr. Distinguished learned his lesson and will carry some tissues from now on.
Me, I was ever so proud of myself, I had done it, I had finally done it. I had not put up with the sniffing and done something about it. Will I do it again? You bet, from now on if anyone in my vicinity starts sniffing they’re gonna get it ... a tissue that is.
It might be a good idea to buy stocks in Kleenex as there are a lot of sniffers in and around Toronto.