Ruder. Brasher. Speaks his mind. A real New Yorker. At least that’s what I’m striving for.
Especially when I notice a sign at The Fairway grocery store (essentially a cheaper Whole Foods in Harlem looking out right on the Hudson River) display with several kinds of extra-virgin olive oil and some small bread slices for sampling. It read, “Please be considerate: dip your bread only once.”
“Why would they even need to post a sign like that?” I thought, lifting a piece of bread dripping with green, ripe oil to my mouth. As I took a bite of that full-bodied richness, I noticed the woman next to me with a piece of bread with a bite taken out of it. It all happened in slow motion: her moving the bread toward a bowel of olive oil. My thinking, “This can’t be happening.” Her dipping the bread, bite side first, into the smooth, thick liquid.
I was appalled. Horrified, more by her manners than by her generosity with her own cooties. As she walked away and I closed my gaping mouth, I realized that I missed a perfect chance for confrontation. She deserved public rebuke. It was my duty to perform the civil equivalent of a citizen’s arrest. “EXCUSE ME, ma’am!” (Ma’am can come off as a bit condescending in the Northeast) “I can’t believe what you just did! You are rude!” Her chastening would be completed by the sudden sensation wet liquid fat in her face–flung there by me–which would then drip down and stain her dress in great moist globs.