19 June 2008

The Angry Man

I knew I was in for trouble the moment I saw him and he caught my eye. As I was trying to work out how the self service petrol pump worked I could see he was spoiling for a fight. No good, I said to myself and pressed the intercom for an attendant to come and help me. Smiling she bounced across the forecourt and then spent a few minutes swiping my card, entering by number plate and pressing the correct fuel. Nothing! Relieved at the reprieve from a sarcastic ‘you idiot waist of time’ stare, she continued, quite bemused, too wrestle with the pump.

Then the Angry Man turned towards us, a cross between John Wayne and Frankenstein, and all the other movie characters with a very slow but purposeful swagger, hands menacingly clenched into fists and the ‘I know what you did last summer stare’. We knew we were in trouble.

“What are you wasting time with him when you should be serving me?” he literally screamed, garlic and bits falafel spraying over a large radius. Unfazed, my trusty attendant ignored him and continued battling with pump. “I fought for this country, lost all my family in Europe; I pay my taxes, is it too much to ask for some help?” “Look, I am helping him, when I have finished I will help you”, she turned and smiled at me. Not sure why but I didn’t think anything of it. I of course smiled back and in the movies, the sun would have set and we’d be half way to Vegas on the back of my Harley. But reality set in rather quicker than I’d hoped as Mr. Angry yelled again, “HELP ME NOW !”

He walked back to his van and kicked the bumper as hard as he could, shouting and swearing and promising to do all manner of nasty things to the Prime Minister.

“Why don’t you help him?” I suggested to the attendant, (Anat). “He doesn’t need my help, he needs someone more qualified” she grinned.

Suddenly out of the restaurant, a man came running out at top speed towards Mr. Angry. “What are you doing?” he screeched. A huge argument exploded which shook us to our very core (to be dramatic) the anger levels were like Vesuvius and Mount St Helens erupting simultaneously. The situation reached critical as fists were clenched. Anat looked at me and we decided it was better not to intervene.

Then, suddenly, Mr. Angry stopped shouting, walked to the front of the van, stared, mumbled something and walked over to an identical van parked by the next pump.

Anat looked at me and laughed, “He kicked the wrong van, he kicked the wrong van!”

As insurance details were exchanged, Mr. Angry, eyes heavy with shame and despondency, walked back to his van.

Then head held high again shouted across the forecourt, “HELP ME NOW!”