Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Englishman in Pasig

Last night I came home to find Jerry and his British "friend" drinking in the store. I was not really put off. A man should have his time with drinking buddies every now and then, right?

This guy, however, ruined a potentially fun evening. Let's see, where can I start...I got out of the cab, Jerry introduced us and then asked if I could watch the store while they drank. Of course I said yes - it suited me perfectly as I had to write several articles anyway. I excused myself for a moment so I could get settled in.

When I came back out, I sat down and got started on my writing. From time to time, the guy would ask questions so I answered and humored him. After all, he was Jerry's guest and he is almost 40 years my senior. I do know how to be polite after all.

Then he started.

Brit: Why are Filipinos obsessed with cell phones?

Me: It's a cheap way of communicating.

Brit: But why are they so obsessed with it? What did you do when you didn't have cell phones?

Me: We managed. We didn't really need cell phones back then.

This conversation went on and on - the guy kept repeating himself. Then we moved on to computers and the Internet.

Brit: Who invented the Internet?

Me: The Americans.

Brit: No, the English. We invented everything.

Me: I have to disagree. It was the US military who first created a network of computers similar to what we now know as the Internet. It was called ARPANET or something. (Now I may be wrong but this is what I recall.)

Brit: No, the English invented everything.

Me: Ok.

He was starting to get to me at this point simply because he kept disparaging other people.

Brit: Why are you so obsessed with that computer?

Take note, I was working - or trying to - while manning the store so that Jer could drink.

Me: I need the computer to write. I love to write and it provides us with the money we need.

Brit: So what did you do before the computer?

Me: I was a student then so I didn't need one as much. We used the typewriter.

Brit: But why are you so obsessed?

(God please shut him up!)

All this time, Jerry was giving me looks asking me to be nice and polite but the guy just wouldn't stop.

Brit: So wife, what are you doing?

Me: Excuse me? I have a name. You can call me by my name.

The guy was taken aback, says nothing for a while and starts with his cell phone and computer thing again. He started rambling about how we Filipinos are obsessed with the cell phone and I gave up trying to explain - I just tried to work. Then he says something about it being due to ignorance. That caught my attention and I started to tell him that it is not really just about that...blah blah blah. I don't think he was listening anyway since he kept repeating his questions. And so it went...

Brit: So what are you doing?

Me: I am writing.

Jerry: She loves to write - she is a freelance writer. She's actually very smart...She also loves to read. (thanks for trying, dear!)

Brit: Yeah but no brains, eh?

I saw red. I stood up, ready to give him a piece of my mind. In my mind, I had this fantasy raging - I was grabbing the empty bottle of Royal in front of me and smashing it on his face. Have you seen True Lies? Do you remember the scene where Arnie met with the car salesman who he thought was having an affair with his wife? There was a cut scene wherein, in slow motion, he smashed his fist into the guy's face. The salesman's head snapped back, his hair moved in waves, and blood splattered all over. Then Arnie was pulled back to reality. He smiled - more like a grimace, actually - and talked to the salesman amicably (albeit forced).

That is how I felt last night. I went inside the house and asked Jerry to come in for a bit. I told him I was not mad at him but at his "friend." I told him that was inexcusable and that I was not going to tolerate it. The only reason I held back is because he asked me to be nice to his guest and that I really see no excuse for rudeness. He apologized and went out and took the guy home.

He didn't even have to do that! He is a grown man after all. If he chose to get drunk till he couldn't walk home, then that is his problem, right? Jerry wouldn't let him walk alone, though, and insisted on taking him home.

It's over and done with and I still shake with anger when I remember last night. But this is what I know - I don't ever want to see that man in our store, our house, again. If he comes up and buys something from me, I will tell him nicely that I would rather not deal with him. Needless to say, he better not think that he could come and drink at our place.

Now that I have vented (in this blog, to Jerry, and to my friends), I have become a bit pensive. I know that Jerry was just being polite to the guy. He wanted to be nice to an old man. But still, I think I would have appreciated it if he said something to the man when he insulted me to my face. I don't mean punch him or anything (yeah, that's how Jerry thinks he should deal with most things). Just a simple "You shouldn't say those things to my wife. Please leave." would have sufficed.

But oh well, that's over. As I said, I simply don't want to hear from or see that person again. Those kinds of people should be thrown out of our country and sent back to their own.

I am reminded of Sting's Englishman in New York:

If, manners maketh man as someone said
Then he's the hero of the day

It takes a man to suffer ignorance and smile

Be yourself no matter what they say


He most definitely was NOT talking about THIS Englishman!

5 comments:

  1. Brit: Yeah but no brains, eh?

    Pity how a man who "might" be married to one of our kind calls someone like you a "no brain." Isn't it pathetic that he relies on the economy of the "No Brains" because he cannot afford a life in the UK? I wish I was there too when he said that to you. I would throw a bucket of iced water at him.

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  2. Hilarious! I have to tell Sam about this guy,, maybe he could help us get this piece of white trash out of our country!

    But then again, he might be talking about himself when he said "no brains, eh?" :)

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  3. Posh - I hear you.

    Ren - ha ha I can't wait to see Sam's reaction. It's a go this Saturday?

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  4. You should have punched the a*%H*&^ sh*$face.

    On another note, what's up on Saturday?

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  5. I should have but contrary to what he said, I do have manners sometimes! And poker night this Saturday!

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