Tactful nastiness

I am riding a bus to downtown Portland, OR, USA to my job as an instructor at the University of Oregon. Just to trick you, this UO is not located in Eugene. To prepare me for dealing with obnoxious young people years before I had taught at the second most dangerous high school in Seattle, WA, a school where would be child soldiers carried guns, knives, chains, and brass knuckles in their baggy pants to school. Concentrated my mind and prepared for teaching the kind of polite adults who come to a community college run by a University and whose entitlement attitude at times makes me want to puke.

I am kind of fond of obnoxious youth. Whose stupidity and disrespect is not hidden under adult masks.

I am sitting in the back of a crowded bus. Around me are about half a doen obnoxious youth. Slightly ahead, sitting facing me and the young punks are two matrons speaking French quietly. I took French but being linguistically stupid I remember maybe very few words. Sil vous plait, merci, merde my brain is so old and brain dead.

The obnoxious children of maybe 15 years notice the two women speaking French. They start to howl at the women Why are you talking funny! This is so stupid. You are in America! Why don’t you speak English like normal people? What language are you talking? What are you saying!

After they run out of breath and stop. One of the women says, in perfect English, and with perfect composure:

We are speaking French. We are talking about how ashamed your parents should be for raising such rude, ill-mannered children. Nowhere in France and certainly not on any bus in any portion of our large country would anyone encounter such a collection of ill-mannered barbarians. Perhaps you might talk to your parents when they get home and suggest they come to France and take lessons in raising decent young people. . .

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