This past Saturday, I was almost in a fight. A real fight with, like, fists. It's been almost 12 years since I was last in a fight (or, well, almost in a fight). Back then I had just started college, pretending to be this macho New Yorker (even though I weighed 100 pounds soaking wet) and knew how to act tough. I couldn't beat up a six-year-old girl, mind you, but I knew how to talk like a guy who grew up on the streets, with a hunting knife in my mouth instead of a baby's bottle. Now, however, I'm a laid back guy who writes about movies. That's it. I'm a quiet gent, and you'd have to try real hard to get me going. While shopping in a shoe store this past weekend, there was this guy (late 20s) standing with two older people who didn't speak English. They were situated right in front of the shoe I needed to look at. They stood there for a good 15 minutes, not moving. And so I patiently waited as long as I possibly could before saying "excuse me" while sliding in between them so I could look at the shoe.
That's when I heard it: "A**hole." Then again. And again. Until finally I looked up at this dude and asked if he was talking to me. He was ... and he didn't stop: "You're an a**hole," he said with a smirk. I replied, "I've been waiting 15 minutes for you folks to move and you haven't. I have a right to look at this shoe too." Then he goes, "F*ck you a**hole. I'll be waiting for you outside." "Waiting for me outside? Dude, you're in a shoe store. Calm down." Only he didn't calm down, he kept at it. He decided to go from cursing to personal insults: "Baldy. You're going bald. Ha! Baldy, baldy, baldy ..." He was not the first person to point this out; I'd been losing my hair for several years and have been made fun of numerous times by friends, family members and even random people on subway platforms. So I told him this: "I might be going bald, but at least I'm not unoriginal." And suddenly I felt like I was Matt Damon's character in Good Will Hunting -- only we were in a shoe store, and instead of fighting a guy from Harvard, it was a guy who learned English from watching the Jerry Springer Show.
I tried my best to keep it cool, and when I complained to the girl running the fitting rooms, she just looked at me like, "Um, I control the fitting rooms. This wasn't in my job description." My wife convinced me to take a different exit because she didn't want me getting arrested for fighting in a shoe store, and I never saw the guy again. But it made me wonder: How many of you have ever thrown out a random movie quote in the middle of an argument and passed it off as your own?
Check out the video of that classic Good Will Hunting scene after the jump ...
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