I told off an elderly uncle sitting behind me on the bus en route to work yesterday morning.
The latter had been coughing violently for several minutes, directly aimed at the back of my head. I could feel the force of the wind at my hair, and the latter made no move to block the flow of whatever grisley grimey germs that were flying out like little invisible projectiles from his mouth.
The coughing stopped for a few seconds, and I thought okay, perhaps it’ll come to an end here.
Then, he started again.
Enough was enough.
So I spun around. “If you need to cough, please at least cover your mouth. Thank you,” I told him curtly before spinning back to face the front.
The coughing stopped instantly, and any subsequent coughs became muffled.
I happened to be sharing about my day with my mum later in the evening and the above story was brought up. Upon hearing that I had actually been telling people off on the bus, my mum’s expression changed into a look of pure horror.
“How can you do that? Next time don’t do that! Some people will get violent and will punch you, you know?” My mum exclaimed.
“Well. If they even lay a finger on me, it simply shows their lack of civilized behaviour, aye?” I responded.
“No point getting yourself injured what!” Mum tutted.
“I’ll risk it. Better than having all sorts of germs crawling around in my hair. And if I didn’t bother to tell him off, I wouldn’t know how long more would the coughing have gone on.” I reasoned. Gee, if I hadn’t – I think I’d have gotten a free hair wash during that bus ride.
“Next time, be more tactful lah!” Mum advised after a moment of silence.
“Tactful? TACTFUL?!” I exploded. “Was I not tactful enough? I even thanked him!”
“If I decided to not bother with being tactful, I would have screamed something like ‘CAN YOU STOP FUCKING COUGHING AT THE BACK OF MY HEAD?!’ which I REALLY felt like doing at that moment!”
That was when Mum burst into peals of laughter.
“Okay, okay, you’ve got a point.”
With that, ladies and gentlemen. I shall leave you with a reminder that should you ever leave the house with flu-like symptoms, please please please cover your nose and mouths with a tissue should you need to err … expel anything. Not because of any fear of meeting people like me, but because it’s basic civic-mindedness. Kthxbai!