This evening I was waiting in line at the self-serve checkout at Meijer. Most of them were jammed with people but the one I chose was nearly empty.
There was a man and a woman there, presumably husband and wife, with a small child in the seat of the cart the man was pushing. The husband looked like Jeffrey Dahmer, tall, blonde, gawky with glasses and thinning hair, but the lady didn't resemble any serial killers or celebrities... she was overweight and mousy. She was trying to figure out the self-scanner, and her husband would swear at and berate her whenever she made a move, which caused her to fuck up even more. "No! Scan the fucking barcode. You have to put it on the fucking scale. Now put the fucking money in." He'd scared everybody else off into other lanes.
I worried that the guy was out of control, that he would turn around and start something with me. Backing down would have disgusted me. The appropriate response would be to return the favor, but could I do that? He had to be at least a foot taller than I was, with long arms. I was crouched over my shopping cart, looking even shorter than I am, my chin in my hand as I watched them. I had big poofy girl hair. The little girl in the cart was staring at it after the husband got out of the way to scan his share of the groceries. I imagined I could waste him with my cart and then fling stuff at him.
When he finished scanning the stuff in his cart, he slipped back behind his own, half-glancing at me and mumbling "'scuse me," sounding embarrassed, like he'd noticed how long he was taking. He hurried out of the way.