Rude People

Dear Diary,

24th February 2024

Rude People – This is how vengeance was served without charge.

Let me give you a small gist.

Today, I found myself at Charles de Gaulle Airport bidding farewell to my sister as she jetted off to London. A glorious week at Roissy-en-France had refreshed me. I felt like holding on to her a little longer, but time must always come to an end.

The chilly airport became even icier as I paced around, desperate for a seat while I waited for my flight. But time is a snitch, dragging its feet like a reluctant toddler. I soon realised that some people wheeled their personal belongings like any other traveller, only that they had nowhere they were going. The airport was their home and I tell you, these folks can be real characters as they visibly look like they hadn’t had a bath in ages or were waiting to cart away pieces of luggage if the owners snoozed for even a moment.

More than fearing them, I dreaded the forcefully repeated 500 euro fine announcement for any bags left unattended, knowing I hadn’t slept at all in one week. Desperate, I scoured the airport, hoping to avoid any shenanigans.

As I wandered through the bustling airport, my eyes fell upon a group of senior citizens—grey-haired and exuding an aura of wisdom and safety. Two vacant seats beckoned to me, promising a moment of respite from the chaos. But before I could claim one, I was abruptly halted by a chorus of wrinkled hands gesturing wildly and mouthing out different horrified expressions. Confused, I paused, trying to decipher the cause of their distress until their frantic warnings became audible. Someone had doubled the seat I was aiming for as a makeshift toilet, discreetly hiding poop beneath the sleek black leather covers. Oh boy!

At that moment, I envisioned myself unwittingly seated upon a throne of excrement and couldn’t help but feel immense gratitude for the timely intervention. Almost instinctively, I found myself offering profuse thanks to each elder in the group, as though they were dear relatives offering sage advice. “Thank you kindly, Ma’am; Thank you, Sir,” I murmured in my best British accent, inwardly shuddering at the thought of encountering such foulness.

Already emotionally tender from bidding farewell to my sister, the prospect of being ensnared in a foul-smelling mess would have to reduce me to uncontrollable tears. I would have lamented badly. Then the pack of old people told me I could take the seat directly beside this poop throne and an old couple – relief at last. Coincidentally, I initially wanted to sit there, but I felt it was proper to give the old white folks some space as some tend to quickly get genuinely apprehensive when black people sit near them. They tend to begin to hide their bags and purse as though one was an armed robber, and I wanted to feel safe too – let nobody be looking at me like I was a thief.

So I sat near these couple for at least three hours undeterred by the odorous obstacle. Valiantly, I defended the seat, warning countless unsuspecting travellers of the impending doom just as I was warned. As I held my ground, I became an unlikely hero, forging friendships with fellow seat protectors and sharing laughs amidst the chaos. I normally don’t indulge in conversations, but I did today because I was afraid of falling asleep, losing my bag, or being fined 500 euros.

To top it all, at intervals, I had to inhale the stink from the poop seat, but I mean the airport was jam-packed so I offered it all up to Jesus – making the silly comment in my head that this stink that I am stinkingly inhaling, let it wash away my sins because I bet, perhaps my sins smell like this to God if not worse. So, I brought out my laptop to get some work done and to wade away the sleep that began to crawl into my soul reminding myself I didn’t want any airport shenanigans.

But then, like a rude bulldozer, she appeared – a woman on a mission with the grace of a charging rhino, determined to assert her dominance over the tainted throne. Despite my valiant efforts to warn her that the seat was poop-stained, leaving me mid-sentence, she arrogantly dismissed my warnings, gesturing to her husband over my head to sit beside my new Chinese friend, while she confidently sat on the poop throne. Oh, the indignity!

As she settled in, I was wowed by her behaviour, but I quickly made peace with my creator and vacated the position of defender of the poop-seat. This woman had come to solve the problem by using her clothes to make certain the seat remained if not 100% clean, at least 75% clean for the next user.

The Chinese guy who had watched me tell people not to sit, including himself, started laughing. Then I busted out laughing, and our neighbours who I had also prevented from sitting busted out laughing. We all laughed with no one daring to say a word.

After all the laughter, I couldn’t help but wonder why people become so rude to strangers for no reason. Why? In this instance, she received the instant judgment of unknown poop for her behaviour. Now she will trouble all other travellers with the smell of poop to her destination. God bless her, she was still 8-10 hours ahead of whatever journey lay in her path.

After a while, she and her husband stood up, and you know, I still wanted to say, madam, you sat on poop, but she was still haughty with her superhuman poise at a time when others could have helped her avoid mistakes or even not ooze for hours. Imagine me walking with another person’s poop on another flight for hours….eh!

And so I remember my daily litany of humility attributed to Cardinal Rafael Merry del Val (1865-1930) who when he became the Cardinal Secretary of State of the Holy See under Pope Pius X composed the litany of humility at [] and at that moment, I prayed “That others may be esteemed more than I, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.”

In the end, I understood the absurdity of rudeness and the importance of humility in the face of life’s little surprises. So, with a renewed prayer for patience and a renewed appreciation for kind people, I bid adieu to yet another adventure in the wacky world of airport antics.

Yours Sincerely,
Olúwatóyọ̀sí, an earthly saint-in-training

Rude People

Did you read the Valentine’s day saga? Here is the link to Confession

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