The Loudmouth in the Room

A good friend posted on Facebook today, justifiably ranting about a loudmouth in a restaurant, subjecting the unwitting patrons around him to his ill-informed opinions. If one goes out in public, this is always a risk. They are everywhere. And while we all yearn on occasion to be the one to shut the loudmouth up, we seldom do. This is probably wise, since most of us are busy people, & were we to confront every asshole about their conduct, we would have little time for anything else. I had an opportunity once, & I took it. It was wonderful.

I walked into the diner with a colleague to have dinner. We were both in uniform. The diner was crowded & we seated ourselves in a booth opposite the counter, whose seats were all occupied. Now, every diner has its’ regulars. Once you become a regular, you can find yourself on at least a nodding acquaintance, & occasionally a first name basis, with some unique people. I nodded at a couple of these people, & we ordered our dinners. One of the regulars, whom I shall call Buddy, was sitting with a companion at the counter, a good 20 feet away from our booth. Buddy was regaling his friend with a tale of some social event. He went on & on. Loudly. Buddy’s voice floated above the hum of conversation like an increasingly foul cloud. But it wasn’t until Buddy started to describe the physical attributes of a woman in his story, that I felt a line was about to be crossed. As Buddy started to say, “Let me tell you, she had some bazoombas on her like…” I stood up in the middle of the diner, looked straight at him and in my very best, booming police voice said, “Hey Buddy, we’re eating here. DO YOU MIND?”

It may be the only time in my career I received a round of applause.

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