I’m in Albuquerque for a mission operations rehearsal.
I’ve got about an hour and a half before I go on duty, so I go to the Starbucks near the base, get myself a latte, and settle down in an armchair to read for a little while.
In a bit I look up and see two women, one pushing the other in a wheelchair. It’s a tight location – because there was no room next to the armchair, I left my chair in front of me. Next to that is a table. I look in the other direction and there’s an exit, so maybe that’s where they’re trying to go. “Am I in your way?” I ask.
“Yes,” pusher-woman says.
So I untangle my crossed legs, put on my shoes, pop into my chair, then turn to face them, expecting that they will back up so I can get out of their way then return back to my seat. They just stare at me. “Where are you trying to go?”
“She wants to sit there,” pusher-woman says, pointing at the armchair I have just vacated. What the hell? So I grab my mug and my book. “Back up so I can get out,” I say. Pusher-woman is not very quick on the uptake, trying to move tables and chairs, but eventually she backs up enough so I can get past. I get in my car and go to work half an hour early. I was halfway to the car before I realized what had happened. No snappy comebacks.