At the end of another busy week, I made my way home as usual, catching the Tube one stop to my connecting overground train. As the train pulled into the station, I made my way to the doors and prepared to disembark and begin the speed walk through the throngs of commuters.
Suddenly I felt a sharp kick on my leg and looked around to see a small girl with her mother. Never mind, kids are so clumsy at that age. But then, seconds later, I felt another kick and turned back to see the same girl scowling as she looked up at me. She couldn’t have been more than 8 years old, but for some reason she thought it appropriate behaviour to kick me for absolutely no reason.
Her mother caught sight of me looking at her daughter, and with the same scowl that clearly is a family trait, shouted at me: “WHAT ARE YOU STARING AT?”. Well, your child is kicking me. “So what?” she responded.
Feeling somewhat indignant at this point, I told her that she needed to learn how to control her kid, as I made my way out of the carriage and onto the platform. This was met with a verbal outburst that I couldn’t quite make out, but I think it was something like: “I contest your assertion. She is merely expressing her displeasure about the subjugation of the working classes by the white-collar bourgeoisie.”
Be that as it were, I had no intention of engaging her in Marxist debate at this point, and merely said that I felt sorry for her daughter to have a mother like her, thus giving her little chance of success in life. A couple of paces later and, unbelievably, I felt another kick to the leg and spun around shouting STOP as I placed my hand on the little girl’s shoulder to emphasise my point. This didn’t go down well with my new Marxist fiend [sic].
“DON’T YOU TOUCH HER!”.Well, tell her to stop kicking me. “DON’T YOU EVER TOUCH HER OR I’LL KNOCK YOU OUT” she shouted as she started slapping me across the arm. Oh my God, I was being attacked by Chucky’s more aggressive sister and their mother who specialises in anger mismanagement.
Still the abuse continued. For a split second I thought about fighting back. Sure she could knock me out… in her dreams. It was a complete mismatch and would have looked bad if I had done something that I would later regret.
I decided instead to walk away, accompanied by several kicks to the posterior as I went. By now my adrenalin was pumping, and as I saw her approaching the exit gates with me, I warned her to stay away from me, concerned that I would be forced to lash out.
Her reaction was to laugh. Again, I couldn’t hear exactly what she said, but I think it was something like: “I doth compare the masculinity of ye with a timid feline.”
Well, I’m not going to hit a woman. And that was the end of that. Although I did see them again as I went to get on my next train; the mother was busying texting and the girl was still scowling. I felt sorry for that little girl. The deviant little shit.
I have no idea why she started something that could so easily have escalated to serious unpleasantness, but it seems clear that she is used to a violent environment, and her mother positively reinforced her actions which will no doubt lead to more spontaneous displays of aggression in the future.
I just fear that the next person to unfortunately cross their path will be an elderly person or perhaps another child who would be terrified at such conflict. Perhaps worse still, they would pick on another 6 foot plus man, but next time one who wouldn’t hesitate to fight back. And that would be a harsh lesson for an 8-year-old girl who has been badly let down by her mother’s poor parenting.