Some people have the self-control to hold back and take whatever rude behavior or bad energy others throw at them. However, everyone has their limits, and at some point, even those people become fed up. Below, people share their stories of how they stood up to someone who was being a complete and utter jerk. The results have never been so satisfying:
When I was 14, my little brother and I were in New York City visiting relatives. My brother was hard of hearing—he wasn’t deaf, but he rarely reacted to people talking to him unless they made eye contact. We got onto a crowded elevator, and a guy—an adult—walking behind him said, "Excuse me", but my brother didn't hear him. So, then he bellowed, "I SAID GET OUTTA MY WAY," before proceeding to swear.
Everyone was looking at him because an adult swearing at a child is inappropriate, even for New York. The guy made a cheesy smile and said, "Heh...Welcome to New York". But I made sure he'd regret ever treating my brother like that. I looked at him and said, "He is deaf". The guy turned nine shades of white and he was trapped on an elevator for 40-odd floors with 10 people who hated him. It was pretty glorious.
In 5th grade, there was this short, pudgy kid named Cody. Little Cody would walk up behind me and kick me in the behind multiple times a day. One day, I told myself, "I'm getting real sick of your garbage Cody". On that day, I was walking into math class, and there was Cody. He did it again, and that was the last straw. I turned around, grabbed him, threw him against one of the desks, and punched him in the back of the neck.
That stopped him, but so did our three days of in-school suspension.
I was on a trip with this girl and her family to New Hampshire. On the way back, we were going to her cousin's wedding in New Jersey. The girl had turned evil, alienating me the entire time in front of her family. So when we got to the rehearsal dinner, I was on edge. Afterward, everyone went to the hotel bar and another wedding party arrived.
This guy in the other group started harassing people in the group that I was in, to the point that he was ruining the night for both families. Finally, he looked at me and went, "WHAT"?! He didn’t realize I was ready to have it out with someone because of my terrible trip. I immediately started walking toward him with what I can only describe as true rage. It was about to go down.
As I got to about two feet from this guy, I looked at him directly and said, "What is your problem? You are here for a wedding! If you say one more thing to anyone in my party, I swear to God I will beat the living daylights out of you until you can't walk anymore. So turn around and shut up!" The only thing I could see after I said that was fear in his eyes.
The guy immediately turned around and mumbled some nonsense in this wimpy, deflated voice. When I turned around, everyone in my group had this look like I was some sort of hero, and people were giving me high fives. Later that night, I packed up my stuff in the dark, asked the concierge to get me a taxi, and caught a train home, leaving the evil girl alone at the wedding.
My younger brother was a smart guy. Unfortunately, he had horrible taste in women and would rather be in a bad relationship than be alone. He was dating this little blonde whose only virtues were a pretty face and a willingness to go out with him. My wife and I met the two of them for dinner one night. All of us except his girlfriend ordered steaks.
She just wanted a salad, and while picking at it, she decided to take a few cheap shots at my wife since she is 5'9", lifts weights with me, and wears either a size 10 or 12, depending on who's making the clothes. Since this woman was only 5'2" and wore a size 4 at most, she thought she was justified in saying stuff like, "How can you eat that? Don't you care about your appearance?" She pulled that stunt at the wrong table.
My brother put aside his knife and fork and said, "Shut up. I know my sister-in-law, and she's a better woman than you or any other woman I've ever dated. Now finish your salad. It's the last meal you'll ever have at my expense".
I was in the return line at an electronic’s store, and the lady two positions in front of me got called up next. She was trying to return a vacuum cleaner because it wasn't sucking anymore. It looked like it had been used outside to clean a construction site. There were caked-on white patches of dirt all over it, the cord had several knots, and the clear container for dust was packed full, with no room for shaking.
The person told her she just needed to empty it and it would work fine. They also mentioned that they could not take a return on it because the purchase was made seven months earlier. She wasn't having it, not one bit. She took an exaggerated deep breath and started yelling obscenities. Everyone in the line froze and stared at the spectacle.
This was no small woman either. She was about 5'7" and her voice had gone from sweet to rabid in a split second. Her face also turned from white to red in the same amount of time. The poor little girl tending to her took a step back in recoil and fell into the chair behind her. The manager came sprinting out of the office with his hands up, asking her to settle down.
It didn’t work and only made the woman angrier. She then started hitting the counter with one of the vacuum cleaner brush attachments. She called the girl “useless”, the manager a “toad”, and she kept threatening to sue them. This went on for about two minutes and there was a large crowd starting to gather.
She raised the long brush attachment as if she were going to strike the girl and proclaimed, "FINE, IF YOU DON'T WANNA GIVE ME MY MONEY, I’M GONNA"... At that point, I had enough of her disgusting behavior. I wasn't about to watch this woman become aggressive against innocent people. I yelled, "HEY”. She stopped mid-sentence, jerked her head at me, and shot eye daggers at my face.
All I could do was stare at the gobbler on her chin, swinging around as if it were jello. The words that came out were not the ones I'd intended. I said, "PUT THE FORK DOWN"! Her eyes went wider than they already were, which seemed like an odd reaction. Everyone then burst into laughter. Then I realized what I'd said.
I was about to correct myself, but she started stomping toward me with the vacuum rod attachment high above her head. So, I decided to roll with it in the most epic way—I was wearing a red jacket, so I dropped my bag, swung it off, and started acting like a bull-fighting matador. The woman saw me mocking her and just shrieked. She started galloping at me as I swung the thing in circles above her head.
I got about 20 feet away when security confronted her with tasers drawn. They didn't zap her, but the sound of one calmed her down instantly. She immediately went into defensive mode. She was taken into custody, and I had my hand shaken by four or five people, including the manager. I even got a girl’s number out of the ordeal.
I was at a Taco Bell at around 5 am. As anyone could imagine, I was totally trashed and just wanted some tacos. The line was about 50 people long, so I waited a long time to get food. When I was ordering, I realized that my buddy wasn’t right behind me like he had been the whole time, and instead, some Jersey Shore-looking person was. The guy cut in front of many people, and they were all yelling at him to get back.
I started telling him to get to the back of the line, but he was just smirking and ignoring me, while my friend—also trashed—was glaring at him over his shoulder. I kept trying to get this dude out of the line when suddenly, he lunged at me. This guy was pretty built, and though I was tall, I wasn’t strong. I knew I had to act fast, and act fast I did—I grabbed the back of his neck, stuck my leg in front of him, and laid him on the ground.
Then, I asked him if he was OK and I helped him up. Security came and asked ME if I was OK and told the guy to get to the back of the line. I got some cheers and my tacos.
I worked for a retailer in the UK that sold second-hand games, movies, and tech. We often had customers coming in trying to sell us hot or broken items, and we would refuse to serve them. We had one guy who regularly came in with obviously lifted Blu-ray discs. I took pleasure in constantly refusing to serve him unless he provided proof of purchase.
After a few weeks of trying and failing, he absolutely lost his cool. He decided to take it out on my staff and me. When screaming and threatening us from across the counter didn't garner any sympathy, he decided that playing the race card was his best bet. He appealed to another customer who was being served one station over. The furious tirade that flowed from this other gentleman's mouth was incredible.
After berating the thief for his awful behavior and blatantly lifting goods, he went on to explain why using the color of his skin as an excuse was disgraceful and insulting. After a few minutes, the dodgy customer was shaking and sheepishly left the store to boos and catcalls. The other guy got a full staff discount and a round of applause from the entire store.
I was at a party with some friends. A guy who was a year or two younger than me showed up. We never really got along, but I had never done anything to him. Everyone was drinking and having a good time, and this guy showed up in his dad’s truck just looking for a fight. He approached me and started yelling at me and freaking out. He thought he could scare me, but he was dead wrong.
I’m a girl, and this huge guy was picking a fight with me. Being the brazen person I was, I walked up to him, grinned, and socked him in the face. I'm not sure if he was shocked or mad, but as my male friends gathered to keep him in line, he got into his truck and drove off.
I had a cool, older female professor at a community college who could not get any respect from this group of trashy girls. They would constantly talk in class over her. These were not teenagers either—they were women in their late 20s talking back to a 45-year-old professor. One day, we were right in the middle of class, and everyone was getting mad because these four girls wouldn't shut up.
The professor was frustrated but was way too nice to be nasty...so I decided to step up to these jerks. I turned around in the middle of a class of nearly thirty people and said, "Hey, can you guys SHUT UP so the rest of us can hear the lecture?" The whole class turned around and looked at me as if I had just grown a second head. But I could tell they all wanted to pat me on the back.
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My brother and I, who are twins, were in middle school. This kid, Tommy, was being a jerk. In the bathroom, he would walk up behind whoever was using a urinal and tug one of their shoulders back. The victims would be shocked and end up peeing on themselves. My brother had been the victim of Tommy’s nonsense, as had many of us.
One day in the bathroom, Tommy grabbed my brother’s shoulder and jerked it hard. Instead of fighting in the other direction, my brother pulled the ultimate revenge—he turned around and peed all over Tommy. When they went to the principal's office, Tommy got in trouble for his behavior and was sent home to change his clothes. My brother was the hero, as the boys could all once again pee in peace.
When I was in elementary school, I stood up to many kids. I wasn't a loser but I wasn't exactly popular either, and somehow I ended up as the target during this one game of wall ball we were playing. These kids were usually nice to me, but something I did had angered them, and mob mentality won. They were all yelling at me, so I just walked away. About eight of them followed and cornered me.
They started throwing wall balls, basketballs, and softballs at me repeatedly until I was backed up into the corner. At that moment, I had to think on my feet. There was a mop next to me...so I exploded in a rage of fury and picked up the mop. I beat the living daylights out of every one of them. Unfortunately, I was suspended for an entire month and had to go to anger management classes for a year, but nobody messed with me again.
I was on a teen tour across the country. We were about 40 teenagers on one coach bus going across the USA for 40 days over the summer. I didn't like any of the people, but I was the group clown, and my repertoire of strange voices, faces, and jokes always entertained people. It was nearing the end of the tour, and we had just been in Park City, Utah. At some point during the trip, I found the book Before You Leap in a book store, which is a two-part book.
The first part is the autobiography of Kermit the Frog, and the second part is a guide to life written by the Muppets. So, of course, I bought it on the spot. That day, I was reading it on the bus and enjoying it. One of the girls on the tour came up to me with her two friends and started asking me to do a voice. Normally, I would oblige, but this time, I said, "Sorry, I'm busy right now. Come back later and I'll do it then, okay"?
The girls started insisting more and more, and I just showed them the book and said, "Please, I'm reading a funny book right now. I just want to enjoy it at the moment". The girls still kept insisting. After saying "No" several times, I ignored them. Then, things started to escalate—Not liking this turn of events, the first girl decided to start hitting me repeatedly. It was a minor annoyance, and I ignored it.
Then her friends joined in, but I continued to ignore it. The hits got harder and harder, and I politely told them to stop. They said they wouldn't unless I agreed to do the voice. Then, they started to hurt. I respect women and believe in gender equality. I also think gender equality means women should take the good with the bad and not get any special treatment.
I'm also a believer in self-defense. So I backhanded the girl that started it in the face. Of course, the only person on my side that day was me. The counselors forced me to the front of the bus, where I enjoyed my book in peace.
My parents, sister, and I went to a Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers concert. After the show, we returned to our hotel across the street from the arena. My dad and sister were walking ahead, and my mom and I were a few paces behind when these three obnoxiously trashed guys started talking to us. Things were fine until they took things too far—they began grabbing my mom’s behind “jokingly”.
Being the classy and awesome woman my mom was, she told them to leave us alone or she'd call the authorities on them. That's when one of the guys stopped in front of us and spat in my mom's face. I lost my marbles. By then, my dad had realized what was happening. He jumped in immediately. As his two friends stood by, we proceeded to beat the daylights out of the guy.
I have no regrets. Don't ever disrespect my mama.
I was at The Gap when a rather portly woman berated a cute, petite salesgirl. She was saying how furious she was that nothing fit her and that not every woman was size zero and had no curves like a real woman. She dropped that line several times and continued getting louder and louder. The poor girl she was yelling at looked about ready to cry. I couldn't help but step in and give her a piece of my mind.
So, I leaned over and said, "Not all girls are size zero, but most aren't size 40 either, so it's harder to stock the store for those outliers". I wish I had given her a troll face and danced my way out of the store.
My girlfriend and I were walking through a video arcade in Japan, heading to a large bookstore nearby. I noticed this young guy walking through the place as well. Something about him made him suspicious to me. I watched him from about five meters away, and he walked around the side of one of those photo booth machines, bent down, and looked under the curtain.
There was a group of girls inside. He reached in, grabbed one of their bags, and ran off. It took a second for me to react, but I dropped my bag and took off after him. He had a head start, but he also didn't know a large foreigner was gaining on him quickly. He got outside and into the plaza in front of the book store I was going to.
At that point, he slowed down as he figured he'd made his escape, so I grabbed him from behind and threw him down onto the concrete. He had this look of combined shock and terror. I started screaming at the guy in a mix of Japanese and English when the group of girls whose bag he took showed up. Even though he was a thief and running, I couldn’t do much because I could have been charged with battery.
So, I screamed at him some more, gave the girls their belongings back, and told him to get out of there, and he ran off. The girls were very thankful, and my girlfriend was impressed. I guess everything went about as well as could be expected!
Last summer, I was at this big inner city festival drinking, eating, singing with my friends, and having a great time. I had to go and take a leak. For some stupid reason, the festival organizers had put the porta potties in a dark back alley. It was getting a bit dark out. When I was done, I froze in my tracks—five shady guys stepped out of the shadows as soon as I got on my bike.
They stood in a semi-circle about 15 feet away from me. One of the guys walked up to me and said, "Gimme your wallet and phone, and nobody gets hurt". I had never been in a fight, nor had I ever punched anything in my whole life. As soon as the guy was right next to me, I punched him as hard as I could right in the face, somewhere between the mouth and nose.
He fell over, and I started biking away from there as fast as I could. About five minutes later, when I caught up with my friends, I looked down at my hand and I was shocked—It was fully covered in blood. I even found something that looked like a part of a front tooth wedged between my knuckles. All I could think of was, "What on earth did I just do"?!
This one kid had been bothering me since the 7th grade. One day, when I was in 12th grade, I made a remark to him under my breath. It was something along the lines of "because you're an idiot," and he heard it. He went into his whole tough guy routine, telling me to say it to his face. I just about had enough of his nonsense at that point. So, I turned around, got within an inch of his face, and yelled, "I SAID, YOU ARE AN IDIOT".
The situation repeated itself two more times, and then he lost interest in me. It felt really good.
One day, I was standing outside a bar puffing away with some people. Some car lost control and slammed into another one parked in a parallel space in front of me. The guy tried to speed off, but at that moment, I instinctively went into full gear—I chased him down two blocks where he got held by the traffic at a stoplight. I was able to snap a picture of his license plate on my cell before he got away.
I was in line at the airport’s security checkpoint, waiting to go through the metal detectors. Since it was late at night, there was only one line open, but it wasn't too bad since there were only five people in it. I was at the back of the line, and the two people in front of me were an elderly couple who were inexperienced flyers.
They were taking a bit of time getting undressed, taking out their liquids, etc., but I didn't care since I had plenty of time to catch my flight. The line started moving, and the older gentleman scooted his bins up first. Out of nowhere, a middle-aged woman just cut into the space vacated by the older gentleman, separating him from his wife. You can tell that they were startled and a bit flustered.
However, they didn’t say anything because they were already intimidated by the whole checkpoint process. I didn’t have a problem confronting people, so I bravely stepped up to the plate. I tried to get the middle-aged woman’s attention. I said, "Excuse me, Miss", but nothing happened, so I tried again, even louder. I knew I was loud enough since the three TSA agents on the other side and everyone else in line turned around to look at me.
However, the woman continued to play deaf, quickly putting her stuff in the bin and acting like she had done nothing wrong. By then, the older gentleman was at the front of the line, so I figured I'd just drop it. I didn't want to get too worked up since I wanted to sleep on the flight, and at the end of the day, pushing the issue would just delay things for everyone.
I glared at the back of her head as she went through the metal detector, succumbing to my inability to fix things. Suddenly, as she exited the metal detector, a TSA agent stopped her before she could get to her belongings. At that moment, her karma was served—he pointed at the little glass box next to the metal detector, and she let out a loud "Really"?! She complied and entered the box.
A couple of minutes later, I was collecting my stuff on the other side of the checkpoint, and she was still in the box waiting to be searched. After putting on my shoes, an agent came by to collect my used bin. I looked up to say thanks and noticed it was the same guy who had stopped the woman. He broke out in a goofy grin and said under his breath, "Some people are just a bit too eager to get on the same flight as everybody else".
I gave him a big grin of my own, took my suitcase off the belt, and happily proceeded to my terminal.
I was outside on the street, and there was a girl with her boy. She whipped out a pack, handed him one, took the last one herself, and threw the empty pack on the ground when she was standing one foot from a trash can in plain sight. Seeing her do that made my blood boil. I looked at the pack on the ground and then back up at her.
She looked at me, and I said, "You realize there's a trash can right there". She said, "Oh yeah, thanks" in the most thankless way and then threw it away.
When I was in elementary school, the three biggest jerks harassed me for being a little bit smarter, quieter, and gentler than the rest. They would constantly call me names, push me against walls, break my lunchbox, laugh at my clothes, and even throw glass and stones at me. This pretty much went on for about three years until, at some point, I reached my breaking point.
When I made my way home during lunch break one day, they decided to throw stones at me again and they hit me in the head. I cried and ran home. However, the crying quickly turned into anger, and the anger turned into rage. I felt every muscle of my body tense and tingle, thinking about what they had been doing to me all those years. I had enough.
I left home a little bit earlier and waited for them outside school. One of them—the biggest one of the three—turned up earlier than the others. He seemed surprised that I slowly walked toward him instead of walking away. When I stood in front of him, he tried to speak, but before he mustered out a word, my fist impacted his jaw, and he dropped to the floor.
At that point, his friends and the rest of my classmates showed up. I pulled him back up, left him dazed and confused for a few seconds, and gave him another jab. This time I wasn't going to help him upright, and I decided the parking lot needed some sweeping. So, I took my antics to the next level—I grabbed his collar and dragged him across the lot for 20 seconds. He started crying.
His face was bleeding, his clothes were ripped, and he had a sad, beat-up puppy look. He started running away towards his aunt's house nearby. I chased him for a couple of meters, but I decided he had enough. Our teacher had also witnessed the beating but decided not to intervene. When class started, he called both of us together. I thought I was in deep trouble, but the look of approval on his face was priceless.
I finally did what he was hoping I would do. From that point on, nobody ever did anything to me again.
I was waiting for a group of friends at a housing complex known for its crime when three teenagers surrounded me outside a building and demanded I give them whatever was in my pockets. Naturally, I refused. One kid put his hand up to my chest, and I stated, "Touching me would be a very poor decision to make right now".
I was nervous, but having taken martial arts for some years, I was taught to act crazy when confronted. The kid looked a little surprised, and just then, I felt one accomplice try to sneak into my pants pocket. That was a big mistake on his part—I instinctively stopped him by grabbing his wrist. I spun him around, picked him up, and tossed him at a concrete post.
I one-shot the first kid unconscious while his friend ran away. Then, I heard clapping. My friends had come off the elevator just in time to see all this through the glass doors. I later learned those kids had been doing this to people for weeks, and it seemed to stop after that day.
I was flying and I'd been having a pretty terrible day. Most people on flights don’t stow their carry-on bags properly. They often throw them in sideways, taking up the most space. In the compartment above my row, some jerk had thrown his bag in sideways, so I flipped it into the proper position. I was reaching for my bag when this guy stood up and yelled at me, “HEY! Don’t touch my bag”!
At that point, I had reached my limit. I stared him directly in the eye and sternly said, “The compartments are made to carry bags lengthwise. When you put your bag in sidewise like an idiot, I can’t fit my bag. So sit down and chill out”! I must have looked pretty crazy, and my language caught him and everyone else off guard. He slowly sat down. I threw my bag in and sat down for the five-hour flight home. No one around me said a word.
I was riding the bus one day, and a large, unpleasant-looking guy got on the bus. He started complaining to the bus driver about being 10 minutes late. It was winter, and the roads were terrible. He was complaining for at least five minutes. It looked like the bus driver was getting stressed out trying to drive and listen to the idiot go on and on.
I was sitting here watching this, about to say something, when this little old lady—about 80 years old, 100 pounds, and five feet tall—got up, and walked over to the man. Her next move shook everyone on the bus—she just screamed at the top of her lungs, "WOULD YOU SIT DOWN AND SHUT YOUR MOUTH"? The man had nothing to say. He sat down as if he'd just been scolded in preschool.
In high school, our AP Economics teacher was also one of the sponsors for our senior class. One morning, she started her class with "the importance of being responsible". She told the story of a senior girl who claimed to have paid her senior dues due that day but could not show a receipt. Therefore, she was not allowed to attend prom that week.
The teacher verbally lambasted this girl's character, calling her a liar and telling us that her tears wouldn’t change the situation. Meanwhile, she never admitted fault for her record-keeping, nor did she give the student any benefit of the doubt. When I found out who the girl was, I went ballistic. She was a friend of mine who worked to take care of her family because they didn't have much money.
Unlike what the teacher said, she was one of the most responsible people in our class! There was NO possible way that she didn't pay her dues. Down the hall, I could feel my friend's tears, knowing she had saved enough to buy her dress the previous weekend and had finalized her plans. Our classroom rallied behind me, pleading with our teacher to give her a break, even if it was her fault.
But the teacher was relentless and said, "Sorry, rules are rules. I can't just let anyone who claimed to pay their dues waltz into prom, now can I"? I got angry as the argument continued for a few minutes, and our teacher became jovial in her steadfastness. Just when I was about to say something that would jeopardize my own graduation, I realized that weeks before, I had put my checkbook in my bookbag to pay for my dues!
I dug into my bookbag, found it, and wrote a check for the amount. It wasn't much, and I had been working a lot to save for my car. While the rest of the class carried on with the argument, I stood up and walked to the teacher's desk. She became angry and said. "You need to get back to your seat, or I will write you up for insubordination"! I said loudly, "Here, this should cover it".
The room went silent. I stood firm, although my voice began to quake. I told her, "I am not leaving until you accept this check and I receive my receipt. This girl deserves to go to prom like everyone else, and I will NOT stand idly by and watch this happen to one of my friends". She looked at me and back at the check.
With fury, she took out her book and wrote my receipt while saying snidely, "Well, I applaud you for your heroism, but she won't always have someone to bail her out when the time comes". I responded, "She will as long as she is my friend”. With that, I took the receipt back to my desk. I wanted to tell her where she could stick it, but I had already done enough.
I saw the girl moments later when class let out and was greeted with a huge hug and tears rolling down her cheek.
I was the smallest kid in my class I got picked on at school. In fifth grade, there was a group of five kids who pretty much tormented me at recess every day. One day, I decided it would end, so I didn't go to homeroom. Instead, I hid until just before everyone went to their first class. I then waited outside the class of one of the kids, and as soon as I saw him, I made a daring move—I jumped him.
I had him on the ground, on his knees, and I was just hammering my fist into the side of his head. After about five good shots, I ran, hid again, and waited until the first class was over to get the next one. I managed to mark three of them before a teacher managed to grab me. I got suspended for a week, but my parents didn't care; they knew what it was all about.
I never had another problem right on through high school. Long after high school, I ran into a former classmate. He let me in on a surprising development—my former bullies were warning upperclassmen in high school not to mess with me. It turned out that I had quite the reputation of being a psycho and never knew it.
About two days before Christmas, I stopped at the local supermarket to pick up some drinks. It was lightly snowing, and I was in a great mood walking through the parking lot. I had no work for a couple of days and no big family event that year; just a few days to relax and unwind. The parking lot was packed, and I had to park about as far away as possible to get a space.
I was approaching the front of the store when I saw an old woman in a giant barge of a Cadillac making a long, slow turn into the parking lot lane like she was navigating a Sherman tank through an alleyway. She was preparing to turn into one of the handicapped spaces when a black Escalade whipped into it almost out of thin air. Out stepped a middle-aged man who was clearly not disabled.
The old woman came to a crawl as she passed by, and for reasons I’ll never know, I knocked on her window and said, “Hang on a sec, I’ll ask this guy to move”. I jogged over to him and said, “Hey, do you think you could move your car? I think this lady really needs that space”. Well, you’d have thought I just asked the guy for a kidney or a home loan with the look he gave me. He was absolutely fuming.
He pointed to the license plate on his SUV and said, “Those are handicapped plates, buddy. I can park there if I want to.” I motioned to the lady to wait just another minute. I got really close to the guy and said as menacingly as I could manage: “You’re going to move that car, or when you go into that store, I’m gonna hop in my Sentra and smash into it until it looks like something out of Mad Max”.
I don’t think he knew what I meant, but a constipated look crossed his face, and then he rolled his eyes. “Calm down. I’ll move the car. Merry Christmas”. I replied, “You too, buddy.” I ran into the lady inside the store, and she repeatedly offered to pay for my stuff. She wouldn’t take no for an answer, and as we walked out, she asked for my address.
A few days later, I got a very nice Christmas card from her and her husband, who was a disabled veteran. He wrote almost two pages of thanks and how incidents like this made him hopeful for the future. I don’t consider myself a brave person, but I can’t deny that the whole event made me feel pretty cool, even if it was rather mundane.
In high school, I wasn't popular, but I was known. I didn't hang out with any particular group, but I got along well with the teachers, which allowed me to get away with some extra privileges. I also chatted quite a bit with my bus driver, which meant that my friends and I in the back of the bus didn't get in trouble for doing stupid, harmless things.
A guy on the bus regularly threw random insults my way, but I just ignored them. They were pretty immature, stupid insults. One day, my girlfriend was riding the bus home with me, and he started insulting me again. I ignored it, so he started in on her, calling her a farm animal. I told her to ignore it and that I would deal with it later. He continued throughout the ride making farm animals sound like, "Moooooo", etc.
He had no idea what was coming to him. We got to my stop, and as the gentleman I was, I let her walk in front of me. As soon as I reached his seat, I grabbed his shirt, slammed him up against his window, got close to his face, and said, "You wanna talk trash now? Why aren't you talking"? He stayed quiet. I slammed him again, released him, and walked off the bus, saying, "Sorry about that", to the bus driver.
She simply smiled and said to have a nice day. It was the talk for a few days, and he didn't say anything to me again.
I was out drinking with a couple of buddies and I saw a group of five guys beating the life out of some guy lying on the ground. This was right across the street from where we exited the bar. I was shocked, but I knew I had to stop them. I started to jog across the street, screaming at them, "YOU WANT A FAIR FIGHT, LET'S GO"! and they all ran away. It angered me that no one paid attention to a guy getting beaten on such a busy street.
I can't stand unfair fights.
One day at lunch, this kid decided to snag my lunch bag right before me. As he was dumping the contents all over the table, he proclaimed, "Hey, what's for lunch today”? I had already dealt with some similar antics from him and I really wasn't pleased this time around. I got out of my chair and shoved him right to the ground. He got all teary-eyed and asked what my problem was. I told him, "I'm hungry. Don't ever touch my lunch again”.
Back in the early '90s, my friends and I started a small consulting company. Like any small company, we had to struggle to drum up business. We finally lucked into a relationship with a large computer reseller. They were often difficult to deal with, but since they paid all of our salaries, we had to suck it up and smile. Our primary contact at the place was a complete jerk.
He would belittle people, yell, and outright lie. He once dragged one of his inside sales reps into his office and called the main vendor she repped. He tore her down, telling the vendor she was "stupid" and "didn't know anything". The woman fled his office in tears. When a plan of his went south, he would simply deny ever giving the instructions.
Anticipating that, a sales exec prepared a brilliant plan—he saved his voicemail. When this guy started to lie, the guy leaned over, punched up his voice mail, and played back the message. With a straight face, the guy said, "You misunderstood me". After a few years, I left the company I helped start. A few months later, I was in a computer store, and I spotted the jerk.
I started to walk the other way, but he saw me and came over with a big grin on his face and his hand out for a shake. I stared at his hand, then looked up at him and said, "You know, I don't work for the company anymore, so I don't have to pretend I like you, you arrogant jerk". To this day, I still savor the look of utter shock on his face as I walked away.
In middle school, there was a kid named Tommy who was just mean. He was kind of dense, not good-looking, and he liked to be a jerk to people for no reason. I only saw him a couple of times a week in math class, but we were assigned seats that were close to one another. So, he felt compelled to pick on me. For the most part, I brushed it off, but the kid had a friend or two that looked up to him, and I guess he felt like hot stuff for belittling others.
One day, I came to class, and Tommy was already there with his buddies, looking ready to be a jerk for the day. I then set my plan in motion. I just smiled and said, "Hi, Tommy! How are you doing today"? He was taken aback by the question and mumbled, "Uhh...Fine". He Didn't say much else to me that day. In the next class, I brought some dessert I hadn’t opened.
I walked in, greeted him, and said, "Hey Tommy, I couldn't finish my lunch. Do you want this dessert, or should I give it to somebody else"? He said, "Uhh no, I'll take it". After that, he stopped being mean. I don’t know what he was like in his other classes, but I never saw him be a jerk again.
This kid I went to college with—who nobody liked—somehow showed up at my birthday party. This guy was desperate for attention, good or bad. I wasn’t happy to see him but I was making small talk. He asked me what I was up to. I told him I was working in communications for a union, and he said, "Oh, so you're on the lowest rung of a corrupt organization? Well, as long as you feel good about yourself".
I made a face and walked off, not wanting to cause a scene. Later, a couple of my female friends sat next to me and told me that this guy had been grabbing them. I went up to him and said, "Hey, you need to stop grabbing people that don't want to get grabbed". He delivered the single nastiest possible reply, "No, they liked it. They were asking for it". I curled my fist in anger.
At that point, I got in his face and told him that nobody invited him, and he needed to stop being a moron immediately. He didn't make his way out the door until the boyfriend of one of the victims smacked him in the face.
I was driving around looking for parking and I saw a guy getting into his car right next to me. I asked him if he was leaving, and he said he was. I pulled into the driveway in front of him so as not to block the traffic on this busy road. When he pulled out, some idiot swerved into the spot from behind. I got out of my car and walked up to him. I said, "Excuse me, but you just took my spot. You obviously had to see me sitting there with my blinker on. So please, move your car".
I am 5'10", about 170lbs, and he was easily 6'2", 200+ lbs. He turned to me and said, "Sorry, but there are no rules for getting parking. You lose. Get lost, kid”, and he started to walk away. I said, "Fine, keep walking. I can't wait until you leave". He took another few steps and then turned around and said, "I'm not moving my car, so you can just leave".
I said, "I am no longer waiting for you to move your car. I am waiting for you to leave your car alone". He turned red, walked up to me, and said, "Get out of here”. I don't know what came over me at that moment...but I moved my face right up to his, stared at him straight in the eye, and perfectly calmly said, "I'm not leaving until you leave, either in your car or on foot".
My heart was racing like crazy. Right then, he pulled back. I knew he had lost, and I had full confidence. He walked over to the railing, leaned against it, started doing something on his phone, and said, "I'm not leaving until you do". I said, "Fine, I have all night", and got back into my car, opened my book, and started reading it. He screamed at me, "Get out of here", but I ignored him and kept reading.
He was late for something and eventually jumped back into his car, yelled at me, and drove off. I was going to park my car there. However, some little old lady pulled up and said, "Excuse me, but are you taking this spot"? I said, "No, you can have it". I was a little afraid that the guy might come and trash her car, but it was a very different color than mine, so I convinced myself she was safe.
In elementary school, I was walking home with a pair of friends through the high-school parking lot. There was a group of teens sitting around together. As we walked past them, one of them got up and uttered some chilling words: "Hey. Run away from me". My friends ran a bit and called, "What are you doing"?! One person talking to us was at least twice my height.
He turned to me and said, "You'd better run along with your friends," and started walking towards me. I replied, "Or what? I dare you to hit me". I waited for him to sit back down before I walked away. If my friends hadn't been there to get help if things went wrong, I probably would have run away as he told me to.
I was flying in bad weather. We landed in Denver, and air traffic was backed up in the sky and on the runway because of it. Our plane had to wait on the ground for a gate. I knew by the time we landed that I would miss my connection, so I was resigned to being stuck there, at least overnight. We were waiting for a gate when a woman a couple of rows in front of me started raging about it.
She'd been drinking and started complaining that since the airline was being difficult by making us wait, we should all get free drinks. She demanded the drink cart be brought out. She was ranting and being an idiot about it and about how she just wanted to get home and crawl into bed. I'd had quite enough of her tomfoolery. I stood up and said, "Hey lady, you live here"? She said, “Yeah, what of it”?
I said, "A lot of us don't. A lot of us aren't just waiting to go home. We're trying to get to connecting flights that we're going to miss now because of this storm. So shut your piehole about not being able to get off the plane at home because at least you're not looking at sleeping on the floor of the airport tonight". There were cheers, and on the way out, I got the wink and thumbs up from the flight attendants.
In one of my classes in high school, there was a kid who was socially awkward and had a disability of some sort. One of the football players thought it was funny to mess with him constantly, and one day, he took it way too far. He kept making fun of this kid for not being able to get a girlfriend, and he told him he was never going to know what it was like to kiss a girl.
The boy was almost crying when the football player got up to get a laptop from the cabinet. When he walked past my desk, I got up and threw him down into the desk right next to me. The teacher started freaking out and asked what had happened. I didn’t even get a chance to speak when the whole class started defending me for standing up for the boy. I did not get in trouble, and the kid stopped messing with him.
I was outside a local bar I frequented with a buddy of mine. An obese but muscular man, twice our combined size, started hassling him. He was all up in my friend’s face trying to get him to fight. We were both confused about what provoked this, but it quickly became apparent that it escalated beyond control. The guy’s counterpart, also concerned, attempted to pry his morbid companion away.
When it became evident that my friend may have to defend himself, I gave him some game-changing advice. I told him, "If he gets a hold on you, you take your thumbs and dig them, as hard as you can, into his eyes. Then, bite his nose off". Upon hearing that, the guy went bananas and veered toward me. I informed him it would be in his best interest if he left me be. He backed away with a glimmer of fear in his eyes.
I was at the post office when a woman backed into me in the parking lot, hitting my car on the passenger side as I drove past. I was going about 5 mph through the parking lot, looking for open space. The lot was tiny, and there was no real way to speed through this place. At first, I thought I had hit someone else. But then, I stopped, got out, and realized a car had hit me.
There was a large dent in the passenger side of my car. The other driver was a middle-aged woman in a Saab of some sort. Her next move caught me totally off-guard—she came out of her car and immediately started yelling at me, telling me I was going too fast through the lot and that I should watch where I was going. She said she was tired of dealing with "students taking over the town" and how "my mommy and daddy probably bought me my car".
I drove an old Taurus with almost 200K miles on it that I had paid for myself, so her comment made no sense. I asked her for her registration, and she wouldn't give it to me. Then, she snatched my registration and license out of my hand, threw them on the ground, and the wind blew them across the lot. She started to go towards her car and yelled at me to move mine, which was blocking her.
At that moment, I freaked out. I got up in her face, yelling obscenities at her. I was so mad I was shaking. I guess I freaked her out because she went and got my registration off the ground and gave me hers. A few days later, her insurance company gave me a check for about $1000. I wouldn't have even filed a claim if she had been polite.
I was a skinny, awkward kid in ninth grade and I had been picked on for most of my life up to that point. I was in gym class, and this little guy who had picked on me since 6th grade booted a soccer ball right at my face. He kicked it so hard that I started to cry. I was sure it was an accident, but my crying made him say, "Stop crying you baby, or I’ll punch you in the face". That's when I lost it—I just started pounding on him.
I kept hitting him until the teacher pulled me off. The teacher knew I got picked on a lot and saw that my face had a huge red mark where the ball had hit me. The teacher told the other kid to get up and stop being a baby. After that, I didn't get picked on for a while and, eventually, filled out my scrawny little frame.
I was on a commuter train, reading a book. I was vaguely aware of a woman standing in the exit area of the train and a guy walking through the train, past the exit, and the woman. I heard the woman say something, but I couldn't tell what it was. Then, I suddenly heard the guy yell, in a mildly-to-moderately inebriated voice, “WHAT? WHAT DID YOU CALL ME”?
I got up, and this 6-foot-tall trashed guy was staring down at the skinny woman, who suddenly looked like she realized she had made a mistake. As I walked over, she said, "Uh, I, I, I…I'm sorry, I didn't mean", and he just got madder. He yelled, "If you didn't MEAN it, why did you say it"? Neither of them had noticed me at all.
I wasn’t big, and my martial arts training was 15 years prior, but I figured I could take a beating better than she could. So from about 10 feet away, I said, "Hey, dude, haven't you ever said anything you didn't really mean? I sure have. Got me fired from a job a couple of years ago". When I started talking, he turned to me and opened his mouth to say something, but instead, he let me finish.
Unexpectedly, this turned out to be precisely the right thing to say. He immediately stood down and even apologized to the woman. When the train security guy got there, we were sitting in facing seats and exchanging stories about how we'd gotten in trouble for saying something we didn't mean.
I was working at Starbucks when this yuppie woman walked in. The second I saw her, I knew she was going to try to mess up the day of the next service worker she interacted with. I took her order, and she was snappy and glared at me. I passed her over to the girl making drinks, who was 16. It was her first day and her first job ever. She made the woman's latte a little too heavy, and the woman proceeded to LAY into her.
I slid over and said, "Here, why don't I help out here? It's her first day". The woman continued to yell about how she didn’t care if it was her first day. She kept at it until I looked out the corner of my eye and the girl's bottom lip started quivering. She was about to burst into tears. So, I gave the woman her drink, and she said, "This better be right this time because I'm not having you make it again".
Smiling, I said, "That's fine because I'm not going to make it again". She replied, "What did you just say to me"?! I told her, "You heard what I said. You're just about to make a girl cry on her first day of work over a latte. That makes you a pretty terrible human being and someone I don't ever want in this store again. Take your drink, and don't ever come back. You're banned from this store. Come back, and I'll have you arrested".
Her eyes widened. She demanded to see the manager. I looked her straight in the eye and said, "I am the manager. Now get out". She stormed off in a huff, with the whole store looking at her like she was trash. The girl sniffled a bit and started to brighten up. She said, "I didn't know you were the manager." I told her, "I'm not. I've only been here a week".
When I was in San Francisco, I witnessed a girl riding a bike get hit by someone driving a car and talking on their cell phone. The car was going slow, braking for a stop sign, but it did not entirely stop. The girl on the bike fell over, then she got up, walked her bike over to the driver's side, stuck her head in the window, and screamed at the driver, "GET OFF YOUR PHONE"!
The driver looked shocked. The girl simply walked off with her bike, pounding the car's roof with her fist as she walked away.
I was at the prom afterparty getting my drink on and I was feeling pretty tipsy. I noticed the captain of my hockey team was hitting on this girl, who was the college-aged sister of the girl throwing the party. I knew he was kind of a moron to girls but I thought nothing of it. As the party began to wind down, I noticed them getting into an argument.
I saw her slap him, but what he did next was even more startling. He lifted her off the ground a small amount and he moved her across the floor like an NHL lineman pushing a shopping cart. He then smashed her into the wall. I sprung up from my seat and asked him what he thought he was doing. He responded by putting out his blunt on my left hand, which was on the girl’s shoulder. I punched him in the face.
I broke his jawbone and knocked three of his teeth out. He couldn't play hockey the next season, and the girl was very appreciative.
I lived in a city, so when I moved to a new apartment, I had to get parking permits for the moving truck and movers. Just as my truck pulled up, some guy cut the truck off and started to run into a sandwich shop. I yelled to him, and he said, "Call the cops"! I had their number in my phone's memory and said, "Sounds like a plan". He hesitated, started to walk toward the store, then turned around and yelled at me.
He gave me the finger, but ultimately when the 6’6" mover came over and said, "You have to move, or I will move you", the guy got the point.
I was with my friends on the school playground after hours when I was ten years old. Some kid was being a jerk. He had been tormenting another kid for half an hour, and it finally got to the point where this guy had pulled the kid's pants down and was calling all around the playground, trying his best to embarrass the poor victim. Something inside me snapped.
I ran across the playground and plowed into this kid, knocking him up against a steel bar, telling him he was a jerk while giving the other kid a chance to pull his pants up and make his escape. The jerk ran across the street, back home, and called his mom. His mom came over. This full-grown woman berated me—a ten-year-old kid—for a good minute or two, but I stood firm. I simply told her that what her son did was wrong, and I wasn't going to stand for it.
She walked away and dragged her spawn with her.
I was in a crowded bar. A guy blatantly cut the line and I called him out. He was rude to me and all of the other people he had cut in front of. He scoffed at my callout, but I would end up having the last laugh. The bartender overheard, and every person—including people who had lined up after he cut—got served before him. I understand there are no "set" lines in bars, but this guy had barged through a line of people who were clearly waiting to be served.
When I was about 14, I used to go swimming with my girlfriends every weekend. These guys started following us, asking us out even though we'd told them we weren't interested. They were older and bigger than us, and they started making us uncomfortable, but we tried to ignore them. Ultimately, they decided to grab me and my friend’s behinds. That was bad enough, but their insolence didn't end there.
We decided the best action would be to tell a lifeguard, so we started making our way to the pool steps. One of the guys thought it would be OK to swim underwater and try and grab me between the legs. Then, he came out of the water, looked back, and smiled at me. I just saw red. Despite being a couple of years younger and way smaller, something snapped.
I waded over and punched him in the face. I doubt it hurt, but the shock and the added embarrassment of everyone staring at him were enough. I thought I would be in trouble, as that was pretty out of character for me, but my dad said he had never been prouder.
I was walking home from work down a busy main road. I wasn’t paying attention too much, and a guy dressed all in black was standing in my way. I went to move around him and he blocked me. He grabbed me by the collar and said, "Give me your wallet". I was a bit taken aback and said, "What"? He tightened his grip and said, "Give me some money now". Little did he know exactly who he was messing with.
"Over my dead body, sir", came out of my mouth. I had no fear in my eyes. Clearly, I was not going to back down without a fight. He just stood there, looked at me stunned, pushed me out of the way, and ran off. It was the most surreal experience of my life. I have no idea why I said that to him.
My mom never told me how her best friend died. Years later, I was using her phone when I made an utterly chilling discovery.
Madame de Pompadour was the alluring chief mistress of King Louis XV, but few people know her dark history—or the chilling secret shared by her and Louis.
I tried to get my ex-wife served with divorce papers. I knew that she was going to take it badly, but I had no idea about the insane lengths she would go to just to get revenge and mess with my life.
Catherine of Aragon is now infamous as King Henry VIII’s rejected queen—but few people know her even darker history.
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