Coffee Cups and Confrontations

It is a scene I see to often. A person, standing in front of the subway door, leaning ever so slightly forward as if they are going to spring out the doorway and dash up the steps as soon as the doors open.

Then they drop something. Some random piece of potential trash that they couldn’t be bothered with.  It could be a tissue, a plastic bottle, a bookmark, a gum package….In today’s situation it was one of those cardboard sleeves they put around coffee cups to keep you from burning your hand.  Not sure why they can’t be permanently affixed to the cups (not sure why we can’t force people who buy coffee at chain shops to bring their own reusable mugs either–but that’s a rant for another day.)

The dropping of this sleeve was audible enough to hear, so I doubted that it was a careless accident. Seeing the passenger take a quick glance at the floor and dismiss it confirmed the fact.

I, and probably many others thought about confronting the person. For my part, I imagined a indignant voice coming from me (which I do quite well) “Hey Pigpen!  There’s a trash can right in front of the exit!”  Then I imagined how a nice person would have done it.  “Excuse me.  You might not have noticed, but your coffee cup heat protection sleeves seems to have fallen.  Perhaps you should retrieve it.”

I imagined a few others, but none were as pleasing or as comedic as those two. By the time I was finished scripting this Oscar worthy scene, the doors had opened and they were quickly being swallowed by the crowd.

Then it happened (because none of that so far would ever qualify as Today’s Perfect Moment).

A woman following her out the door, at a few paces behind, picked up the sleeve and put it in the trash with the same kind of force a Toronto Raptor would slam-dunk a basketball.. The expression on her face was fantastic.  She was angry and ready for confrontation.

As this is Today’s Perfect Moment, I must be honest and tell you that I am unsure whether it was her good deed at picking up the trash, the expression of fury, or the fact that she was ready for a full on confrontation over it that qualifies as the winner. I am not a violent person and have no desire to see a confrontation on the subway platform.  However, I did really appreciate the power in her tensed up face.


About Anthony

I am: equal parts rebel, romantic and shockingly average Joe. a writer trapped inside of an ESL teacher's body. an introverted attention seeker. a teacher who hopes one day to be called "Captain, my Captain." an intellectual who can do some very dumb things. a person whose Japan experience, despite being so long ago, still exerts a strong influence upon him. a lover of books, music, beer, hockey and Pizza.
This entry was posted in anger, appreciation, Aspirations, Reflections, Perfection, beverages, Canada, characters, coffee, public transportation, subway, TTC and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Coffee Cups and Confrontations

  1. bgddyjim says:

    Refillable mugs has to do with cleanliness. Think it through. You don’t want that.

    • Anthony says:

      If you brought your own (a scheme which is used at every Canadian University) you could determine the cleanliness level you are comfortable with. Also, the dishwasher was invented many years ago.

      • bgddyjim says:

        Indeed it was invented decades ago, however, laziness was invented WAY before dishwashers, as were communicable diseases, like hepatitis (choose you alphabet letter, first three only, please)… the spread of which has largely been staunched because paper cups, which are fully sustainable and “green” (even in Canada, eh), among other things, were also invented long before the dishwasher. Lest we not forget, as well, a plastic mug takes maybe a thousand years to decompose if not properly recycled (I don’t know how you Canucks are, we responsible Americans recycle EVERYTHING, except, of course DISHWASHERS, which tend to end up pitched to the side of some back dirt road out in the country). So, go ahead and choose: Russian hepatitis roulette, or paper cups and cardboard hand protector thingies.

        PS. Just to be clear (because ya never know), No Russians we colluded with to come up with this comment.

  2. leggypeggy says:

    My refillable mug is washable. Using it gets me a discount on the coffee.

  3. Quinn says:

    As a non-participant in the world of take-away coffees, few things infuriate me as much as purposeful litter bugs. Also people who spit on the street make me full-body shudder.

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