Schmuck, from the Yiddish word smok meaning penis, according to Webster, is a foolish and contemptible person, a nice way of saying someone’s an asshole, or a dick, if you will.
Sadly we encounter them when we least expect to.
I was catching a train at rush hour, something I try very hard not to do, but having to be in Brooklyn at 9 a.m., unless I wanted to drop 50 bucks on a cab, had little choice.
Soldiers with M15s and tiers of frenetic commuters, would dissuade you as well, since terror if reigns, will occur between the hours of 7 and 9, according to those trusty, terrifying tabloids we shouldn’t read. A girl has enough to deal with without having to gear up for an attack even before she’s had her breakfast. . . That said.
I was trying to get on a very packed car, when, without meaning to, stepped in front of a guy who wasn’t too happy. Fortyish, Waspy looking with John Lennon glasses and a Barbour jacket, just like mine, was furious I had the boldness to push my way forward.
It’s not something I normally do, but anxiety makes you act out of the box, and I just had to get the whole nightmare over with.
After we were both squished in like sardines I apologized, saying I had hearing loss and it made me act irrationally.
He screamed further saying, “I don’t give a damn about your fucking hearing loss.”
Now for me, this is a verbal stabbing. My shame not being able to hear and conduct myself normally is a huge issue for me. I felt tears roll down my cheeks unable to say anything to defend myself.
However, a young, Latino kid all of 20 did it for me.
“Hey man,” he said, “she just apologized to you. Like that’s really big.”
The WASP shook his head, An iPod soldered in his ears, and said, “I DON’T CARE.”
“YOU’RE AN ASSHOLE BRO,” said my Lancelot with an earring in each ear and ghetto drawers proudly drooping to his thighs.
“And I hear that!” chimed in a sassy lassie standing behind him.
I loved the chivalry and lack of fear both these kids showed. This guy was out of line, but because of my shame around something I have no control over, froze where I stood.
His lineage front and center, clearly a member of the elite, my opponent had no compassion for the plight of another, a real cryin shame, in my opinion.
It took a boy of color with a pretty sidekick to put a schmuck in his place, and trust me when I say, it was mighty impressive.