A Ballooning Sense Of Bad Behavior

| Right | January 1, 2017

(It is daytime during New Year’s Eve, and I go to buy some supplies for my brother. When I walk through the door, I see a balloon stand with lovely New Year’s Eve-themed balloons, so I pick one out. Soon I notice a middle-aged customer, an angry-looking woman, who is intentionally following me when I walk around. Suddenly she grabs me violently by the shoulder, forcing me to stop.)

Me: “Uh, excuse me, what are you doing?”

Customer: “You can’t do that!”

Me: “Do what exactly?”

Customer: “Walk around in the store with a balloon with you like that!”

Me: “I took this from the balloon stand by the door, and I intend to pay for it before leaving, if that is what you mean.”

Customer: “NOOO! I mean, you can’t just strut around looking all snobby and important with that balloon, showing it off like ‘look what I’m getting for my kids’! It makes me look like an a**-hole!”

(Note: I’m only 22 and have no kids, so I tell her that I’m getting it for my grandma, since she’s hosting a dinner for my family tonight.)

Customer: “See! That’s even worse! Why can’t ordinary people just walk around the store, without feeling obligated to buy stuff like that for others who certainly don’t need it?”

(At this point I’m so confused, that I go completely silent, but the woman just keeps repeating herself, with her voice going higher and louder each time. I just stand there dumbfounded, when mall security suddenly appears.)

Security: “What’s going on here?”

Customer: “This woman is basically forcing me to buy a balloon for my kids even though I don’t want to!”

Security: *to me* “Did you do this?”

Me: “No, there has to be some mistake here. I never spoke to her or even looked at her before she came up to me and dragged me by the shoulder. I was just walking around with this balloon that I picked up by the balloon stand, while collecting other items.”

(At this point the woman goes totally crazy and starts dragging me by my hair. The mall security officer steps in and firmly holds her away from me.)

Security: “Finish up your shopping and meet me by the cashiers, and we’ll go have a look at the tapes. I’ll keep an eye on this woman in the meantime.”

(I went to pay for my items, including the balloon, and then I followed him to the room with all the security tape screens. He saw exactly what happened on the tape, and he let me go. While I was walking to my car I could still hear the woman screaming in protest. I guess her problem was having a bad conscience!)

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