I was headed home from the grocery store and heard rather than saw a heated disagreement while stopped at a light. A pint-sized local, Ragin’ Asian’ was screaming and cursing so loudly that I was momentarily worried his small frame, unable to contain his fury, would explode like a bloody popcorn. A much larger and calmer local, Big Wang, was trying to pry something from Ragin’ Asians fingers and his girlfriend was standing to the side, wisely not getting involved.
It isn’t really any of my business and, looking back, I know that its best to “do as the Romans do”, park on the other side of the road and gawk along with everyone else, but I stopped and dismounted anyways, ready to “say “no” to bullying” with foot upside someones head if necessary. But first, I had to figure what in the hell was going on and which one belatedly needed the spanking that mommy neglected to give him.
Turns out, Big Wang was trying to get his own keys back from Ragin’ Asian who kept screaming like a 4 year old having a tantrum: “take a picture! Take a picture!”. I asked what was going on and both Big Wang and his girlfriend assure me that “nothing is going on”. Clearly, Ragin’ Asian isn’t ragin’ over “nothing” so I keep asking but I couldn’t hear their explanation over the grown-ass-man noisily bringing shame upon his ancestors 5 feet away. I tried to ask Ragin’ Asian but mommy hadn’t yet taught him to “use his words” and he ignored me in favor of screaming some more. Though he was just as loud, he did get less grabby since I had arrived. The situation was improving already!
Big Wang’s girl, exasperated told Ragin’ Asian “we didn’t hit you!” to which he responded to by doing his best impersonation of an orangutan on illicit substances. With this new peice of the puzzle, I started to think I might just know what caused this whole event. I was half a step away from telling Big Wang not to leave until someone at least photographed his license plate and drivers license, but I realized that Ragin’ Asian’s war dance was probably pretty intimidating to anyone who isn’t trained. Shit, I can’t blame Big Wang for wanting to get himself and his girl out of there.
Big Wang and his girl hopped on the scooter and made to leave. Ragin’ Asian halfheartedly blocked their way but ultimately let them go then mounted up himself and chased after them. Fuck ’em. I tried to help. If they want to do a high speed chase on a road full of Asian drivers then I’ll just let natural selection do its thing.
An later inquiry on Facebook revealed that, from a legal standpoint, it would have been best to just start taking pictures and sticking a camera in peoples faces until they start acting civilized, or at least domesticated. Getting physically involved would likely land me in more trouble than either of the original three. If he’d put his hands on the girl, it was generally agreed I should have stomped him and GTFO immediately after lest I have to explain to the police Western chivalry. Wentworths advice, on the other hand, was: “When in doubt, pull your scrotum through your zipper. Give them something to aspire too…. Be the hero Taichung needs, Rocky.”
And that is how my part of the conflict ended: uneventfully. Truthfully, this is how most (not all) conflicts here play out. The chest thumpers don’t really want to fight and are generally expecting that there wont really be one because 99% of the time there isn’t. Then again, maybe I should have followed Wentworths advice to “be the hero Taichung needs” and whip out my junk. I strongly suspect that might have deescalated the fight pretty quickly, in fact.