Street Gum

Stacy walked along the street, her shoes chafing the side of her foot. She considered stopping and adjusting, maybe trying to find a way to make the shoe more comfortable, but knew it was likely to be an ongoing problem. New shoes were never comfortable the first week or two. She marched on.

Ahead of her, a man – maybe a boy – was walking, his hat slightly askew, his denim vest and jeans bearing that frayed, baggy look of stylistic design rather than regular wear. The man-boy laughed at something his bros said, then turned and spat out a wad of gum right in Stacy’s line of walking. It was too quick for her to avoid, and her foot landed on the still-warm, still-wet rubbery substance.

“Ugh,” Stacy said, lifting her foot.

The man-boy ahead turned, having clearly heard her. “Wha?” he said, throwing his arms to the side. “You got a problem?”

“Yeah, your gum on the sidewalk.”

“You disrespectin me?!” the boy-man said, throwing his arms out in challenge.

“No. Just annoyed at uncivil acts. Bad day and it’s only just started.”

“Yeah, that’s what I thought,” the boy-man said. Having clearly believed himself to have won some great victory, he turned to his bros, taking high fives, and the group continued on its way, over-loud utterances of the intellectual abilities of women and lunar events worsening the street.


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