The Best Time I Ever Swore at Someone

by The Hairpin

Years ago, I was on the platform at 96th Street when a packed 1 train arrived during morning rush hour. I was standing next to a sweet little old grandma-type lady, and as we began to board, this tall skinny guy in his 30s wearing Lycra gym pants and iPod headphones (the iPod had just come out) came running down the stairs behind us, pushed the little old lady to the side very deliberately with a swipe of his hand, and jumped on the train. Everyone around rushed to attend to the lady, steadying her and picking up her purse while shooting mean looks at the guy as the doors closed, astonished at both his brazenness and impeccable timing. I couldn’t believe he was getting away with pushing an old lady down! Just then, something amazing happened:

The doors re-opened, and for the next 30 seconds, three or four bystanders and I launched into a verbal abuse free-for-all as the guy stood on the packed train just two feet from us, unable to move. “You pushed this lady you fucking asshole!” “Take off your fucking headphones, douchebag!” “Fuck you, you fucking bully!” “Nice shorts, we can see your tiny dick!!” (Um, that might have been me.) Even the old lady pointed at him and said “Yeah, fuck you!” much to our delight.

The man stood there sweating, his head turned to the side, avoiding eye contact and enduring the judgmental looks of his fellow passengers, who had figured out the story in seconds. After what seemed like forever, the train left, another one came, and we all went our separate ways, each satisfied with our little moment of crowdsourced subway justice. — Lindsay Robertson

I was at a dive bar in Brooklyn when this sloppy, nasty man in maybe his late 40s leaned toward me and said, “I know you stole my eight dollars — give it back.” I was like, “What?” and he was like, “I know you took it — it was right here.” And he patted this spot on the bar where money had apparently once been, and then gave me this disgustingly plastered, barfily lecherous look. I knew the people behind the bar, I was with a group of friends, and I did NOT take the money in question, so I got, like, INSTANTLY filled with rage: “Are you kidding me!? I didn’t take your money!” And he was like, “Yes you did, I saw you.” “Fuck you, if I took your money, where the fuck did I put it, then?” “Your purse.” So I grabbed my purse, opened it up, and was like, “Let’s fucking look for it, let’s look for your eight fucking dollars, you stupid motherfucker!” At that point my friends pulled me away to the other side of the bar, but the dude kept turning around and staring at me. Then we left! But ooh I was so angry and it felt so good to yell at him like that. I hate him. But I love these eight dollars that I got! JK, I didn’t take his money. — Edith Zimmerman

Chavs — you have heard of them? Well, during high school in London my best friend and I made friends with a couple of male chavs. We were sitting in Starbucks and they came in their red and orange puffy jackets and asked us if we would like to go have sex with them in the bathroom. Well, no, but we would like to be friends. Months later we had somehow established ourselves as threats to the female chavs who considered these two — “Red” and “Orange,” we had taken to calling them, then in summer when the jackets came off, Paul and George — love interests, and I suppose you could say we both almost lost our lives in 10th grade: we were walking around near the home of these two incredibly close British friends of ours when a giant flower pot fell about three feet in front of us and smashed into many pieces. For some reason this did not deter us. A few minutes later I was surrounded by a number of large female chavs. My BFF had escaped. Profanity was issued in both directions. Somehow I squeezed out of the chav circle and started running down the street. They lumbered after me, moving more side-to-side than forward. I sort of skipped around on the sidewalk down the block, looking at my watch, waiting for them to get there. I think one of them might have been puffing on a cigarette while running. I yelled a variety of rude taunts about their physical appearance, which was and is a ubiquitous hodge podge of hair gel, hoop earrings, and Burberry and Hatchett fashions. None of which I’m very proud of — “chav” itself being an adequate use of profanity. But running away was a joy. — Liz Colville

When I first moved to America from Hong Kong I didn’t speak for weeks because I was self-conscious about my really thick English accent and my parents thought it would be a RIOT if we moved to bumblefuck Texas and have me go to a school that had metal detectors, mandatory see-through backpacks (clear bags; full hearts AMIRITE?) and 4,000 kids. The food, let met me you, was deelish! Their keen adult instincts were spot on and it ended up being really funny and nowadays we howl about it for HOURS once we get going, but at the time I had my doubts.

Anyballs, there were a bunch of football players in my “Business Math” class — because pre-cal stopped being a requirement — and one day when we were just sitting around LEARNING HOW TO SIGN PERSONAL CHECKS (true story) they started picking on this girlnerd who wore things like frilly neck gators (you know those gross fake shirts that protestants wear) under wide-wale corduroy double breasted blazers : ( and was weirdly not smart (always shocks me when that happens). She had this thing for unicorns, and that was awesome except that every time you even HINTED at a dead unicorn she would start crying. Like, EVERY TIME. And she would really wail and it got very car-alarm after a while.

So these football players were doing that Bubba Gump shrimp thing with dead unicorns (unicorn is the fruit of the sky… unicorn kabobs, unicorn creole, unicorn gumbo blablabla) and she was crying and I could not believe I had moved to Texas at 14 when I’d been dating this INSANELY dishy rugby player from the American school who I’d just heard was seen waiting in the line for the movie theater with this one chick who was 13 (slag!) from the French school and I was obsessing and obsessing and getting a real good lather going and SNAPPED to scream the following: “OH FOR FUCK’S SAKE LEAVE THE SPASTIC ALONE YOU NECKLESS TWATS.” Except that for some reason people in Texas who straight-up strafe vowels, like NBD, pronounce it “TWOTT” and not “TWAATT” and no one had any idea what I was talking about and was so shocked that the token gook thus spake that I felt weirdly compelled to leave but faltered (did that uggo animated GIF up-down thing in my chair for a splitsecond OMGAWG IT WAS LONG ENOUGH) and was so flustered that I flung the door open ON MY FACE and chipped a tooth. I was really popular after that. Oh, and I murdered everyone. — Mary HK Choi

Have you ever sworn?