Some years ago, right after I got in the union, I was assigned (by a former call steward* who didn't approve of women in our local) to work with a rigging crew who were notorious for practical jokes and brutal insults ('all in good fun', of course).
I was raised in a household where everyone was very proper and one simply did not dignify boorish behavior with any kind of a response, so working on this crew was really an education for me.
A few things I learned from them:
1) Don't take abuse lying down. Letting the other person know that they hurt your feelings just means you're weak and ripe for more comments about your mother.
2) Right off the bat, go for the jugular. Everyone wants an easy target, so don't be one.
3) The 'fast' way to tie a bowline knot.
4) The title of this post.
So, last night The Blonde sent me on a blind date with a producer whom I'll just call Hairplugs.
It didn't go well. When I walked in and introduced myself, the first thing he said was "I thought you'd be hotter."
This took me by surprise, as I was expecting him to at least say hello.
"Yeah, and your body's okay, but you really need to get your teeth done."
While I was contemplating if I should preserve my dignity by giving him a withering look and stomping out, my mouth opened and out popped a rigger insult:
"Do your customers at the strip club call you jiggles? When you're not at work you should put a bra on those bitch tits so they don't flop around."
I think I might have even made a hand gesture indicating two pendulous breasts knocking together in time to the restaurant's soft jazz.
It's true you never think of the really good ones at the right time. On a certain rigging crew, that would have brought down the house.
Of course, as soon as I said "bitch tits" everything around us got real quiet, and Hairplugs sputtered some lame insult (I think he called me a cunt, which is about as upsetting to me as being asked the time of day) and walked out.
I guess he's not very popular in that particular restaurant, because enough of the staff bought me drinks that I had to catch a cab home.
I don't think I ever thanked you for teaching me how to fight back.
* If you need a guy for work, and everyone you know is busy, you call the union hall to fill the job and the call steward is the person you deal with.