In the worldwide “things to hit people with when angry” list, I’m sure the French Baguette falls somewhere in-between a piece of crumpled up paper and a pool noodle.
On May 8th 2013, I was struck in the lower back by a French baguette with a move that was not as much a swing, but more of an aggressive poke. The gentleman who felt compelled to strike me with such anger was a local homeless man, seeking revenge from an incident that challenged his honor as both a man and a glue-sniffing crack-head.
It all started a month ago, during the usual walk down Rue Ibn Habbous to the bus for work when we all spotted a guy who was talking a thousand miles an hour and had a head bob that rivaled any Bobble-head give away at Yankee Stadium. He seemed harmless enough, just mumbling a mixture of Arabic, French, and what seems to be a crack-head whisper that has no linguistic ties to any known language.
Every few mornings the guy would show up, and mumble a bit as we would walk by, one day he went as far to follow the three of us about half of the walk to the bus. At this point I turned around and gave him that look that I have gotten so very good at, the look that comes out when someone steps so close to that “DO NOT CROSS” line that you draw in a classroom. He saw the look, the weird eyebrow raise, and the vein in my head, so he turned around bobbling over to the next person that walked by him.
About two weeks ago with just 2 of the 3 Rue Ibn Habbous boys walking to work our main man was spotted 50 meters ahead of us, this time holding something in his hand. As we got closer he approached and I have decided that he was asking us if we worked for the DMV. Why else would he hold up his driver’s license to both Kent and I. When I regretted to inform him that I had not become fluent in Arabic since the last time we saw each other 3 days prior he grabbed the back of my neck…
At that moment in time, I took this 6 ft, 175 pd, glue sniffer and I threw him clear across the good ole’ Rue Ibn Habbous. He came to a halt when his body happened to fly into a parked petite taxi. As Kent said, “he flew like a sack of potatoes”.
Every street in Morocco has parking guys that help watch the cars over night, and both of our parking guys were watching the exchange, and after I chucked my guy both men took a step, and gave an approving nod of how the incident played out.
As I pointed at the crack-head I yelled some not-so-polite words at him as he regained his composure, he then wiped his pants off and without a head bobble or mumble said, “OK”, and walked away.
For those of you playing the home game, I live on Rue Ibn Habbous, a street in Casablanca, which is a city in Morocco, which happens to be situated in North Africa, and this guy is a crack-head. Meaning the word “OK” should not be in his vocabulary. As Kent and I stood there in disbelief we both looked at each other and asked ourselves if we really just heard the guy speak perfect English, and he did.
The next time I saw him he was armed with a baguette, and he got his revenge.