"What the fuck are you looking at?"

That's how I almost got into a fight this afternoon. I wasn't looking for trouble, and indeed I wasn't even looking at this 250 pound redneck when he asked that rather provocative question. The only thing I was looking for was some Dentyne Ice to get the aroma of pizza from my breath. Not that I have a problem with pizza breath - but I had a meeting soon after and I'd rather have minty than meaty breath when dealing with people I'm trying to get money from.

But that's well away from the point.

So I stroll up to the convenience store across the street, and there's this '97 Mustang GT sitting there. Pretty car, but the owner of this piece of machinery was an unbelievable asshole who had his music blaring at an incredible volume for the sole purpose, I believe, of landing him a nice fight.

"What the fuck are you looking at?"

The correct answer to this question is not "You", should you happen to want to avoid a fight. It will be quickly followed with "What's your problem?" and there really is no correct answer for that question. If you get right down to it, when someone asks you "What's your problem?" chances are, things have already progressed beyond "nothing".

I have two things against me at this point.

First, I'm a big man. I'm no Michael Clarke Duncan by any stretch of the imagination, but I'm pretty big compared to the majority of men you'll meet in your daily runnings around. Unless you happen to be employed by WWF or work in the Big and Tall section of J.C. Penny's. This is not a problem in itself - it affords me advantages that the shorter folk do not possess - however, I am often the target of Napoleon Complexes. On top of that, I get no special treatment from other large men who generally pick on someone their own size.

Secondly, I have a big mouth. 'Nuff said.

So you can see, I don't fare too well, when someone starts off a conversation with "What the fuck are you looking at?".

Without getting into a whole play-by-play, which will end up sounding like the Fuck You Clown story, I'll just say that I did manage to avoid fighting though the use of some lip service. I asked him why he cared if I look at him, and his answer ran along the lines of, "I don't like people eye-fuckin' me".

To which I responded, "So, then, you keep the radio in your car turned up that loud to draw attention away from yourself?"

To which he responded, "Huh?"

"If you don't like being looked at, why are you doing something that attracts attention to you?"

And that's where it starts to sound like "The Fuck You Clown story". Anyway, I went into the store and he drove away.

I think I could have kicked his ass though.