Public Disturbance

“Get your energy storage advice here! Commercial energy storage! The best Melbourne has to offer on page thirteen!”

I turned to my friend, sitting in the adjacent seat. Couldn’t we just watch a game of basketball in peace? “Troy, why do you have to pretend to be a 1920s newspaper salesman all the time?”

“Extra! Extra! Troy’s best friend doesn’t like his gimmicky newspaper sales voice and would rather watch the game in awkward silence! Read all about it on page two!” There was only a slight pause before he went at it again. “Do you need a solar panel calculator? Find the best you can get, right here on page seventeen!”

People were starting to stare at us. All I wanted to do was watch the game. How often do the Hell’s Kitchen Planet-Walkers tour Australia?

One of the players scored a three-pointer, and immediately Troy began shouting, “Jimmy Grey scores three-pointer of the century, read all about it!”

I grabbed Troy by the wrist and hissed, “Would you stop that? I barely even saw that shot, thanks to you. Sometimes being your friend feels more like babysitting a shark that got hold of a rubber chicken.”

Behind us, a large man called out, “Hey, buddy, could you cut that out? You’re disrupting the game!”

I raised my eyebrows at Troy. “See,” I said, “you’re annoying everyone here.”

“Not him,” said the big man. “You! If your friend wants to tell us where we can get commercial energy storage near Melbourne, who are we to stop him? But your constant complaining about it is really getting on my nerves.”

That made me lose it. “Are you serious?” I shouted. Now everybody was looking at us. “He won’t shut up about his weird extras. He doesn’t even have a newspaper with him!”

Now, even the players on the court had stopped to look at the outburst. Jimmy Grey called out, “Hey, this is a safe space. If somebody can’t talk like a newspaper boy and feel safe, then how can any of us feel safe? Security, please escort this man from the stadium.”

I was more than happy to leave. What is wrong with this world? Please internet, am I the jerk here?