ooh Ooh! Icewolf! I agree entirely. Grrr!
Caitrin - I sympathise, having done a lot of theatre myself. It amazes me what people don't notice they are accidently destroying - they say, "well, fine, be picky! I was trying to help!" and I'm thinking, "Breaking things isn't helpful. If you want to help, do it right when I tell you how, don't get offended."
Just another one for the book - I know I've said mean people, but I've got a few examples.
Recently I spent half and hour in the rain trying to find an address on a street I thought I knew. Finally, after checking with passersby, local businesses, and a taxi driver who knew the town really well, I rang the bell of the door that was closest to the number I was seeking to ask if the occupant knew why the street seemed to have no 43 when that was the number I'd been given. I rang the bell, and when i got no response after a couple minutes, rang again. A woman opened the door - unpleasantness wafted off her. "Excuse me," I said, "I'm very sorry, but I'm looking for number 43..." She cut me off and said very sharply, "This is number 45." "I know," I said, and I'm very sorry, but I can't seem to find 43, and I was wondering, since you lived here, if you knew where is was." She glared at me and said in a voice that implied I was really very stupid, "Well, I assume it's just one up." I said, "You'd think so, but it's not. Have you ever..." and she cut me off again, said she was didn't know, and shut the door in my face as I was apologising for taking her time. Why? I had done nothing - maybe it was my American accent, but she was glaring at me from the moment she opened the door. I feel the need to buy a fish, let is ripen a couple days, and put it though her mailslot in an envelope addressed to the lady of the house.
And one more: yesterday, a bunch of friends and I lost an Aerobie in a tree next to the university hall property they live on. It was above someone's garden, but the garden wasn't attached to a house, and it was unclear whose it was. There was no one about, so I climbed onto the wall next to the tree, and we tried retrieving it with sticks, and then tossing a ball at it. No luck. At one point, my friend on the ground (public space, not the garden) looked up and saw someone's face in an upper window. "Is this your garden?" he asked, indicating the garden, and the person. She shook her head, but gave no more information. We tossed the ball a couple more times (we were doing NO harm to the garden, being very careful), and she emerged from her house, scowling. Did she ask us to leave? well yes. But notin so many words. Her first words to us were, "Bugger off." Her second words were the same. Then she said it was her garden, and we should fuck off. We didn't even bother trying to explain, and left immediately without argument, but she still followed us the fence and swore at us. Again, why? Does it make these peoples' days better to be nasty? Does it fulfill some kind of fantasy? Give them a feeling of power? What? I don't get it.