Virginia was walking home from the grocery with her daughter when she slipped on the icy road of a crosswalk. A bunch of young men in a fancy car started laughing and honking at her. But she remembered her father and stood up for herself in a way no one imagined.
Mrs. Virginia Fairchild had just finished grocery shopping with her daughter, Vanessa, and told her she would rather walk home. “But Mom, it’s freezing. Let me take you to your house,” her daughter protested. But Virginia didn’t want to impose, as Vanessa lived 20 minutes away from her.
St. Cloud, Minnesota, was pretty covered in snow, and it wasn’t that cold yet anyway. Only the roads were somewhat icy, but drivers knew to be careful. So the 74-year-old woman took her two grocery bags and stopped at the crosswalk.
When the red light appeared and the vehicles stopped, Virginia started crossing. Unfortunately, she underestimated how slippery the icy cement would be and stumbled with her bags. She fell on her hip, and there were no other pedestrians to help her up.
Then she noticed a group of young teenagers laughing at her from their new Mercedes Benz. They couldn’t be older than 17. “Hey, lady! That was hilarious! Do it again!” the one on the driver’s seat yelled at her. Virginia couldn’t believe how cruel they were to an older stranger.
Young kids these days don’t know any respect, she thought as she tried to stand up. But it was difficult on her own, and the kids started honking the horn, frightening her.
“MOVE, OLD WOMAN! WE HAVE PLACES TO BE!” The kid in the passenger-side seat yelled as the driver continued to honk. The light was green, but she was obstructing their path while other cars swished by.
Suddenly, a lovely man came to help her up. “Are you alright, ma’am? I can help you with your bags?” he asked her. Virginia was grateful, but she couldn’t stop thinking about the young men in the car, who were still causing a stir and honking rudely.
She looked at them with her hands on her hips. “Hey, old bat! Don’t give me that look! Get off the road right now! Or we’ll run you over!” the driver threatened and slammed the horn. Virginia couldn’t take it anymore.
The horns reminded her of a story her late father, Colonel Frank Lambert, told her long ago. During World War II, his troupe lost most of their ammunition during a particularly nasty battle. The only thing left was a few grenades.
He was just a private back then, but Lambert threw several grenades toward Nazi tanks and another toward the soldiers. This helped their remaining troupe escape and find refuge nearby. Her father’s war story gave her an idea.
Virginia straightened and opened one of her grocery bags. She took out a bag of lentils and cut them open using her mouth as soldiers would with grenades in movies, then she threw the lentils, directed at the windshield of the luxury car.
“WHAT ARE YOU DOING?! ARE YOU CRAZY!?” the kid driving started yelling. But Virginia didn’t stop. She took a bag of rice and did the same. Several cans of tuna followed, and they dented the car. Then came fresh produce, including tomatoes and eggs.
Several people had stopped nearby and watched the older woman, who silently worried about the damage to the car and if the kids might report her to the police. However, it was too late to regret her actions now.
The man who had helped her up was laughing the entire time, as the kids got out of the car, terrified of the old woman. When she was done, Virginia looked at each of them, wiped her hands, and started to walk away.
That evening, Vanessa called and yelled at her because someone had uploaded the entire thing on YouTube. “It’s going viral, Mom! Are you crazy! Those kids could’ve hurt you!”
“Oh, please. They got scared when I threw a few tomatoes at their car. They laughed at me for falling but couldn’t take an outburst from an old lady. It was so cathartic, honey,” Virginia replied.
“Grandma!” Vanessa’s son, Marco, grabbed the phone. “You’re awesome, Grandma! You showed those men not to mess with you! I shared the video on my FB, and all my friends love it!”
Virginia laughed at her grandson’s enthusiasm and encouraged him to stand up against bullies. “Remind me to tell you the story of your great-grandpa during the war,” she added and finished the call.
The following day, Alexander, a.k.a. the kid driving the fancy car, came to her house with his parents. They saw the video and recognized Mrs. Fairchild. So they asked around town if anyone knew her address.
Virginia expected them to be mad at her, but they were disappointed at their son because the video recorded Virginia’s fall and Alexander’s rudeness. They made him apologize, and Virginia accepted it. But she also offered to pay for the few damages caused by the tuna cans.
“Don’t worry about it, ma’am. My son deserved that lesson, and now he’s going to work to fix those dents. Am I right, Alexander?” his father said with a stern expression.
“Yes, sir,” Alexander answered, looking at the floor.
He’ll never do something like that again, Virginia thought, grinning.
What can we learn from this story?
Be respectful to your elders. Those kids disrespected Virginia, even though she is a senior citizen. But they got what they deserved.
Stand up for yourself. While we don’t condone doing what Virginia did, you have to stand up to bullies, or they’ll keep harassing others.
Share this story with your friends. It might brighten their day and inspire them.