After months of writing about the coronapocalypse, I witnessed first-hand the craziness that has turned our society upside down. What should have been a simple wait in the Starbucks’ drive-through nearly turned into World War Three when two drivers almost got into a catfight. However, this was no ordinary catfight. Indeed, as Paul Harvey used to say, it’s time for the rest of the story…
I was waiting in line to get my morning cup of coffee, minding my own business when I saw the car ahead of me backing up and doing so at an alarming pace. I honked my horn and watched as the car ahead of the person who nearly wiped me out backed up too. I saw a woman stick her head out then start yelling. She got out of the car and looked ready to throw down with the female behind her. Was I about to witness a catfight? It certainly looked that way.
The catfight is a TV trope that sadly doesn’t show up as much as it used to during my younger years. As defined by the good people at TV Tropes, a catfight is:
A battle between two or more female combatants that differs from the Designated Girl Fight only in that it’s invoked for Fanservice purposes more than anything else. Though the label may be attached to any girl-fight, a true cat fight generally lacks finesse/combat skill.
Merriam-Webster defines the catfight as “an intense fight or argument especially between two women” but I prefer one definition at Wikipedia, “an altercation between two females, often characterized as involving scratching, slapping, punching, biting, hair-pulling, and shirt-shredding”
As someone who has studied linguistics, I think there’s no better way to describe the catfight than these clips from a legendary episode of Seinfeld (these clips not only define a catfight, but help show the underlying cultural forces behind the term).
Getting back to my anecdote, the furious female driver emerged from her car, but in a true display of kindness, donned her facemask before going after the other driver. The other driver obviously must have felt her would-be opponent was serious about kicking ass so she fled in her car as her mask-wearing foe flipped her off. Lesson learned. If you’re going to have a catfight and can’t social distance, wear a mask.
Sadly, I didn’t get to watch a catfight, but the driver was kind enough to buy me a coffee. When I pulled up to the drive-through, the barista told me the person ahead of me paid for my order. Pretty thoughtful. Not only did she wear a mask before preparing to do battle, but she purchased a coffee for me. Never underestimate random acts of kindness.