After being called a “four,” she decided to kill her enemies with kindness…and potatoes.

As an illustrator and picture book author, Mahiro Tada (@mappy_pipipi on Twitter) is well-acquainted with the concept that people are drawn to appealing visuals. And as any full-grown adult knows, when it comes to personal appearance, we all have our own tastes and preferences that make different people more or less attractive to us, personally.

That said, another thing adults should know is that if you don’t have something nice to say, it’s often best to keep your opinion to yourself. Tada was recently in a fast food restaurant when two young men walked in. As young men are apt to do, they quickly began scanning the room for women they found attractive, but rather than keep their evaluations to themselves, the two began exchanging impressions in easily audible voices, as shown in a series of illustrations Tada drew recreating the incident.

They weren’t exactly generous with praise, either. Assigning numerical values to each woman’s attractiveness, apparently on a one-to-ten scale. “That girl on the left is a six. Not bad, not bad,” said one, as his friend knocked her down to a four because he didn’t care for her nose.

The pair didn’t even have the courtesy to keep their mouths shut when they reached the front of the line and the female employee working the register asked them for their order. “Large fries” said one, while his buddy, unimpressed with the cashier’s looks, snickered “Four,” with his self-satisfaction at his humor making his voice loud enough for her to hear him.

Oftentimes the easiest way to deal with jerks is to just ignore them and walk away, but that wasn’t an option for the employee, who was in the middle of her shift. And while some would argue she’d have been justified in taking a swing at them, violence is almost universally frowned upon in Japan, especially in your workplace. So instead of hurting the men in their smug faces, she decided to hurt them in their wallets, as she smiled cheerfully and said “OK, that’s four large orders of French fries then, correct?”

And just like that, the two men were trapped. Obviously they didn’t actually want to order (and have to pay for) that many fries, but they couldn’t correct the employee’s ostensible interpretation without admitting they’d been vocally grading her looks.

With no way to extract themselves from the awkward situation without digging themselves into a different, deeper hole, the two men, with embarrassed looks on their faces, accepted their needlessly large mound of deep-fried spuds, paying four times what they’d originally intended to. “Thank you!” the employee called out to their backs as they sulked away.

“I wanted to give the cashier a high-five,” says Tada, and other Twitter users shared their admiration of the quick-thinking, warmly brutal employee.

“I love how instead of getting into a fight or stooping to their level, she just went on doing her job.”
“A total pro.”
“She’s so cool it gives me goosebumps.”
“Those two guys sound like zeroes.”
“Calling them zeroes is rude to people who actually are zeroes. Those two guys are much worse.”

Hopefully the two men learned a lesson about what is and isn’t nice to say in front of people. Even if they didn’t, though, at least they had fewer funds to spend going to other shops or restaurants, sparing their workers from any of their demeaning behavior.

Related: Mahiro Tada website
Source: Twitter/@mappy_pipipi via Jin
Top image: Pakutaso
Insert images: Pakutaso