Firstly I'd like to apologise to the people around me on the number 8 tram early this morning. When a guy elbowed me out of the way and I took exception, I didn't realise he was drunk and mentally ill. He saw my objection as a challenge. When he had a go at me and I didn't back down, he became irate. A circle appeared and expanded around us as he swore and ranted and threatened whilst I calmly told him to stop swearing and that I accepted his (unoffered) apology for elbowing me.
Another nutter grabbed my nutter and threatened to hit him if he didn't shut up. The other nutter became very emotional and jumped off the tram at the next stop.
My nutter (his name is Chris) started on me again, asking whether I'd been to prison, then asking if I had been in hospital! I couldn't help myself, so I asked if that was some kind of threat. He went off again!
The story has a happy ending, as Chris settled down, admitted he was having a bad day and started telling me his conspiracy theories about the government and the media. He used to be a panel beater but sustained an injury in his back and another in his arm and hasn't been able to work since. We shook hands and wished each other well as he disembarked the tram at Flinders Street.