During our nighttime events, we light our sites with lanterns in order to provide a certain atmosphere to the proceedings. Along the path to the parking lot, the lanterns are secured to their stakes with plastic zip-ties to discourage theft. Needless to say, there are occasional attempts to walk off with a lantern.
Last Friday, some asshole cut the two zip-ties and walked off with a lantern. One of our contracted parking valets, seeing the guy carrying a clearly stolen lantern, intercepted him and grabbed the lantern, saying: "Thank you, sir, for picking up the lantern that fell to the ground."
It was a perfect response, unexpected enough to unbalance the guy, tactful enough to let him leave chastened but with some semblance of dignity (though clearly looking like a total thieving asshole to any witnesses.
The valet who pulled off this coup is an immigrant from Latin America, his English is okay but not fluent- but certainly good enough to navigate a particularly prickly social encounter while yielding the best possible result. The valets who work for our parking contractor deal with the public all the time, encountering dicks and d-bags on a regular basis. They are all post-graduate students in the study of human nature... an education that a lot of overprivileged natives never get.
I love these guys.