Monday, September 12, 2005

Walking Stuff

During my daily walks, I pass a church that offers daycare. They've now posted on the lawn a sign that announces this service that reads, "Child Transfer Center." Umm...doesn't that sound like a place where parents go to exchange their children for more compatible offspring?

Speaking of walking, have you ever noticed stupid walkers? These are pedestrians who walk in the wrong way. Since I do a lot of walking, this is one of my pet peeves. I find that stupid walkers fall into certain categories, thus described:

Slow-bees: These are the folks who move like molasses, taking about ten minutes to walk one block. They aren't normally a problem unless the path is narrow, or unless they're also Spacers (see below). Note that the elderly do not fall into this category, as they often can't go any faster. Only the deliberately slow can be Slow-bees.

Spacers: These fine folks insist upon taking their half of the sidewalk out of the middle, making it difficult if not impossible to get by them without walking in the street. On Market Street you can ignore Spacers, but on Pine or Spruce they can be most irritating. A Spacer who's also a Slow-bee is death.

Wrongways: In American society, most people stick to the right when they drive, or go through double doors, right? Not Wrongways! They go their own way, but not in an I'm-so-individual sort of way. In an annoying way. On a crowded street, you can tell a Wrongway by the path of disruption she leaves as she grimly forces her way against the natural flow of pedestrians. The path of least resistance is never good enough for a Wrongway.

Weavers: Normally, a person walking down the street does so in a fairly straight line, with only minor deviations to either side. A Weaver is one who swings first left, then right, with little consideration and no warning. Getting around them is tough because they might decide to cut directly into your path for no discernable reason. Cell phone users are notorious for weaving, but drunk people don't count because they often think they're walking straight. Their weaving is purely unintentional.

Stoppers: These are the twisted bastards who, for reasons often known only to them, stop dead in their tracks. You'll often see women doing this, halting dead in the middle of a crowded sidewalk to rifle through a purse, but men are frequent offenders as well, as are cell phone users of either sex. This is usually a problem only when the sidewalk is crowded and people are likely to be close enough to crash into the Stopper. (If you're close enough to crash into a Stopper on an empty sidewalk, you're a pervert. Yes.) Stoppers also cause problems at the base of escalators, blocking the way so that the escalator gets clogged with human backflow.

Unfortunately, stupid walkers rarely get their comeuppance, unless they are Wrongways on the Schuylkill River trail. Bikers who use the trail are normally pretty polite, unless you're fucking up the flow by weaving or wrongwaying. Then they unleash tongues as sharp as their bicycle-trained muscles.

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