Sidewalk Rage

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The other day, I had the strange experience of walking down an escalator that was turned off.  If you’ve never done this, it’s much more interesting than it sounds.   Taking the first step, I expected the escalator to start moving, to begin its descent to the platform below.  It didn’t.  Instead, it stayed perfectly still like my ex during sex.  For some reason, the lack of motion combined with my expectation that the escalator should be moving caused me to experience a bizarre disorientation, sort of the same sensation I get from being on a swaying boat.  I wanted to get off the escalator as soon as possible.  It wasn’t supposed to be like this; there is a distinct way that things are meant to move and the escalator’s paralysis violated that.

I bring this up because lately I’ve had what I can only describe as “sidewalk rage.”  It’s like “road rage,” but it’s experienced by people walking down the sidewalk.  I’m super crabby at the moment and people walking down the sidewalk are pissing me off.  Just as an escalator is supposed to gently glide up or down, people walking down a sidewalk are supposed to move at a certain pace.  Life is like a hip-hop track – it has a beat.  There’s a rhythm to things, and the following people are disrupting it.  Below I’ve listed just a few of the folks who set off my sidewalk rage…if you should encounter them in the near future, be sure to express your disdain by cursing under your breath and rolling your eyes.

The Slow Walker: Got an hour to kill?  Apparently The Slow Walker does, or maybe he/she would move at a clip faster than a toddler crawling through rocks.  When encountered on the open sidewalk, The Slow Walker is only a minor inconvenience – walking around him/her isn’t a problem.  What makes The Slow Walker intolerable is the inability to adapt when walking on a busier street.  The Slow Walker will continue to mosey along, possibly talking on his/her cellphone, oblivious to your frenzied attempts to pass.  Like a zombie, The Slow Walker tends to sway in a zig-zag pattern, blocking off frustrated would-be-passers like an offensive lineman protecting a quarterback.  And the worst part is that The Slow Walker is sometimes an elderly person or a mother with her kid, which makes one (i.e. me) feel bad when moaning “fuckin’ move it!” in the safe confines of one’s own head.  Or, as often is the case, The Slow Walker is an attractive female in giant high heels, on her way to a date that she will very likely be late for because she, unlike me, can get away with being late for dates.

The Jason Voorhees:  It doesn’t matter how fast the oversexed blonde teen at summer camp runs, Jason Voorhees will always catch up.  And she knows this.  She constantly looks behind her and screams, perfectly aware that, even though he isn’t right there, he’s back there someplace.  He’s not tailgating her; instead he’s scaring the daylights out of her by making her feel as though he is.  This is what The Jason Voorhees does.  He usually appears at night, on an otherwise empty sidewalk.  As if he’d been created by a foley artist, The Jason Voorhees can be heard before he’s seen.  Clump clump here he comes.  Also like the hockey-masked horror icon, The Jason Voorhees is unshakable.  Try to speed up, so does he.  Slow down for him to pass, he slows down too.  Turn down a side street…there might be a short moment of relief, and then you’ll hear his crazy footsteps again, rocking and rolling and in hot pursuit of you.  The special and amazing thing about The Jason Voorhees is that somehow he never actually catches up.  Chances are that he’s just some drunk guy, so if you’re desperate to get him off your ass, I recommend passing a place that could divert his attention, like a brothel or a Taco Bell.

The Weezer Cover: You know the band Weezer?  Ever see their album covers?  They’re always the same, a simple picture of the four band members standing side-by-side.  This is nice and shows good camaraderie.  However, if Weezer was walking down a sidewalk, I’d hope they would have the decency not to stand like this.  Breaking off into a classic line structure is far more appropriate for walking down the sidewalk.  However, from time to time I’m confronted by a group of friends who form the intimidating Weezer Cover, spreading out horizontally and blocking the whole damn sidewalk.  They’re often four Slow Walkers joined together, creating an impenetrable wall of infuriating dawdling.  The only solution is to be a jerk and squeeze through a crack in the friendship, the narrow gap between Patrick Wilson and Rivers Cuomo.  If you are a humanitarian, worried about the good of your fellow man, you could slow walk in front of one member of The Weezer Cover, thereby forcing them to form a proper line formation to pass you.

There you have it.  The three worst perpetrator’s of sidewalk rage.  Like a broken escalator, they must be fixed.   They throw off the delicate pace of life, and, worse yet, delay my walk to the subway by a crucial and excruciating 45 seconds.

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44 thoughts on “Sidewalk Rage

  1. First my husby creeping me out with Silent Hill references and now you the Jason… Crap. I probably won’t sleep tonight. Did you men call each other or something for when in a good time to scare the hell out of a lady or what!?

      • Not. Funny.

        He is having to work tonight. And all day my cousin talked about ghosts. I had a very unsettling dream of an old friend who passed away 4 years ago. Chris’ Silent Hill remarks and now THIS!?
        I thought you only had love for me!!!

        PS. I am a big scaredy cat. I’m the one you take to the movie theater to scream and make everyone else jump. Or if you’d mention the JV walker while out and about I’d get paranoid and start trying to point out who it could be!!!

      • Come on Hope, you can handle yourself. You have children…they’re scarier than ghosts.

        I almost wrote “What’s the JV walker?” and then realized it’s a reference to my own blog entry. All I could think of was JJ Walker. THAT would be horrifying, eh? The JJ Walker…he creeps up behind you and when you turn in paranoia he screams “Dy-nomite!”

        If that scares you, you’re hopeless. You’re not a big scaredy cat…I’ve seen pictures of you, and you’re not big.

      • Try sitting through that dang Justin Beiber crap… Terrifying. Why can’t they have cool role model kids instead of the weird poppy ones? My oldest needs a Lil Bow Wow or someone punk rock ish Not JB :(

  2. Okay, another laugh-out-loud worthy post! Probably because the entire time I read this, I kept saying “YES! I hate that too!” And I murmur rude things too, which I feel bad about at times, and then there are those tims when they deserve it: Like when I am riding my bike along the path next to the beach and there are CLEAR rules w-r-i-t-t-e-n on the sidewalk, *clearly* stating where the bikes ride and where the pedestrians walk. No one seems to care and it pisses me off. {I think my blood pressure is rising just thinking about it, really}. And so here I am, trying to ride my bike, but these stupid morons think it’s okay to walk in my way, putting me into warm’s way. Now I have to keep my guard and reflexes up like Frogger so I don’t get hit by other bike riders coming the opposite way. Then I get even more pissed that I start to yell at these jackholes to move out of the way. Sometimes I yell nasty things too {confession time} but they need to hear it. Selfish pricks. Read some signs and follow the rules!!

    Okay I need to calm down. I have anger issues, apparently…

    • Whoa! Calm down, Cara!

      You know what they need – seriously – they need a bad accident to happen. You’re just the person to do it. Take one out and then watch as they magically start abiding by the signs. When I was in Amsterdam, I almost got KILLED by a dude flying down the bike path (I had accidentally stepped into the bike path while taking a picture). I kid you not, my life almost ended. I will NEVER go near a bike path again. So anyways, that’s advice. Don’t yell – either hit one or come damn close and scare the bastard! And then contact me and I’ll do a Google search for lawyers in your area. : D

      • I usually try to scare them by almost hitting them, however…. I’m very accident prone. I hurt myself in the most bizarre, non-threatening ways, so teaching someone a lesson I have a feeling, will only hurt me in the long run. Come to think about it, my anger is doing me damage as well. Great, thanks Bill! Here I was, trying to bond over similar hatred and now you are trying to convert me to calm down…

      • Ooh, I don’t like converting people away from anger and resentment. I guess in the long run it’s better…wouldn’t want you losing it and going all kamakazi down the walk path sometime. Although that would be funny and make for a good blog (so you should consider it) (it can be a brief departure from yummy food)

  3. Ahahaha YES! I couldn’t agree with this post anymore than I do! I’m definitely one of those people who take their time walking. Or shopping. Or anything really (I’m pretty umpatient in general on reflection)
    Even worse are the people who block escalators, particularly at train stations, by either standing side by side, or conversing at the bottom. These people deserve some sort of fine…
    Particularly liked the Weezer reference too :)

    • Oh shit! The escalator blockers are the worst! You’re absolutely right! Spot on with the side by side thing; I really hate the people who stand right in the middle of the step so you can’t get around. Dang it! I stopped at three because the post was getting too long, but this would be a GREAT #4. Perfect call!

      • Hahahahaha. I’m so glad I’ve found someone else who appreciates my rage for everyday occurences. Don’t even get me started on people who talk on the phone while you’re serving them though.

  4. Have you ever tried to walk in heels? You loose inches for every step, anywhere from 2-4 of them depending on the height of the heel. And why do we endure such discomfort, and the unpleasant sensation of feeling the need to speed-walk/slow run to avoid being a slow walker, but can’t because we don’t want to break our already not thin enough ankles? So our thighs and calves will look taught and our ass lifted. So next time you come across a slow walking hoochie in heels, you just suck it up and take the time to admire the effort she’s putting into looking good. Besides, sometimes, you just can’t pull off the flats with the rest of the attire. *sigh* I’m exhausted from trying to explain this to you. I’m going to go eat chocolate now.

  5. E.

    like how you can be precise with the “crucial and excruciating 45 seconds”. will probably email you about the date soon. can’t wait for Thursday to be over. 2 more hours to go.

  6. Oh gawd… That “my ex during sex” line is hilarious! Just when I thought you were gonna pull out the cliched “deer in headlights” line (which I probably would’ve done myself), you come up with this stroke of genius.

    And then you follow it up with the Weezer reference, which is just golden! Of course, being a big Weezer fan (or more accurately, a big fan of their first two albums), I have to point out that only four out of nine albums feature that “standing in a row” cover art. Oh crap, I was being too anal again, wasn’t I?

  7. Oh this I can relate to ^^,

    I am a fast walker. And I hate having people in front of me walking slow.. It’s so annoying :( Whether in a mall or on a sidewalk.. Or someplace else.
    I have occasionally made a “plough” with my arms and just pushed people (as nice and slow as possible) away. I am that rude sometimes! :o

    I mean I also feel like going that slow sometimes but those days I stay at home.

    It’s worst during the holidays here. Old people, people with kids (those are forgiven but still annoying) people just standing there on the sidewalk etc talking, people talking on phones while walking slowly, completely in their own world.. People blocking a specific thing (like an entrence, elevator, whatever) are maybe the worst. They are not as easy to get rid of (also not forgiven!) They need to be interrupted. Since I don’t know any interruptive spells (because I do not live inside world of warcraft unfortunately)(okay that was a joke)
    I make a plough. It works but it is frowned upon ;)

    • I wouldn’t frown upon that. You do what you gotta do, and you’ve been cursed with the ability to walk fast and, like, know where you’re going. If society can’t handle that, I don’t know what kind of a world we’re living in. Although I’m sure it’s a preferable one to the world of warcraft.

  8. This is so funny I almost can’t stand it!!! It makes me recall the time my husband and I were emerging from an extremely crowded subway escalator in Seoul, and some guy and his girlfriend stopped dead in their tracks the instant they reached the top. Apparently I said, “OK, folks, let’s keep it effing moving!” a bit louder than I had planned because the guy turned around and gave me a really dirty look and said, “SORRY.” My husband was mortified.

    • LOL! I’ve totally had that happen. Or they’ll take one step off the subway and just stop, blocking you in. I guess that’s why it’s acceptable for the aujimas to go pushing everyone.

  9. Eh. The escalator thing…… I don’t like it when I ‘m wearing a short skirt and I see a guy behind me checking out my arse. I just wanna tell him, it’s a lacy red, okay ?

    • Oh, no, don’t do that Renx. That’s a panty reference…I can’t handle things like that. You and Jishi are supposed to be like my little sisters, don’t wind me up with a panty reference. It’s okay, I’ll just go take a cold shower now.

  10. Haha YES! I feel the same way about inactive escalators – my head swirls from disorientation as I expect it to still be moving. Then I get uncomfortable and brace myself in case it starts at anytime. I get off – I can’t handle the pressure :)

    I’ve often ranted about sidewalk etiquette – try living in Mediterranean countries, is all I’m going to say. Funny stuff :)

  11. AFBsax

    I was listening to Say It Ain’t So by Weezer when I saw the album cover!

    But talking about that I really wish I could be like that because every time I want to talk to someone while going to class I either have to charge into the mass of people taller than me or dodge every while simultaneously holding a conversation, which is impossible because whomever else I’m talking to will end up a couple miles away from me trying to dodge everyone or right behind/in front of me and talking like with someone like this is just awkward. Blargh. But sometimes I take advantage of my position and guide my friend by grabbing their backpack’s and running full speed ahead or if their behind me, by just stopping right in front of them. :D Hopefully when I’m a senior I might be taller and have some dominance over the people around me.

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