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Thursday, July 30, 2009

I Think You Can Walk On That Side Only When You’ve Been Conquered by Rome…

Once again, we reach our tentative fingers toward the weekend in search of meaning, truth, and affordable snackage.

Because I don’t work on Fridays, thus rendering my Thursdays virtual Fridays, I have consulted my iPod during the morning commute to determine what lies ahead.

As my grandmother said, It couldn’t hurt.

House of Bamboo by Southern Culture on the Skids
Temptation by Tom Waits
That Kind of Man by The Heavy*
Respect Yourself by The Staple Singers
Freedom by Ritchie Havens
Jesus Left Chicago by ZZ Top
So Fresh and So Clean by Outkast

Geez. The more I look at this list, the more of a pervert I realize I am.

Moving on, then!

Have you been to Minneapolis? It has a vibrant, lively downtown. Not only do people work downtown, they live there as well; and over the lunch hour people are sitting on benches, jogging, walking dogs, playing the trumpet (badly) for “spare change” and representing a large contingency of the terminally transient, holding home-made cardboard signs asking for change and mercy.

Sometimes they get it. And sometimes they don’t.

But that’s not what this is about.

This is about foot traffic right-of-way – whether in the skyways or on the sidewalks. This is about locomotion, people, about movement from one area to another.

Even on a sidewalk, we tend to walk on the right. We drive on the right, after all, and in school were encouraged to walk on the right in the halls and in the stairwells.

But not everyone walks on the right.

Some of our more confrontational brothers and sisters walk on the left, in a head-long, there-may-be-a-collision course with the rest of us.

More often than not, we step aside, the Many parting to allow the Few to continue on their miscreant way.

And one of these days, I’m not going to do it.

And one of these days, there will be a headline reading “Area Woman Trampled by Morons Intent on Bucking Societal Codes of Conduct”.

Or perhaps just “SPLAT! Local Smart Ass Gets What She Deserves”.

It’s all in how you look at it, I suppose. Still, if you saw that everyone going in this direction was on this side of the sidewalk and everyone going in that direction was on that side of the sidewalk, why wouldn’t you conform to the traffic?

Why won’t anyone think of the traffic?!




* Receiving Pearl’s “Sweeet!” stamp of funky approval.

27 comments:

ellen abbott said...

I try to go with the flow but I've never been one for conformity.

Pearl said...

Ellen, when there are 50 people walking toward you and just you coming toward them, it becomes less a matter of conformity than it does about self-preservation! :-)

darsden said...

Happy Friday Pearl have a wonderful weekend. :-)

Pearl said...

Thanks, Dar! Right back atcha!

Chris@Maugeritaville said...

Hey! There's actually a few bands on your playlist this week that I've actually heard of! WOO HOO!

Pseudonymous High School Teacher said...

I have to admit, I'd read those headlines...

Not The Rockefellers said...

Every jam a gem on your playlist dear...

Walk this way - Aerosmith

just to ratchet up the pervert in you... :)

Peace - And Thursdays have become Fridays at our home as well :(

Rene...

Douglas said...

When walking (or even just strolling) on a sidewalk, just remember the rule of the sea...

The biggest ship generally has the Right of Way.

Now, there are exceptions: Military ships (they have guns) and ships under sail (like those in wheelchairs, less maneuverability).

mbuna53 said...

People that walk on the left drive me crazy. This is not England, sorry Vinny. Get with the program people! I'm with you sister. I don't get out of their way. Don't even get me started about the morons in my neighborhood that walk in the street and not on the sidewalk, ARG! Have a fun weekend!

Pearl said...

Hey, Chris, glad to hear it. I've got a couple new bands I need to check out (Dead Weather being one of them) so that may pop up soon.

Pseudonymous, I would, too!

Rene, really? :-( I'm sorry to hear that. It's an ugly little balance, isn't it? More free time/less money.

Douglas, good points!!!

mbuna, right on. If I were six-four I wouldn't get out of their way, either.
And the ones that insist on walking down the middle of the street, I came up behind a group a couple days ago (in the van) who actually stopped walking and started tossing a basketball between themselves. I laid on the horn pretty good, actually scaring one of them, and hung my head out the window: "Get outta the street! You wanna get hit!"
Surprisingly enough, they moved...

Tamsin said...

I've always thought that the world would be a much better place if only I was in charge. Now I'm starting to wonder if maybe I should hand the reins over to you.

Pearl said...

Tamsin, don't let me fool you!

Althought I WOULD put in place rules against standing in the produce section and grazing...

Blogging Mama Andrea said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Blogging Mama Andrea said...

I misspelled like five things so I had to delete my comment. Sigh.

You suckered me in with the snackage talk and dang it you didn't even mention food (I'm hungry and looking for ideas)

Try going to London. Gahd, talk about being confused as to which side to walk on. Thankfully at intersections they have in gigantic letters on the pavement -Look Right Morons!

Okay it doesn't actually say Morons but it'd be funny if it did.

Susan said...

You are so right about this! But I really can't stand the right walkers who stop mid-stride to look in their purse or something, causing me to slam into them or setting off a contagion of abrupt stoppage.

Suzy said...

The worst is in the airports on those long walkevators. Being not a shy person, I will just say to the person WHO DOESN'T GET IT, "Excuse me, you walk on the right and PASS on the left." It works because I put my mean face on.

mbuna53 said...

Way to go Pearl! Honk at those dumbies! If I was six-four, I'd really not get out of their way! I think being three feet wide helps.

Pearl said...

Blogging Mama, sorry to tease you with the snack talk! :-D Have never been to London, but yes, at least they have the sense and the understanding for at least a semblance of order to put out the sign! I’m not saying we all need to wear navy blue suits on Thursdays, but being able to walk down a sidewalk all in one direction should be an easy enough task, don’t you think?

Susan, ooh, a whole ‘nother topic, and that’s for sure. My friend Ma and I were talking about this today, about the ones that stop in doorways and in the center of things. Makes me want to yell “track!” and make them move. You just wait – I’m sure I’ll have plenty to say about it come December. Minneapolis is fantastic in the winter, what with the skyways between buildings, and entire tribes of people show up for shopping and lunch, bringing strollers full of children and children-related equipment…

Suzy, ha! It’s the same with the escalators around here. If everyone is standing on the right, but you’re on the left, and some long-legged fellow comes bounding up the escalator and then is forced to stop because you’re blocking the flow of traffic, shouldn’t that tell you something?

Mbuna, you gotta give ‘em your Viking face. You’re a big guy. Flex a bit and then ROAR in their faces! Go Scandinavia!!

mbuna53 said...

Is that better? RARRRRRRR!!! Move it kids!

Pearl said...

ARGH!

:-)

Yes. Much better.

powdergirl said...

The day Jesus left chicago, I was there visiting. I blame the absence of his mitigating presence on how it came to be that I was beset by temptation and ended up in a house of bamboo with that kind of man who was so fresh and clean that I new it had to be when he said to me
"respect yourself"

Bless me father for I have so enjoyed sinning.

Throw a little shoulder at those who deviate from the norm and walk on the wild side. At your hight you'll probably end up sacking someone and that'll be great example to the other miscreants.

Then run like hell.

mapstew said...

Some days it doesn't matter which side I'm on, or which direction I'm going in, but feck it, EVERYBODY ELSE is coming towards me!

Only some days though!

Have a great weekend.

xxx

Reddirt Woman said...

The best thing, ever, about my visits to the Twin Cities, was the zoo. Absolutely fantastic zoo. The rest? I am totally not surprised at the people going against the flow. I personally saw and met people who I swear were brain crippled by the extreme cold in the winter and were damn proud of it.

Glad to know I'm not the only one that noticed...

Helen

Joanna Jenkins said...

Oh I'm with you! And don't get me started on the
moving sidwalks with the signs that say "stand to the right, walk to the left" and people park it right in the middle so you can't get past! What's up with that?!?
:-)
GREAT POST Pearl. xo

Scrappy Doo said...

Local smaert ass gets it>
LMAO
Scrappy

Cygnus MacLlyr said...

"That Kind of a Man" followed by "Respect Yourself"...

Sounds like a good virtual Freya's Day to me, my Pearly One...

HA!!!

C.

Red Squirrel said...

One is from England and therefore I walk on the left everywhere I go.

Did you know that the only reason that anyone ever in the world travels on the right is because Napoleon was jealous of the British and once he seized power in France insisted that everyone switch to the right. It then spread over Europe as he then conquered most of it, and then round the world thanks to European empire building. True dat.

So basically if you travel on the right you're just pandering to the spiteful whim of a French despotical midget :)