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Friday, October 16, 2009

Mostly, You Make A Lovely Target

We’ve spoken, perhaps, on the many ways in which I try to enrich my city, the fair metropolis of Minneapolis.

There’s my “I’m-picking-up-yer-trash” day in the park across the street from my house.

There’s the fact that, in a continued effort to beautify America I not only wear lipstick when I go out but I also wear real pants and shoes, a fashion convention that seems to have gone the way of the passenger pigeon in some parts of the state.

And there’s my oft-repeated vision for revenue that includes pelting bound vandals with reasonably priced and rotted vegetables, all for the benefit of the community.

I like Minneapolis; and other than the fact that the weather here wants to kill me (and makes just such an attempt every winter, the little lake-dotted bestid), I have no plans to live anywhere else.

City living! Yeah!

And then again, for cryin’ out loud, I live in the city.

Oh, sure. I mean, I hear what you’re saying. “But Pearl! Sidewalks and mature trees! Fabulous places to eat, live bands, theatre, public transport and neighborhoods with neighbors you know!”

And I think, gosh darn it, you! You’re right. What’s my problem, anyway?

The newest issue to rear its head and make me reach for the club I keep in the backseat?

People walking down the middle of the street.

Remember when you were little? Remember people telling you to stay out of the road, to stay on the sidewalk, to watch for cars?

Yeah. These people didn’t have that advantage, apparently. For some reason – and maybe you can help me out here – there are people who believe that the road is meant for peds.

You know, I don’t mind the peds xing*. But what about when they’re not xing? What about when they’re just walking down the middle of the street, even when your lights are on them, even when you have to brake to avoid grinding the little pin-heads into the tarmac? What about when harsh, short words are exchanged and I begin to feel for the mace on my key chain and think about swinging around the block for a second time just to see how far this guy can run when he’s blind?

The rules are clear: Ducks don’t date geese; it gets easier to gain weight as you age; and your soft, unshielded body is no match for my Honda. Get outta the street.

The following is a list of reasons I believe may explain what’s going through these nitwits’ heads as well as reminders to myself that they are humanoid beings with families who love them:

  • Heavy medication. They simply don’t know where they are.
  • Fear of the sidewalk. They fell on the sidewalk once and never again.
  • It’s the first road they’ve ever seen and they just love it.
  • Sleepwalking.
  • Erectile dysfunction. (I just like saying that.)
  • Grandiose sense of entitlement. You move.
  • They hope you will hit them so that they can sue you and make a billion dollars and never have to work…

Well, that’s my bit for both the City and Mankind. I pick up garbage, I wear pants, and I try not to crash my car into the mentally challenged.

My work here is done.



*Sorry. Since I was small I’ve enjoyed the thought of “peds” “x”ing.

26 comments:

Chrissy said...

Right down the middle of the street? I say, hit 'em.

the iNDefatigable mjenks said...

Having just experienced something like this, I can tell them that the logic that has led them to think that the last point will help make them rich beyond their wildest dreams is a bit flawed.

It's difficult to collect insurance and damages money when you're forever interred in the permafrost.

CatLadyLarew said...

I'm afraid that's a universal problem. The good news is you don't have to move. The bad news is, they're everywhere! They're everywhere!

Might I suggest Vlad's favorite line from "Golden Eye"...
"Use the bumper... that's what it's for!"

ellen abbott said...

I haven't noticed people in the middle of the street. What we have here is bicyclers using the driving lanes. which I don't mind when there aren't any bike lanes. However...the city has made a huge effort to narrow our driving lanes (and in some instances reducing the driving lanes from two to one in my neighborhood where gentrification, condos and townhomes have sprung up like mushrooms after a rain increasing the population, and therefore the car, density by a factor of about 10, no thanks, we don't need two lanes down the main road through) to make bike lanes all over and these knuckleheads blithely ride their bikes in the driving lane totally ignoring the bike lane Right. Beside. Them.

wow, that sounds like a post.

Jodie Kash said...

Here, in the overly fit and spandex wearing nirvana known as Colorado, it's the cyclists. A pointy hard shoe impaled into a too close driver’s door leaves less of a mark than a large Honda fender barreling down.

(hand to God, can’t go into a Starbucks or Einstein bagels without a guy in shiny shorts showcasing pork sword queued in line. And it’s rarely the swords that inspire, know what I mean…wink wink…nudge nudge)

justsomethoughts... said...

i believe it's #s 5,6, & 7.
and while # 5 is a legitimate reason, the other two are not. ergo, you should hit them.

Douglas said...

I have walked down the middle of many a street in my younger days.

I plead drunken stupor. Mostly.

I no longer do this. And I never did it in Minneapolis.

Gigi said...

This must be some kind of new thing for the kids because I just experienced it the other day. What did their parents actually tell them it was okay to play in the road?? I wanted to bump them - the urge was really strong. But I didn't. Instead I inched the car up on them and kinda forced them out of my way. Yeah, I'm mean like that.

MamaOtwins+1 said...

You aren't the only one, I've seen it too. I guess we are supposed to move around them, although I'm not sure how.

Mandy's Kidding said...

I noticed the gang members in my old neighborhood used to walk in the middle of the street back in the 90s. I think it was a territorial, "we own this street" slash "fuck you" sort-of-thing.

Maybe the kids are picking it up like the baggy pants?

Kevin Musgrove said...

In my experience they are either bankers or Manchester United supporters.

In either case it's kindest to just mow them down.

Janie at Sounding Forth said...

I loved the "erectile dysfunciton" reason. You always crack me up!

lisleman said...

I hope they were wearing REAL pants because
Erectile dysfunction
and
virtual pants
would not be a good scene.

mrwriteon said...

'peds-xing' tee-hee -- it is funny. Funnier than erectile dysfunction. You'll have to take my word on that, despite the fact it's an alien concept.

Pearl, you are just a wonderful writer. I think too good for the shabby realms of bloggerdom.

Ms Sparrow said...

Hear-hear!! I always suspect that these folks are descended from immigrants of far-off lands and they still have not grasped the concept of the road--it's for transporation!

WrathofDawn said...

Whatever is causing this madness, it's happening all over North America. I don't drive on the sidewalk, they shouldn't walk on my road.

I say we run the betids over.

WrathofDawn said...

Bestids. Damn. When will I learn not to try to speak other dialects?

Also. This keyboard sucks.

Irish Gumbo said...

And your rotting vegetables are reasonably priced! I'll bet Jello Biafra would trade you some fresh fruit for those :)

Reddirt Woman said...

Have you done any research to see if Minnesotans have an extra-ordinarily high count of peds being killed or injured while walking down the middle of the street compared to other states? And could it be the brain freeze from the horribly cold winters that finally, irrevocably kills the brain cells so these poor demented souls have no idea that they are walking in a place dangerous to them? I just figure that anyplace where it gets so cold that it can freeze your nose hairs where it feels like little needles pricking you is bound to cause brain problems in the long run. I can testify to that with a person in my own family environment...

Just sayin'.

Helen

mapstew said...

Ah roads! The luxuries you 'mericans have!

xxx

Beverly Hamilton Wenham said...

They say if you live in New York too long you get a "look". Like a war torn look, or maybe shell shock. Now, I find New Yorkers very nice. But any city is hard everyday. But look at you. Doing your part in little ways to make the world better. Good for you. What if everyone did that. But they don't. But don't worry, your making some of them feel very guilty. And that's kinda cool! ;)

The Jules said...

Perhaps they're British and they're cofused by your daft use of the word pavement?

The Jules said...

Not you personally, just the English speaking portion of your sub-continent.

Thought I ought to clear that up.

Christine Gram said...

Maybe they never had a good hat to protect their noggins from the cold. Hold on to your hat Pearl, here comes winter.

Kavi said...

Minneapolis....seems inviting ! :)

Cassie said...

I say hit them too, since I'm pretty sure it's that grandiose sense of entitlement that makes people do that!