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Saturday, June 11, 2011

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.


Mandy_Fish said...

They're doing this in Detroit too. It drives me bananas because I tend to be a bit of a rules nazi.

The Jules said...

Erectile dysfunction? Right, so now I can shout "Get out of my way you limp git!" at them.

Jolly good.

Or maybe it's some sort of extreme sport, popular because the initial investment in equipment is minimal?
"What's your hobby?"
"I'm into xing. Extreme xing."

Dawn @Lighten Up! said...

I am damn sure it's the grandiose sense of entitlement. A-holes.
We do have so much in common. The peds xing sign drives me flippin crazy!!
Also? Yay you! For wearing pants!

Silliyak said...

I do walk in a few streets where the sidewalks are so bad it's hazardous and the traffic is almost non existent. When I hear or see a car approaching I step to the gutter until it passes. Please don't hate me!

Eva Gallant said...

Good ones! And hubby has asked to be notified if you ever decide to go out without pants!

Ron said...

"People walking down the middle of the street."

Yup...being a city dweller myself, I know exactly what you're talking about, Pearl!! And also love the people who like to cross the street on a green light and then flick the car a 'bird' when they honk at them!

For me, the worst are the people who don't how to walk on the sidewalk; not able to decide WHICH SIDE they want to walk on so they slam into you when you try to pass them.

These people should be given traffic tickets - HA!

•Erectile dysfunction. Love it!

Anonymous said...

Medium sized city in Southwestern Ontario (Canada for the geographically challenged)....in the SUBURBS for petes sake...same thing. Perfectly good sidewalks on both sides of the road...IDIOTS!!!! Kids, young adults, middle aged, elderly...ALL of them walking down the middle of the street. People drive like jackasses around here. Someone is going to get killed and I don't want to be here when it happens. Maybe it is something that kicks in when the earth becomes overpopulated...you know....keep the population down, walk in the street?

Anonymous said...

How about we drive on the pavement, just to get even?

Works for me. (Shrug)

Darn, Google is on to me, and is refusing to post me up as anything but anonymous - pah! It's me - Shrinky (waving wildly from Shrink Wrapped Scream), I will refuse to be silenced!!

Doubting Thomas said...

"...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?"

I laughed so hard I had to wipe up the coffee that spilled. That's funny right there! :)

From the comments above this seems to be a problem with many major (and not-so-major) cities. Here in SA, the drivers just kill 'em. Don't know if it's a deterrent, but it seems to be a weekly staple on the news...

Drake Sigar said...

If you're driving a lorry, they don't seem so confident.

Douglas said...

It all started when the authorities removed the bounty on pedestrians. It's been downhill since.

Leenie said...

Survival of the fittest and the ones with lipstick, nice pants, real shoes and metal conveyances, I say.

Oilfield Trash said...

You left off stupid as an excuse.

Audubon Ron said...

Yooo, yo, yo, yo, who says ducks don't date geese? I dated a goose once. After a little of that I realized I was dating a goose AND a ghost.

Round, yere in the woods, anybody dumb enough to walk in the middle of the road becomes road kill.

But, I will give you an eighth reason: 8. Pearl nailed a park litterer in the eyeballs with pepper spray and now they can't see where they're walking and are now in the middle of the road yelling for help. B/c that's the way Pearl rolls. I know what's lurking behind this sinister composition. You should be ashamt of yo-self. :)

Bouncin' Barb said...

Excellent post. I hate that too. Unfortunately, it's usually a case of "I've got an attitude and I'm not moving" kind of person around here. Good thing Bruce does most of the driving. Road Rage here!

Anonymous said...

across the river in Illinois, they have passed a law that with a permit, drivers can eat their road kill. Maybe that will keep the idiots out of the street where you are.

Kate Mohler said...

You are Supergirl, Pearl--coming to the rescue of your city. Here in Phoenix people don't walk down the street, but they dash to the middle lane and wait there to cross. *danger Will Robinson*

Linda O'Connell said...

Pearl, If you uncheck the box, STAY SIGNED IN on your own blog, you can them comment on others. Let's see.

aBroad said...

Where we lived in Oregon, cars would slam on brakes if they saw you slowing down to consider crossing a street.
Where we live now, when your foot steps off the curb, you can hear the motors racing ... how many points am I worth ?
Erectile disfunction .. eh~ I like polymorphous light sensitivity .. sort of roles off your tongue.

Julia said...

Well I live in Toronto... So I know all about the crazy's...and the honest answer is the last two! They want you to hit them, and they have a drastic sense of entitlement!

I discussed this not to long ago but Parenting in the last 20years has drastically changed and we have raised a bunch of pampered snowflakes with no morals, rules or understanding of how the "real" world works! You will be happy to know...my children will not be joining the jerk nation... Because I WILL kill them despite whether or not it hurts thier feelings. Your welcome.

injaynesworld said...

When "Nurse Jackie" did it at the end of a couple of episodes ago it was to feel the adrenaline rush because she was going through drug withdrawal.

Mostly, I think people who do that are just into the whole entitlement thing.

I say hit 'em. You're broke anyway. What're they going to get? ;)

Anonymous said...

You too? One just has to say it over and over,
"peh dexing," peh dexing," "peh dexing."

jenny_o said...

Saying that these self-obsessed peds with an unwarranted high opinion of their invincibility are mentally challenged is an insult to actual mentally challenged people, who - in our town at least - obey the traffic signals and also hold down jobs where they are courteous and helpful and cheerful, as opposed to certain high school and middle aged employees who seem to think they're doing you a favour by packing your groceries . . . oops, drove off on a side road of discontent there :)

Belle said...

Interesting post. Why do people do what they do? When it is that stupid you just can't figure it out, but I love your guesses.

On My Soapbox said...

I think people do this all over the country because they feel they are entitled to. Yes, they can cross the street wherever they feel like it. Those stripes on the road are for other people.

Tempo said...

Out here in the country you beep the horn and move ever so slightly toward them...they run! It matters not to me whether they learn to get out of the way or whether we end up killing them all...

River said...

Ummm, I walk on the road.....but only on one road, early in the morning on the way to work, because it's still dark and the footpath (sidewalk) is very uneven and I can't risk breaking an ankle, then having to stand at the checkout. It's not a main road, so there isn't more than one car per morning, sometimes none at all, so I'm safe, plus I walk close to the gutter, not down the middle. In daylight, I'll walk on te footpath because I can see the uneven parts and step over or around them.

the walking man said...

With neighborhoods come houses and buildings that cast shadows. shadows which thieves thugs and rapists can jump out of. In the middle of the street there is street lights and enough room away from the shadows to run if something jumps from a shadow. Once a habit is acquired at night it is bound to carry over into the day. Now ya get it?

Daisy said...

They do it in small towns too. Sometimes I just want to nudge them in the butt with my bumper! Like yesterday....

Susan in the Boonies said...

Road hogs, fer shure.

Jhon Baker said...

I drive perilously close to them while chuckling loudly. It only takes a few time of doing this till word gets around.