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Monday, August 6, 2012

Perhaps a Lovely Cowcatcher at the Front of the Vehicle, Then?


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. (It's their street -- you move.)
  • The hope that 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.

42 comments:

Vicus Scurra said...

I done a lol.
You work here, also, is done.

Pearl said...

I do love it when you LOL, Vicus.

Pearl

mybabyjohn/Delores said...

They do it here too. I don't get it. A sidewalk on both sides of the road presumably going in two different directions for convenience and yet, there they are right out there in the middle of the road, arm in arm, walking the dog, talking, laughing....these are quite likely the same people I see riding their bikes on the sidewalk. Don't even get me started on that one.

vanilla said...

I don't know what to say. I am stunned, visualizing squads of the mentally challenged ambling down the streets of Minneapolis. Little bestids; squirt 'em, Pearl.

Bodacious Boomer said...

I especially love the folks who when crossing the street, do so not only diagonally but casually, without a care in the world, as if they're protected by some unseen bubble.

Laraine Eddington said...

If God had meant for us to walk on skinny sidewalks, He wouldn't have made the street so wide.

Pearl said...

Delores, so it's nationwide, at the very least? I don't understand why they feel this is safe. I mean, I don't WANT to hit them -- really! -- but I could, so easily...

vanilla, perhaps a new Olympic sport? :-)

Bodacious, exactly. The unseen bubble. I, personally, do not have a bubble. Should I be concerned?

Pearl said...

Laraine, I hadn't thought of that!

Shelly said...

I came upon three young uns walking in the middle of the road. They ambled and joked with each other, pants slung low under their butts, enough excess material in their pants to clothe a village. They would not move and I could not maneuver around them.

I finally beeped my horn, politely, of course, and just as the biggest one turned around with a sneer, his pants fell all the way down, pooling at his ankles.

People who disobey the laws of walking in the streets have some kind of comeuppance coming to them, sometimes even perfectly timed.

wellfedfred said...

And when the lovely folks from Minneappwhatever come to New York, they stand still in the middle of busy intersections to unfold and consult maps and have discussions.

SherilinR said...

and then they have the audacity to scowl at you like you're hindering their leisurely stroll.
buttheads.

Teresa Evangeline said...

I particularly like the line about "swinging around the block for a second time just to see how far this guy can run when he's blind." But, maybe I'm just in a bad mood today. I'm thinkin' heavy medication, prescribed or otherwise, might eventually lead to the others listed. Thanks for doing your bit for Minneapolis, Mankind, and My Mood. It's been lightened considerably.

jenny_o said...

@ Shelly: I bet you grinned all the way home :) so funny!

Pearl, you're more generous with your list of reasons than I'd be. Mine would have only the one: grandiose sense of entitlement. The older I get, the more impatient I become with those diagonal-xing lunkheads.

Douglas said...

Ever notice these streetwalkers wear mostly dark clothing?

Geo. said...

Great post! But really, who hasn't pulled into a service station, complained of power-loss and been told, "Well, you've forgot your car."?

R. Jacob said...

Just consider it a way of thinning the herd.

erectile ? are you responsible for those e mails?

;-)

joeh said...

When they do cross, they do it very slowly and then give you a glance that says, "You better not friggin hit me!"

I always think, so if i'm on a cell phone and do hit you, what are you going to do...YOUR DEAD ASSHOLE!!!

Twisted Scottish Bastard said...

I do believe that you missed a possible explanation from your list.

They're dicks.

Leenie said...

The Zombie Apocalypse is the correct answer to everything.

Belle said...

Canadians speed like they are all late for something important, so pedestrians are taking a real chance walking on the roads here. However, the teenagers still tend to do it in my neighborhood.

bill lisleman said...

I believe the suburbs are the opposite. Non-driven people (most are driven) are very afraid of roads unless they are on a bicycle or wearing running clothes. Drivers are most likely to watch out for squirrels, deer and rabbits than people. Being in the city builds a sense of power over cars. Speed has a role in this too. Both the speed of the cars and the speed taken by the peds.

Stephen Hayes said...

Someone needs to wise up anyone who thinks they can successfully sue a driver who hits them if they're walking down the middle of the road. Here in Oregon a driver recently hit and killed a woman walking down the middle of the road. It was nighttime and the woman was wearing black. The police did not ticket the driver.

Gigi said...

Those heinous little bestids (now my newest, and most, favoritest word EVER) MUST be related to the same idiots who like to meander down the middle of the lanes in parking lots. *sigh* Some days it takes EVERY ounce of control that I have not to just run them right over.

Indigo Roth said...

Hey Pearl! Erectile dysfunction? You can get pills for that. But if you end up walking zombie-like down the middle of the street for more than five hours, you should seek medical advice. Indigo x

River said...

Forget the cowcatcher. Get one of those earth mover scoops and just scoop them up as you go along. When you park and lock up your car, just leave them to scramble out by themselves and get on with their meanderings. Or you could dump them at the nearest police station.

Paula Wooters said...

If only we could just take those fools out! One of my son's favorite movie lines is from GoldenEye... "Use the bumpers, that's what they're for!" We often shout that out to each other as we're headed toward a "ped" not "x"ing but strolling down the roadway!

HermanTurnip said...

Can I hand out this post to the weekend bicyclists who deck themselves out in the latest biking attire and ride three abreast, encroaching in the slow lane and daring anyone to hit them? Bastadges...

HermanTurnip said...

Can I hand out this post to the weekend bicyclists who deck themselves out in the latest biking attire and ride three abreast, encroaching in the slow lane and daring anyone to hit them? Bastadges...

Mel Heth said...

I drive a Prius and it's particularly satisfying to sneak up behind a middle-of-the-road walker because often they can't even hear my quiet car coming. And then they realize it's there and jump. Quite entertaining...

klahanie said...

Hey Pearl,
Now then, slightly different angle on this. Folks blocking the middle of the sidewalk, sorry spell check, folks blocking the middle of the pavement which forces me to end up in the road with an 'articulated lorry', yes trucks can talk in lil' ol' Britain, coming straight towards me...I note that it's often 'old rage' pensioners ironically complaining about how rude the young folks are these days, who are blocking the middle of the sidewalk.
The first time I saw a sign in America that stated, okay it didn't really talk, the first time I saw a sign that had "Pedxing" I asked what's a 'pedzing'. Oh, a pedestrian crossing. Doh!
See ya later eh, Pearl.
Your starstruck fan, shy and humble Gary :)

Eva Gallant said...

Your work was well done! Great post. I wonder how you so easily pick out the erectile dysfunction, though.

Daisy said...

We have some folks of dubious intelligence here too. I so very very much want to place my front bumper ever so gently on their rear ends and then "hit the gas".
Then there are the ones who "saunter" across the crosswalk, kind of daring you to hit them. Just thinking of it makes me feel like going out and "bagging" a pedestrian.

Tempo said...

They need 'retraining' best achieved by running them down with a car (preferably a 4WD so you dont need constant repairs on the car)

The Elephant's Child said...

Not only are they ambling down the centre of the road, they have head phones AND they are on their stinking phones as well. Hiss and spit.

CarrieBoo said...

LOLOLOLOL! I'd love to just ram them ever so slightly. I'm going with the grandiose sense of entitlement, and simply being too cool to use sidewalks.

the walking man said...

Don't know Minneapolis well enough to say but in Detroit the middle of the street is safer both day and night. You're under the lights not in shadows where the evil thing lurks waiting always waiting to reach out and touch someone foolish enough to get too close.

Raymond Alexander Kukkee said...

Pearl, if you had a scoop on the front of the car instead of the cow-catcher, you could be richer. I hear Soylent Green is paying a bonus for pre-flattened P-xing Minneapolis moppers these days..
You may even have to restrain yourself :)

NotesFromAbroad said...

You would have the Best time if you were here, visiting me and xing the street !!
oh my God. The thrill of seeing if you make it to the other side without being flattened by a city bus, creamed by a fire truck, smashed by a typical Argie driver ... the thrill is unmatched.

Amy said...

Whenever this happens to me I wish I had a really loud, annoying horn or better, an air horn to startle the cool out of them.

see you there! said...

I agree with Herman, bikers are worse than peds in my area. Did you ever see someone on a bike stop at a stop sign or even a red light? No? I thought not.

Darla

Pat Tillett said...

A cowcatcher sounds like the most humane way to handle it, but I'd like to opt for the a "wheat thresher" solution...

Susan in the Boonies said...

No, but SERIOUSLY! I agree! The street is made for cars, and if a pedestrian is going to walk in the middle of the road, he/she better dang well plan on getting over when a car comes.

I stand four square with you on this one, PearlieMay.

Just not in the middle of the road.