This one’s dedicated to Alexandra, who reminded me how much I hate this.
So, I’m walking in Berkeley, trying to get to class with some semblance of punctuality, when I get stuck behind that impenetrable wall of pure pedestrian evil–that group that walks side by side.
Five people. Next to each other. On the narrow sidewalk. Just chattin’.
I hate them consistently–no matter where they are, where they’re going, or what they’re doing (unless they’re elderly. I’m not a monster.). I hate them because if I’m walking behind them, I get stuck going whatever inevitably slow-ass pace they can handle that afternoon and I can’t go around because they take up ALL THE SPACE.
But I hate them even more when they’re walking towards me.
Here’s the thing: I think there’s an unspoken agreement most pedestrians seem to understand. Two people walking side-by-side on the average American sidewalk is fine (I can’t speak for Europe. It’s a no-man’s-land where anything goes). Anything more than two means one of them is walking into oncoming (pedestrian) traffic.
So, when I’m out and see these imbeciles on the end of the row barrelling down the sidewalk like a fucking snow plow, making oncoming pedestrians have to shrink to the side to make way for them like they’re the fucking royal entourage, I do the one thing I do best–brace my shoulder and shove. Continue reading