Saturday, February 04, 2006

Walking, Driving, and The Meaning of Life

Ok, have you ever noticed that people walk just like they drive? You'd think that the concept of artificial, fossil fuel-powered mobility would solve problems for the citizens of the world who choose to be slow.

You're walking down the street. It's the weekend, and since no one ever does any errands during the week, there isn't a bare spot on the pavement. Now, let's analyze the walkers.

First, there are the couples, proudly striding side by side, usually joined by some appendage, either arm or hand. They're talking, occasionally stopping at a store window, and ALWAYS walking slowly. This drives me crazy. Especially if there is a particularly narrow sidewalk involved. Of course, they are so enjoined by the "one flesh" concept that neither of them is capable of creating a single-file line for you so you don't have to nearly kill yourself walking in the street. In car terms, this usually translates to the car in front of you with two visible heads--one in the driver's, one in the passenger's seat, that has no sustained and predictable velocity regardless of the traffic lane it is in.

Then, there's the parent-with-the-baby. Watch out, single people of the world, SOMEONE REPRODUCED. Yes, so amazing given the most insignificant of God's panoply of creations can also do so. However, to the proud parent, it's as if he or she is the only one with offspring in the universe. This usually means an absurdly large carriage with every baby supply imaginable and a parent who will march over you with it just as soon as he or she will look at you because you, single person, should pay homage. If we make this a "car," this is the minivan with the carton on top of the roof, one tiny person driving it, and a "baby on board" sign in the back window. Oh, and if you pass this van, you're going to get a nasty look from the driver--you should be making way for ducklings after all.

Then, you have the "weavers"--people who move around other, slower walkers in every which direction to get in front of them. This is less hazardous than doing so on the road at seventy miles per hour in a metal box, even if it is a Volvo.

Older people, you have to respect, because they often walk slowly by necessity. Why this must translate to driving, however, when the mobility is not self-dependent, I will never figure out. If I were eighty and had trouble getting around, I would be thrilled to punch my car up to ninety miles per hour and rack up the speeding tickets to make up for it.

Thoughts/other observations?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I am glad for the old people who drive slowly, because they recognize that they have very limited powers of reaction. I'm not saying it doesn't bother my when I'm in a rush (especially on my small-town CT roads), but I'd rather they go slow than like a bat out of hell, because they just can't react quickly enough to avoid other cars, trees, the animal in the road, etc.