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Before we get into the nitty-gritties of why walking is NOT a good idea, I’d like to make it clear that walking for health is good, but walking as a mode of commute – er, not so good. In fact, walking is one of my favourite activities!
There’s an element of adventure in walking. You never know what you are going to step on next (ugh, a dead rat), who you’re going to bump into (that annoying neighbour who loves commenting about your sad life), what’s going to happen any second (yikes! Just got missed getting hit by that speeding car), or even what you’ll see around the corner (sarcastic tone alert: wow, a new dentist’s clinic – a kind reminder that my teeth need to be tortured). All this is fine, really, seriously, I frickin’ MEAN it okay, stop doubting me!
What’s not okay, and not fine and certainly not dandy are the main menace out on the streets – the PEOPLE!
Yes, your day-to-day common person is the devil in disguise I tell you. Let’s see now, there’s…
THE PENDULUM WALKERS
With arms swaying more vigorously than a pendulum, eyes turned right (and sometimes left or even skywards) march steps, being clones of Lot’s wife in the middle of a busy road, and fans of staring matches – these people are the ones I dread facing while walking my walk.
THE MAGNET WALKERS
Many a times have I come face to face with people who walk straight at me, even after I shift to pass – hello, I’m not a magnet that you have to come attach yourself to me! They also love walking with their chests thrown out, head tilted up, and arms outstretched at the sides – it’s clear they wouldn’t win a beauty pageant with that ‘bleurgh’ walk. They just look like they escaped from a zoo and have syringes lobbed up their backsides.
THE CENTER OF THE WORLD
Then there’s the unsolved mystery of why people love to stand right in the CENTER of entrances! I walk to the station entrance and BAM! I’m smack in the middle of a group of people occupying the entrance who glare at me as I squeeze my way past them. Rascals 😐
THE CRAB WALKERS
There’s also the crab walkers. I call them the crab walkers because they walk like crabs. Have you seen crabs walk? They crawl sideways as they make their way ahead. These people too do the same. It’s like playing dog and the bone with them. They shift to one side, then to the other, doing a sort of crab dance on the road, and they confuse you where they’re heading next, the result being? You end up banging into them as they suddenly decide to do a collision course – or just want some/any kind of bangin’ action 😛 Creeps!
THE SIDE-GAZER WALKER
Besides the above specimens is the side-gazer. I love walking fast, especially when I’m running late, you know. That’s when side-gazers appear the most. As I overtake someone else walking, they turn their heads and stare at me like they’ve never ever seen a race-walk before. Sheesh, they need to brush up on their sports knowledge! And stop staring!
So you see, walking on the road, not such a good idea in a busy town or city. Who said only drivers curse? I hurl the choicest abuses at the above pedestrians when I walk (though that’s mostly a one sided show inside my head) – my glare and frown spell the curses out, so why verbalize it, you know.
I’ve learnt how to deal with these characters to some extent, like I feign shifting to one side, and change direction when I know they’re going to crash into me, or I jut my elbows out just a bit so that they get my elbow heel lightly to nudge them out of my way, any props like umbrella, carry bags are used effectively to stop their swaying hands from hitting me in inappropriate places, and charging like a race-horse really helps in getting people to hastily clear the way.
So far so good, I’m enjoying my walks now though the occasional nincompoop is always present to make my inner hulk rise and POW-WOW them!
Please do share your walking on road miseries with me. We’ll crib about them over tubs of ice-cream or over a cheese sandwich/burger, whatever floats your boat! Until then, safe walking to you, and from me, safe walking to those who come in my way! Grrrrrr….
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