Thursday, August 23, 2007


This post goes out to my friend, Karen.

I divide people into 2 categories. Helpers and Non Helpers. These labels are applied specifically to the act of crossing the street. You can tell a lot about a person by the way they execute this. Let me tell you how I cross the street. If a driver in an automobile is gracious enough to let me cross (outside of the crosswalk, where I do not have the right of way as a pedestrian), I dash to the other side of the road in as straight a line as possible while waving my arms around in gratitude, like an idiot. I am a helper. I am humbled when a perfect stranger takes time out of their busy day to wait for little old me to make it safely over to the opposite side.

Since I've described my helpful approach, you can pretty much determine what the other category does. Nothing grinds my gears worse than some chowder head who barely acknowledges that another human being is accommodating their lazy diagonal stroll from point A to point B. Are we not civilized? Do we not display simple decency any more? It is one of my biggest pet peeves. Even worse when the Non Helper is chatting away on a cell phone. The message is pretty clear: the earth and everything in it, including the nice person letting me walk across the street, revolves around my chowder head ass.

There is a subcategory, of course. The Semi Helpers. These are folks who actually make eye contact and give you what might be perceived as a nod, but the super slow pace and diagonal direction are still present. It's a small notch above the Non Helper, but it's still pretty bad.

I have employed one strategy on a group of hard core Non Helpers and it sort of worked, so I will pass it along to you, my helpful friends. The next time one of these selfish dweebs commits this egregious social error, sit there. Long after the person has crossed. Just keep your ass parked on the street for as long a time as you can. Naturally, this won't work if there are cars behind you, but if you are lucky enough to be alone, you should do it. It really messes with people. At least it did the one time I attempted it. When, and ONLY when, you feel satisfied with the amount of time you've sat in the road, you can proceed.

Our softball team got creamed by both our opponents in last night's double-header, but since it wasn't major league baseball, we didn't feel too badly afterward. Well, except for the all over body soreness. I literally had to lift both legs into--and out of--my car this morning. It was a lot of fun, though.


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