“So I took a big chance at the high school dance
With a missy who was ready to play
Was it me she was foolin’
‘Cause she knew what she was doin’
And I know love was here to stay
When she told me to…” Aerosmith
The world is a wonderfully diverse place and with the holidays fast approaching much of that wonderfully diverse place will be crowding the stores and shopping malls. I love Christmas. I love giving and getting presents. What drives me absolutely crazy though is the people who don’t know how to walk properly. Walking is a very simple task that most of us completely master by the time we’re 18 months old. Some people however seem to completely forget that they are not alone in this world. They walk as if every store, every mall, or every sidewalk is their own personal space.
Now before you go painting me as an impatient, type A personality Scrooge, consider this: If you’re driving a car down a street would you ever consider just abruptly stopping in the road to look at something on the side? Would it be Ok to drift back and forth across both sides of the road? If you are on a highway during rush hour is it appropriate to drive significantly slower than the rest of the cars just because you want to look at the scenery? Now you see my point, right? I don’t want to rear end you, and you probably don’t want to be rear ended by me. At least not until we’ve gotten to know each other better.
In the grand tradition of The Overlaughers, I would like to identify the three most irritating types of walkers:
The Slow Walkers: This is the simplest and most common type. We all know these people. They always seem to turn up at the most inopportune times, like when you’re hurrying to get to a restroom, or when you’ve got one item and you see an open cashier at the supermarket and it’s you versus Aunt Bea with a shopping cart packed to the brim angling to see who can get there first. Invariably you will be blocked by a Slow Walker with hips as wide as a city bus who prefers to walk down the center of the aisle, effectively blocking your path to freedom.
The Meanderers: Yes, that is a real word. The Meanderers of this world seem to blissfully combine two types of walking with ignorance and the result is a walk which induces boiling blood pressure and frustrated looks of fury from the rest of us. The Meanderers enjoy slow walking combined with the tendency to drift aimlessly back and forth as things in their peripheral vision catch their attention. I can live with the occasional Slow Walker because you can usually pass them eventually. The Meanderers make passing them almost impossible with their unpredictable forays to both sides of the aisle. It’s as if they have a sixth sense. The Meanderers can’t see dead people, but they can sense when you want to get by and abruptly change directions into your path without even glancing back.
The Stoppers: There really is no other name for them. They’re not slow or aimless and they’re impossible to identify until it’s too late, and by then you’ve accidently been very intimate with them. You may think that your shopping trip is rolling along fine as you coast through the mall towards your destination. The flow of humanity surrounding you seems to be in sync and all is right with the world. Then it happens. The person walking in front of you abruptly stops dead in their tracks. You either run right into them and get a mouthful of their hair and an idea of whether or not they’ve got buns of steel, or, in an effort to avoid them, you fly into gyrations reminiscent of when you walk face first into a spider web.
It is the frustration from coping with the inordinate amount these people in the malls during the holiday season which causes me to stay home and do my shopping online. Needless to say, all of these types of walkers drive their cars in the same manner in which they walk, so just re-read this and substitute driving for walking and we’ll pretend I already wrote that post. By the way, which version of Walk This Way did you like better, the original Aerosmith version, or the collaboration with Run DMC?