Living in New York, I get to experience all the terribleness that is Walking With Others.
Every day, every single moment of my life, is dominated by walking to or from somewhere. And unfortunately, there happen to be lots of other people doing the same thing.
The worst, obviously, is tourists. You can spot them by the way they stop in the middle of the sidewalk and the general pace of their walking, which I’ve clocked at just above the speed of a toddler. Who has one leg. And no eyes.
Let me make a Public Service Announcement: The sidewalk here is like the road where you live. You do not just come to screeching halt on the highway and you do not putz along at 25 mph either. Unless you want to get shot. I suppose that’s your choice.
While the actions of tourists can be maddening, it’s the Close Walker who really angers me.
You know what I’m talking about.
You’re walking along, maybe listening to Tennessee and thinking about how it’s a song about how god told this guy to move there, which is really kind of weird, when you notice a person walking closely behind you.
The Close Walker never seems to know what to do, so you must become, as the brilliant George W. put it, “The Decider.”
You have two ways of dealing with the Close Walker: You can slow down, let them pass and maybe give them a glare saying, “Yeah I heard you, just leave me alone!” Or you can speed up and leave them in the dust, which of course is the more immature thing to do.
Which is why I do it.
Close Walkers present a certain challenge to me, a challenge that I like to meet head on and smash, smash, smash!
When I hear them approach, I tense up and prepare myself for their attack. I like to let them gain a false sense of confidence by letting them pull up next to me too. Then, in a flash of blazing speed, I pull away. Often I even make a “vrrrooooommm!” sound in my head as I do it. This, I find, makes the situation much more intense.
As the Close Walker fades behind me, I do not look back. They know they’ve lost. I don’t need to rub it in.
If you’re faced with a Close Walker, I beg you to not accept defeat and let them pass by. Speed up and know that you are better than them, simply because you can walk to the bodega for a Slim Jim faster than they can.
Oh, and feel free to use the “vrrrooooommm!” sound, trust me, it’s worth it.
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