speed kills

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.


(Now that you’re done here, first leave a fabulously witty comment, then go and enter Stoogepies contest, in which you can win a prize worth $600!  All you have to do to enter is vote for Chrissy at the Bloggers Choice Awards as the “Hottest Mommy Blogger.”  Which she is, so just do it.  It’s that simple!  The prize is worth it! Plus, if she wins it means we took down one of the mega bloggers, Dooce.  Now go vote and stick it to the man! Er, woman!)


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49 responses to “speed kills

  1. i’m a fast walker. i blame it on the fact that my legs are 3/4 of my height… therefore i’ve never been approached by a close walker. i’m too fast for them… for anyone. i have however run straight into the back of people who decide to just STOP where they are. i’m fine with knocking these people over.

  2. Matt

    Unless it’s a hot chick…in which case, I like to walk behind them.

  3. I think there should be sidewalk/pavement lanes. Like in a public swimming pool. Slow people go over there

  4. Slow walkers. I. Hate. Them. Why can’t the NYPD stop harassing and maiming bike riders and go after slow walkers instead?

  5. Ben

    Please note, if you decide to walk on the left side of the sidewalk, you are thereby forfeiting all right-of-ways and are putting yourself at unecesary risk of being blogged about by irate community members.

  6. I let people pass because I’m polite and I want to check out their ass.

  7. hahahahahahahahahaha

    “a game of horseshoes! a game of horseshoes!!!”

    made me crack tha fuck up! awesome tag!

  8. I live my life by not walking anywhere. Saves me the irriation of people!

  9. I cannot listen to Tennessee when I’m walking.

    It makes me strut around like I think I’m all that.

    Of course I AM all that, but you know.

    I don’t want people to think I think I am.

    AND a victory over mega bloggers is a victory for us all! Let’s do this thing!

  10. I maintain that Toronto is one of the worst cities in the world to walk in. Not because people walk slowly, oh no, but because they will actually shove you if you’re in their way. And not even for a legit excuse like making the subway or getting into the LCBO before it closes, it’s always for something stupid, like shimmying into the 24-hour grocery store or the prayer circle at that “all faiths are welcome” chapel on Bloor.

    Friendly Canadians me arse. It’s a good thing I like a good shove in the morning, otherwise I never would have survived my undergrad at U of T.

  11. JL

    I don’t walk. It kills like a ton of people – heart attacks, collisions with vehicles, sidewalk cave-in (it happens). That shit’s scary. I teleport.

  12. As a person of size (how’s THAT for pc? huh?), I probably don’t walk as speedily as many would like, but if this morning is any indication, I apparently at least walk relatively normally. I walked in with a co-worker, and I swear it must have taken 15 minutes to walk from our closest parking lot to the building. I kept slowing down and slowing down and I was STILL lapping her! I was embarrassed with all the people jostling around us and BEATING US…

    Here are my walking hates:

    slow walkers
    walking behind a smoker
    walking behind a smelly person
    walking behind someone limping/handicapped
    walking with fast people
    walking with slow people
    walking behind people yammering on their cells

  13. Well, that tag stole my first (and superior) comment, so all I can really offer up is:

    But I am still thirsty.

    Also, even he admits it’s weird, dude – “For some strange reason it had to be, it was all a dream about Tennessee.”

    I wish I’d had to look those lyrics up.

  14. i don’t mind close walkers….if its a hot guy trying to get my number its a bonus….or a homeless trying to let me know i look nice and then asking me for money, added bonus…

  15. I get carried wherever I go.

  16. now you have motivation to work harder at your job and get a promotion, so you can make enough money to hire a driver to chauffeur your ass around town. That way, you can avoid mingling with the peasants and the peons and the rest of the filthy, squalid, unwashed masses that use those common sidewalks!

    (is that witty enough? do i win?)

  17. Miz

    speed kills…especially the kind starring keanu reeves.

  18. I like to weave in front of them so that they can’t get past and they have to walk at MY speed.

    I find that being as annoying as possible to others makes me a happy Rachel

  19. deutlich

    note to self: at next year’s blogger meet-up follow Chris as closely as possible for about an hour and videotape his reaction

  20. Also try “mistakingly” elbowing them in the stomach. Hehe.

  21. Oh, don’t forget about the “Wedge Walker”. You know, the walker that inches closer and closer to you, slowly pushing you off your “Walk Line”, all the while completely oblivious to his/her annoying intrusion. That drives me insane!

  22. jenny – I bet I’m faster than you.

    matt – Of course!

    lizsara – Man, that is a really good idea. I would love that.

    dingo – I know, it makes me want to murder people.

    ben – Exactly.

    maxie – I see the ass part, but not the being polite part.

    mental – Thanks man, love that song.

    allthewine – Yeah, but then you have to deal with drivers.

    kristen – We’re going to crush her!

    aine – Hahaha – they push you??? That’s awesome.

    jl – Teach me how to teleport.

    shelly – I think you summed that up pretty nicely.

    pistols – That’s true, he does. And no shame knowing those lyrics, it’s a classic.

    dmb5 – Gotta love those homeless people.

    justin – Well, yeah, that’s because you’re a king.

    losingit – Yes, nice and witty.

    miz – Hahaha – poor, poor Keanu.

    inreallife – I like that about you.

    deutlich – Hahaha – perfect!!!

    marie – Yes, this is a classic move.

    foxy – You can’t let them bully you! Nudge them back!

  23. walking in the city is a learned experience – people don’t realize it until they live here that there are RULES. recently – no holding hands or locking arms of more than 2 people; i’ve already seen the new college students doing that in groups of four or more. i am super fast, stay-away-from-me walker in the streets. can’t deal with people. can’t. deal.

  24. I don’t walk. I let the tiny old Thai woman I keep in the basement carry me on her back so my feet don’t touch the ground where those of lower castes have walked.

    Wait, I think that’s in a book I’m reading.

    I added a prize to the contest too.


  26. k8

    I think that’s been the problem when I’ve been in NYC where my sister lives. I live in the Midwest. On the plains. There aren’t that many people. The idea of people walking too close to me in my personal space kinda freaks me out. I get all panicky and stupid and she usually just leaves me in a corner in the grocery store with a cart and says she’ll bring me stuff and then she’ll walk me to the checkout. Holy Jesus. I’m a pansy.

  27. I would also like to mention the Weaving Walker.

    These are the people who can’t decide which side of the sidewalk they’d like to use. Sometimes they are in the middle. Sometimes on the left. Sometimes on the right. The challenge is that they are walking too slowly for this to be OK (can be a subset of the tourist/slow walker), so you must try to pass them without getting injured.

  28. I’m willing to cut the tourists some slack because they are, after all, tourists. But the old folks in their scooters paid for with my tax money should drive them in the street and get off the goddamn sidewalk. Also, crippled people: aren’t I paying your disability or whatever so you can stay home? What the hell are you doing window shopping on my dime?

    Hurry peoples! Vote for Crissy! You can win Melissa’s books signed by the genius herself with a custom message and you can also win a sweet digital camera package. Just for voting! So what are you waiting for?

  29. Too bad you can’t brake check people while walking. Maybe people in New York need brake lights on their ass.

  30. I’m glad to hear that I’m not the only one with an aversion to one-legged, eyeless toddlers. Little punks.

  31. i am the queen of the saunter. i walk so so so slow.

    but i have short legs, i can’t help it.

  32. Chris I feel like you may HAVE STOLE A FUTURE POST RIGHT OUT OF MY HEAD. I have thought this so many times. No kidding. 🙂

  33. All I have to do to possibly win a digital camera is vote for Chrissy? Done and done! Seriously, I’m gonna win!

  34. Seeing as I live in LA I walk nowhere. Who knew that horrible song was actually true?

  35. maybe listening to Tennessee…..ahahahahahaha

    as for close walkers, I just STOP abruptly so that crash into me 🙂 but I like the vvvvvrrrrrrooooom sound effect. hmmm.

  36. Racing on the sidewalk is the tops.

  37. I am a fast walker even with my short midget legs. I’ll have you know even when I was a tourist in NYC I still walked fast – I fit right in.

  38. I pull off at an available stopping point where I am in no one’s way, and I glare angrily at the close walker all up in my space. They never notice.
    But I swear, when I walk in NY, I could pass for a local, you wouldn’t hate me.

  39. jessica – That’s my kind of walker!

    melissa – Justin is smarter than both of us combined.

    k8 – Hahaha – at least you know it.

    erin – Yes! Pick a side dammit!!!

    stoogepie – Cripples should stay indoors at all times.

    narm – Put a patent on that!

    heather – Bastards, all of them.

    alexa – I will put you in a cab then.

    paula – Sorry! You can still write it, it’ll be your take.

    mindy – No! I am!

    chardsy – I don’t really understand what you’re saying.

    maegan – Give it a try, it’s fun.

    rs – I need a stripe and some sponsors to put all over my clothes.

    megkathleen – Wasn’t that you with the fanny pack?

    megan – I believe you, you seem like a good walker. You know, judging by your blog.

  40. Chris, I challenge you to a game of horseshoes. A GAME OF HORSESHOES!

  41. i’m such a slow walker it’s almost embarrassing.

  42. I think my mother would do very well in NYC. Considering she walks at about the speed Michael Phelps swims. Keeping up with her is like training for the Olympics.
    So probably I would do well in NYC too.

  43. I’ve always been a fast walker- the forgetfulness of ADD makes you run around to do the things you forgot to do, and my friends complain all the time about my “unusually fast gait” (i.e. scary race-walking) – but I never, ever, neglect to go “Hell yeah!” in my head (i.e. out loud, always) when I pass them and leave them in my motherfucking dust.
    Take that! Slowsters!

  44. Rachel

    I think you should say the “vroom” part out loud…and maybe let out a nice “screech” when you halt!

  45. Kim

    I’m with ya! I walk fast and always end up behind some slow walker and since I’m Southern (capitalization intended!) I’m oh so polite, so I stay behind until I can pass them without causing a scene. Yesterday I was out shopping and this old man was on the OTHER side of the aisle from me, of course, walking slow. I thought (literally) at least he’s on the other side…and wouldn’t you know it, the old f*cker starts tottering over into my path. I don’t know if he had a case of vertigo, if he was drunk, or if he was one of those old people that do things just to bug young people, but he ended up RIGHT IN FRONT OF MEEEEEE! I wanted to give him a wedgie with his Depends. He took 10 seconds from me that I will never get back.

  46. Auuuugh…I HATE the Close Walkers! Thank you for finally addressing this issue. And for addressing the issue of the slow walkers, who, inevitably, I want to punch in the back of the head in the hopes that when they stop and turn to yell, I can zoom past them on the inside and get away from them.

  47. longredcape

    Ahaha I am cracking up thinking about you using that “Vroom” sound in your head.

    In that picture of you walking (I guess it’s your Facebook profile pic maybe? I don’t know) are you trying to get away from a close walker?

  48. There really aren’t any fast walkers in Flagstaff usually because everyone is high. But once when I was in Phoenix visiting my best friend, Nicole, we were walking downtown and experiencing a VERY close walker. I’m talking almost stepping on the backs of our feet close. Nicole, who is red-headed and therefore quite sassy, finally turned around and said, “DO YOU MIND!?”

    The person was terrified. It was hilarious.

  49. I challenge you to a game of horseshoes – A GAME OF HORSESHOES!

    Ok, not really. just singing the song. I suck at that game

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