Thursday, August 25, 2005

Dangerous Pedestrian

One of the things you can be assured of when I strap myself behind the wheel of an automobile, is that my mindset adjusts to that of "teacher" -- yes, I need to teach other people driving lessons that are usually along the lines of "C'mon buddy, slow down, why don't you? Don't you realize that this is a residential street, not the Audobahn?" I derive a sick pleasure from being able to see evidence of the elevated blood pressure on the guy behind me who wants to drive 60 down my neighbourhood street, but is stuck behind me (teaching him a "slow down buddy" lesson) as I creep along in front of him at a safe and residentially friendly speed, and then, carefully, oh so slowly navigate the turn into my driveway.

But one of the things that drives me nuts are the dangerous drivers who weave in and out of traffic, changing lanes like an insane high-speed game of "hot potato", cutting people off, swerving in and out of traffic, looking for a hole, any hole, to squeeze through and get ahead of the other drivers. It just irks me to no end that someone would drive so recklessly, endangering the lives of others, out of a selfish "me first" need to get where they're going.

I had to visit the Lost & Found at Union Station this morning (more on that epic adventure later), and, on my way to work this morning, ended up walking through the throngs of pedestrian traffic rather than my normal "far-West" stairway exit from the GO train, which avoids the majority of the crowd.

As struggled my way through Union Station, fighting against the cross-current of Bay Street bound pedestrian traffic, then scrambled up into the daylight, crossed Front Street and headed up University Avenue, I came to the startling realization that I was displaying all the symptoms of the "selfish" driver in my walking patterns.

When I'm walking in a crowd I have as much patience for slow walkers as a flea has body mass. I was weaving in an out of people, looking for any gap I could find, cutting people off, zipping left, right, ducking under people's legs, doing leapfrogs over the heads of the shorter slow walkers in front of me, heedless of the damage I might have been causing. And I'm not one of those tiny sleek sporty models with racing stripes and leather interior. No, I'm more like a Hummer charging through the thick of things, oblivious to the destruction in my path.

I realized, shockingly, that I was a dangerous pedestrian.

My, how one's perspective changes.

1 comment:

Kimberly said...

then don't ever come to the university campus during the school'd be plowing over EVERYONE!!! no one moves at a speed above that of a snail in the hallways, and it's so packed you can't go's SO COMPLETELY FRUSTRATING!!!!

ok, I think I'm done...I feel your pain Mark, truly I do!

kim :)