For as long as I’ve been allowed to cross the street all by myself, I’ve been dodging cars. I’ve seen my fair share of men’s watches, tennis bracelets, and sweat bands, only because they’ve been attached to the wrists of numerous apologetic drivers, who feel a mere hand wave is enough to make up for almost running a gal over. Sheesh!
For decades, there’s been an unwritten war between pedestrians and motorists. Each side, armed with good reason why the other needs to “get out of the way!” Whether you’re paying for gas or shoes to get you from point A to point B, you know what I’m talking about. Will there ever be peace? How do we stop the incessant honking and suspend all middle fingers from flicking up? City folk will always have places to go and people to see, some will walk there and some will drive, so how do we find the perfect balance that is – everyone pays attention and no one gets hurt?
It’s not rocket science, cars are much bigger then people, and you’d probably prefer to get hit by one more then you would the other. Drivers are issued handbooks, but pedestrians are called to rely on their common sense, and when a big giant hunk of metal is speeding towards you, does common sense have time to save the day? From one pedestrian to another I give you, in its simplest form, my unravelled web of logic, aptly titled…
The Pedestrian Survival Guide
1. Clash of Plans
Everyone’s in a rush. It is what it is. Your art exhibit is no more important than the father who’s trying to make it to his daughters recital. We’ve all got somewhere to be, and it’s top priority when we are trying to get there. But when you’re sporting two feet vs. four wheels, don’t let your destination cloud your judgement. It might be a fact that you’re late for yoga and jaywalking will get you there faster, but it’s also a fact that a garbage truck can squash you like a bug if he doesn’t see you. Meditate on that!
2. Be The Change
I was hit by a parked car. Yes, it’s a for real thing. It’s not as detrimental as getting hit by a moving one, as I only walked away with a massive bruise and a sheepish grin, but still a lesson learnt. I was texting and walking, which is one thing I can’t tolerate in motorists. If I received a dollar every time I saw a driver texting, I’d have enough to buy a car. I was forced to learn the hard way that it’s just as dangerous to text and walk as it is to text and drive. Whatever it is you want to see from drivers, be the pedestrian example.
3. Turn Down For What?
For your life, that’s what! Blaring music through your headphones does give the feeling that your in some sort of montage while on your way to work, but that montage won’t end triumphantly if you don’t hear the herd of firetrucks gunning down Queen Street.
4. I Think I Can, I Think I Can
If you think you can cross, then you probably shouldn’t. Be in the ‘know,’ not the ‘I think.’ Know you can cross. Know you can go. To put it simply…if you don’t know, then no.
It’s not worth it and you never know who’s watching you. You might have just taught some ten year old kid, that it’s cool to make the stupid decision of crossing when you shouldn’t.
So Mr. Maserati called you a dumb-ass, shook his fists at you, foamed at the mouth, informed you how much he makes a year, then sped off, leaving you with no choice but to eat his dust. What do you do? Hit the breaks! Breathe. Yes, you’re right! He’s a complete _______! But is that situation worth carrying around all day? Is it worth you having a curbside freak out, while passerby’s wonder if you’ve taken your meds? Hell no! Mr. Maserati isn’t spending the rest of his day replaying the argument in his head, why should you? Breathe deeply and thank your lucky stars that your not Mr. Maserati, the mobile ass.