Tuesday, July 17, 2007

The Politics of Walking

Right, so here's my question: You know how when you go out for a walk around the office park, because it's a nice day and you could use the exercise, wearing the sneakers you keep under the desk (because you have become the kind of person who keeps sneakers under her desk, even though you still aren't sure how you feel about that) and your pantlegs rolled up because they're only the right length if you're wearing heels, and sometimes there is a person in front of you, walking just slightly slower than you are? So you end up kind of creeping up behind this person, fast enough that the gain is noticeable, but not so fast that you can just breeze on by. And then, when they sense you coming up behind them (by hearing or peripheral vision or ESP or whatever) they speed up just a little, so you're stuck walking uncomfortably close to a total stranger in a virtual lock-step, each of you totally pretending that the other one isn't there. So what do you do? Suddenly develop a need to tie your shoe, then walk unnaturally slowly the rest of the way? Jog for fifty feet and act like that is what you were going to do anyway? Just turn around and go back? Or put on a burst of speed like you just smelled something bad, ducking your head in a kind of "excuse me, sorry, coming through" apology without actually acknowledging the other walker's existence?

Personally, I tend to go with option D, but I'm open to suggestions.

6 comments:

Karen Murphy said...

"On your left?" Intermittent beeping noise like a truck backing up? Air horn?

Daisy said...

Air horn!

Abigail said...

oh no, you've given Daisy ideas. is this how she is going to get from store to store when we go shopping? with an air horn?

Anonymous said...

Quickly order something from the Acme company (say, a rocket powered jet pack, or gigantic sling shot). Remember to look out for cliffs, mountains, and sheep dogs.

--mary

Cornelia Read said...

I'm pretty sure Acme makes an air horn. Unfortunately, it's highly unstable and tends to burst into radioactive flames the moment your attention wanders.

Daisy said...

Perfect!