Today I walked to a coffee shop to do homework. Therefore, I was toting a rather heavy backpack. Despite that, I was still trudging along at a fairly swift clip.
I’m not a slow walker. I’ve had people give me crap in the past for walking too fast (“slow down and smell the roses, Bethany,”) but those people are simply under the wrong impression that because I walk quickly, I’m not enjoying the walk. On the contrary– I find a slow walk to be irritatingly wasteful. Why spend more time than necessary between points A and B?
But I digress.
There was a marathon going by my house today. Therefore, the sidewalk, while not riddled with people, was certainly more inhabited than is usual for a Sunday morning.
As I trudged along, heavily laden, a wide-set middle aged human male bearing a camera stepped from his post on the side of the road right into the middle of the sidewalk. Right into my path.
The thing that’s great about sidewalks is that they’re wide enough for three or more lanes of foot traffic.
The thing that’s terrible about sidewalks is that one carelessly (strategically?) placed human being can effectively block the entire sidewalk.
The wide-set human male meandered, making a speedy pass too awkward too risk. My shoulders ached from my backpack, which felt heavier as each step slowed. Finally, after attempting and failing to pass the wide-set male multiple times in the length of half a city block, the sidewalk opened into a driveway. I hauled ass and scooted around him. He seemed surprised to see me, which indicated to me that either a) he was oblivious or b) my Converse-clad footsteps are quieter than I thought.
This certain human male is, unfortunately, just one example of Slow Walkers. I call that category the Space-Taker.
Another class of Slow Walker is the Tourist.
Tourists tend to travel in packs of three or more, oblivious to the plight of people who work in the neighborhood they’re ogling. As they slowly travel down the sidewalk, they often abruptly stop to point and comment about something in a window, a busker, a hobo, or anything that seems strange to their innocent Tourist eyes.
Tourists also tend to tote umbrellas. (Worst thing ever.)
As a Local and a Swift Walker, I find Tourists to be the worst Slow Walkers.
Other categories of Slow Walkers are Parents, Partiers, Texters, and Talkers.
I would like to extend a plea to all Slow Walkers, everywhere.
You can enjoy the sights and sounds just as thoroughly if you’re propelling yourself along at a normal, quick pace. You don’t HAVE to walk side by side with your friends, especially when people are trying to pass you in order to get to work.
(And on a sidebar, people who don’t make room for people coming the opposite direction, forcing them to step into the street, are real douchebags.)
If you must walk slow, please just do humanity a favor and don’t occupy the entire sidewalk with your body. There’s enough room for all of us, people! And if you put your umbrella away we’ll be friends even more.
And a warning: Slow Walkers, every time you Walk Slow in front of a Swift Walker, you risk being punched in the back of the head. Or the kidneys.
That is all.