Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Turn that frown upside down.

Probably like most people, I have those random thoughts and memories in my mind that never fail to make me smile. I could be in the worst mood when a random thought will pop into my head causing the laughter to spill from my lips before I even realize my mood has shifted. It's quite amazing. (And no, this does not mean I'm bipolar. I swear.)

Today, I was taking a stroll on my lunch hour. CORRECTION. I was briskly walking. (I have to put it that way so that I can write down that I "worked out" today.) I was briskly walking to pick something up when I encountered one of the more offensive types of city people: the multi-person sidewalk stretch. Now, if you're a city dweller, you are nodding your head up and down quite vigorously because you know the exact group of people. You're minding your own business, walking on your half of the sidewalk when all of a sudden, there is a panel of people walking your way. Three people. Taking up the entire sidewalk. Rather than shift in their three-person formation, they will continue to walk forward, oblivious to anyone else on the sidewalk. Your two options are to (1) shrink into the side of the building aka duck out of their way or (2) play a game of human chicken and teach them a lesson. My approach varies based on the day. If I go for the first approach, I almost always throw a passive aggressive "Excuuuuuse me" toward them as they pass me. Today was an approach (1) day.

I was crabby for a moment, all ready to vent about the rudeness of people when a memory popped into my head that caused me to laugh out loud. It involves approach (2).

The summer I studied for the bar exam, I spent a good deal of time with my good friend Esser. We lived nearby and would commute to our bar review course together, either by bus or cab, depending on how late we were running. Often times, Esser's friend, N, would accompany us, as he lived in the neighborhood. N is a tall guy, probably over six feet two inches tall. The three of us would often be walking to and from our classes together, but NEVER in the multi-person sidewalk stretch formation. NEVER. Come on. I have more consideration for people than that. We'd utilize the relay formation, one person dropping back and the other person dropping forward to form a single file line that was entirely on the right side of the sidewalk. (Note that in this relay, there is no baton, however, it could be done if you were sharing an item while walking.)

One day, we were walking away from class when we had to pass under scaffolding covering the sidewalk. Scaffolding makes the passing a bit more difficult because it takes up much of the sidewalk. Maneuvers such as the relay formation are critical when there is scaffolding. We were in our relay formation with N up front when we see a woman approaching. While she was walking on her own, she was not paying attention and had drifted to her left side of the sidewalk. She was drifting, looking down, and about to collide with N. I saw this all in slow motion. Because we were walking under scaffolding, there was no way to take the first approach and get out of this woman's way. (Furthermore, ducking out of the way is much more challenging when you are in the relay formation.)

This woman gets closer and closer to N. Since he can't get out of her way, he prepares for the impact by making himself as wide as possible. It looked as though N had puffed his shoulders up and just . And she did. A full frontal body bump happened right before my very eyes. You do not see this every day. I promise. She was so flustered, while the three of us burst into gut-busting laughter. I don't know if it was the exhaustion or depression brought on by the heinous experience that is studying for the bar exam, but it truly was one of the funniest moments that still emerges in my brain to this day.

After I ducked out of the way today thanks to a three person sidewalk stretch, the slow motion full frontal body bump popped into my head and caused me to laugh out loud. As a woman, I don't think I could ever pull off a full frontal body bump. It's rather creepy. But imagining N do it never fails to make me smile.


  1. I hate those people. Almost as much as I hate those idiots with the gigantic 2.5 child strollers full of more bags than children. I hate those the most.

  2. I also hate those people. Navigating the sidewalk is like navigating a road. It's not rocket science.

    I've noticed most sidewalk hoggers are either tourists or hipsters. Since I hate both, it makes me even angrier.