Thursday, February 12, 2009

I Walk the Line, You Walk the Line

Let's discuss pedestrians. You've been one, I've been one, we've both waited for them, so we all know pedestrians. Living in a college town has afforded me many opportunities to wait for pedestrians, and instead of letting all that time go to waste, I began characterizing them.
The following categories have been collecting pedestrians over the past 13 years that I've been driving.

Oblivious Pedestrian
: including lovers, cell-phone talkers, readers and the elderly. These pedestrians don't even know they're crossing a street. They never heard your screeching car just before it almost deprived them of their whole life (or at least their pretty Blackberry). What's even more frustrating, is when, because of all their wedding planning and sluggish sauntering, they are not one bit cognizant of you, in your sound proof car, cursing and using inappropriate gestures meant to deeply insult them! (Not me, of course...Jed and other people.)

Entitled Pedestrian: Entitled pedestrians know they have the right to walk across the street and you must wait. They do not hurry, they are ssssllllllooooowwww--reminding you of their special privilege. They want you to know that they begrudge your car. Entitled pedestrians, as a rule, wait until you've already waited for a big group of other pedestrians before they make their grand entrance onto the striped scene, making it impossible for you to hit the green light ahead. In fact, whether crossing the street or not, entitled pedestrians push every crossing button they pass, just so someone will have to wait.

The Out-Of-Cross-Walk Pedestrian:
You've most certainly almost hit one before. You'll be driving safely, cross-checking the speed limit with your own speed (as always!), when out of nowhere (but often close to Albertsons on Center) comes the out-of-cross-walk pedestrian. Now, as we all know from our Driver's Ed course-- or more recently, traffic school-- you are NOT supposed to stop for this type of pedestrian. Simply put: you stop, neighbor in next lane does not, and out-of-cross-walk pedestrian is no more. But even though it's illegal, the driver who doesn't stop always looks like the mean guy. You can almost hear, "Look at the wise-guy who won't stop for the grandma with her walker and 17 children!" from passers by. But what of the drivers who know the law and don't want to stop for grandma and her lot? It's up to you to make the tough decision. Just trying to save a life, folks. Or 18 lives.

And finally, and it's about time,

The Courteous Pedestrian:
You know them, you love them. They look at you in your car--acknowledging your presence, aware that you stopped for them. They hurry across the street. Courteous pedestrians check traffic situations before they set foot in the cross walk: by walking now, will I ruin the gap this left-turner has been yearning for? Could I just wait and go with this group of pedestrians a few feet behind me? Look--there aren't any cars after this one--I'll walk after she passes.
Because courteous pedestrians are grateful, they always wave. Some even mouth the words, "thank you" as they run across the street. You find yourself wanting to marry the courteous pedestrian. You park and chase them down...wait, did I go to far?

Be a courteous pedestrian. I like the wave. I need the wave. Give me the wave.


Teachinfourth said...

Kudos to the Courteous Pedestrian! I love them too...

A few of those others I just feel like hitting because of how smug they are...BYU students are really the worst (well, entitled BYU pedestrians that is).

Nicole said...

I love it!! I vividly remember driving to High School, or anywhere that I HAD to go through campus. It would almost always baffle me as to how these pedestrians had no regard, they almost always were the "entitled" ones. Fun post, it made me giggle.

Maria said...

Well put... I personally, am a courteous pedestrain and cannot stand any other kind. :)

Nan said...

then there is the inconsiderate "considerate". This also applies to four way stops. You stop, and you wave them on, and in turn in their consideration wave you on, insisting you go. To which you wave them again, and they wave you again and so on. So although they are trying to be considerate, they are actually being inconsiderate because they are wasting you time! Just go already lady!
Teachinfourth is right, you know its a zoobie if they are entitled pedestrians, yet when they are waiting in front of the wilkenson at the light at 11 o'clock at night and there isn't a car in sight, they won't cross until the light turns red!

Chuck said...

I always hate this too...

Where do you classify this?

jayniemoon said...

Oh man, I am so mad for those drivers Chuck!
Nan, agreed.

Here in Provo, we love holidays because our pedestrian count goes down 95%!

Sarah Burgoyne said...

YES!! THANK YOU!! GIVE ME THE WAVE!! Thank you Jayne! It's like you read my mind. Nothing ticks me off more then a pedestrian (especially one crossing illegally) that doesn't wave. I always wave!

Anonymous said...

Oh my gosh, that college prank was exactly like when a BYU devotional lets out!!!!!!
Been there!
I taught Jayne everything she knows about pedestrians!

megan said...

First of all, I always give the wave, and mouth "thank-you," and walk as quickly as I can or even run across the road. Unless of course, I have a kid, diaper bag, shopping bags, stroller, or other gear, then I have to just give a nod and a thank-you. I can't stand annoying pedestrians! But it is also annoying to be a pedestrian waiting to cross, and have the only car on the road, or the last in a line of cars stop for you. Why can't drivers be more aware of their position too?? Like I can't wait for one more car to cross...even with my bags, kids, and all.

ali said...

I can barely stand to type this obnoxious acronym, but LOL!

Debra Johnson said...

I LOVE this post!!! LOVE - LOVE - LOVE it!!! It's picture perfect!! I'm waving at you - right now...a big HIGH FIVE wave;) * And I'm throwing in a 'nod' ....well said - very well said!!