Monday, March 2, 2009

The Sidewalk Walk-Off: An Ultimate Duel Between City Dwellers on Foot

I don't understand why anyone think it's so hard to walk in a straight line. People have to do it everyday. The police set a precedent of walking in a straight line as a test to prove sobriety. Drunk people fail, but they have an excuse -- they're drunk. Sober people have no such excuse.

A daily stroll screeches to a frustrating halt when the person walking toward you never becomes the passer-by, but rather an opponent in a head-to-head duel. The scene set transforms from two strangers passing each other on the way to their respective destinations into a fight for who gets to stay on that part of the sidewalk and who must hang their head in defeat.

Picture this: You're on the right side of the sidewalk. You're minding your own business, pumping top 40 singles you purchased off iTunes the night before bobbing your head with satisfaction. You stroll along flipping those flip-flops over the cement playground you call Washington, D.C. There's no need to pay attention since you've got your ear buds blasting that cute Jason Mraz tune with that light-hearted reggae progression when, all of a sudden, you spot the enemy.

They're about your height, maybe a few inches taller, doing the exact same thing you are. But for all you know, they like Coldplay and have a higher regard for themselves because of their refined tastes. The walker approaches you at a rapid pace, leaving you just enough time to notice your greatest fear -- she's walking on the same side of the sidewalk as you are. To make things worse, your eyes meet. There's no escaping her wrath. You have become a competitor of The Sidewalk Commuter.

Two choices remain -- you either move out of The Sidewalk Commuter's way or you continue walking until they get out of yours.

You run the risk of looking passive by moving but keep in mind, The Sidewalk Commuter is in the wrong. No one past the age of 16 should ever question this: you drive (AND WALK) on the right side of the road (or sidewalk). So don't be passive.

Be aggressive!

Show that Sidewalk Commuter who's boss by doing this...

They'll know who's boss after this curbside confrontation. Plus, there's quite an adrenaline kick to playing a game of chicken where you (the person walking on the right side of the sidewalk) approach a complete stranger with no intention of getting out of their travel lane until they call it quits.

It's a simple joy to treasure after achieving your title as "The Sidewalk Walk-Off Champion."

Glory will follow your reputation after your win but will also provide sidewalk commuters everywhere the right to a sidewalk free of pedestrian traffic congestion.

All you really wanted was some walking room anyway.

This has been a comedic rant from the mind and imagination of The Chicago to D.C. POV's R.H. Levitin.

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