Wednesday, June 4, 2008


Okay. Apparently a big ol' segment of the human race needs a review of the flippin' obvious.

The sidewalk is for two-way traffic. That means that even though you've selected a direction, believe it or not, other people are permitted to choose to walk in the other direction. Almost all sidewalks are wide enough to accommodate this. Stay on your right, and they'll stay on their right, and everything will be fine. No, your right. Your other right. Get over on the right. The RIGHT! There you go.

But, yes, of course, how heartbreaking, you're walking with a friend, and the two of you really really really enjoy walking side-by-side. You enjoy it so much that you can't do without being abreast of one another for one single footstep. You've got to be able to see your BFF out of the corner of your eye, or the universe might explode. You can't even move closer to each other; you're the optimal distance apart! How dare these other people meddle in your perfect spacing?

Except that you need to. The typical sidewalk is wide enough for one person walking each direction. If you're walking side-by-side with a friend, and someone approaches from the other way, then you need to move over. It's not their duty to step off into what in Oregon is squishy and full of goose poop. You need to make room. You can go back to walking abreast one entire second later. You'll live.

No, no dirty looks. No, no indignant huffs. Just move the flip over, and be on your way.

No, no exemptions just because you're absorbed in a deafening conversation via your phone. Your joke stopped being funny the fifth time you had to shout the punchline. And even less so if you're texting. Instead, try being aware of the world around you. Yes, I left the word "revolves" out of that sentence; that was intentional.

These aren't difficult rules to live by. If you fail to, one of these days you're going to get shoved into traffic or thrown under the wheels of a thundering Schwinn. Get it together.

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