To: My pet peeves
Attn: That person texting and walking
You trudge along next to the road, playing with something on your smartphone—maybe you’re texting whatsername, maybe you’re stalking some dude on Facebook. You realise that you’re holding up foot traffic and putting yourself at risk of walking into a park bench, so you sort of ‘pull over’ to the side. You stand on the side of the footpath and finish up—maybe whatsername says she’ll see you soon, maybe the dude only has 14 tagged photos and they’re all from three years ago. You put your phone away and start walking again, rejoining the traffic flow.
But for some unexplained reason, you don’t look around to see who is walking. You don’t take note at how many other pedestrians there are, or how fast they’re going. The path you’re on is almost empty, save for one other person. And you step at the same time they step. It is almost as if you have been waiting for them to catch up, and now you walk, side by side, with equal gait and velocity.
You are strangers. You are walking, together. Because you are the one that forced this situation to happen, it is your job to go faster or slower. Responsibility falls on you to make this situation more pleasant for all involved, but you don’t. It is unbearable. Your new walking buddy is forced to sigh audibly, change their speed, then feel like maybe they overreacted.
This didn’t have to happen. You could have avoided it. But you didn’t, because you’re a douchebag.