Asshole Crossing

jaywalk
verb
1. To cross a street at a place other than a regular crossing or in a heedless manner, as diagonally or against a traffic light.Dictionary.com1
2. An easy way to get rid of any small dogs or children you might have been regretting bringing into your life. – The Nut


I live in a city full of jaywalkers.

You see them everywhere in my neighborhood, poking their heads out from the lines of parked cars on 4th avenue, waiting for that single clear patch in one lane that will make them feel justified in strolling across the rest of the road, confident the other cars will stop.

They’re on my route home; the daredevils who can’t be bothered to walk that unacceptably long block to a pedestrian-controlled light, preferring instead to wait out six lanes of rush hour traffic, making all the car-bound commuters nervous.

Drug-addled jaywalkers wander the Downtown Eastside, their “go ahead, hit me” swaggers so unapologetic and prevalent that the city gave up on ticketing them and simply lowered the speed limit to that of a school zone.

Unapologetic. There are an awful lot of unapologetic jaywalkers around here. It drives me crazy.

I admit, I am no stranger to jaywalking. 10pm on a totally dead Sunday night, I’m not going to spend five minutes waiting at the corner for that light to change any more than anyone else would. So I’d be a hypocrite if I denounced jaywalking entirely as a practice.

The difference is, I’m not a dick about it. But some people in this city are just asking to meet someone’s bumper up close and personal.

Exhibit A:

I was driving home once after a very long day at work. As I pulled onto our street, two women took that exact moment to start jaywalking diagonally across it, taking the longest route possible. Neither of them bothered checking to see if the street was clear before they stepped out into the road, and if they heard my car coming up behind them, they made no move to acknowledge it.

Then one of them said something that ZOMG the other just Could. Not. Believe. And they turned to each other, right there in the middle of the road, and started excitedly gabbing away at quadruple speed while gesticulating wildly with their hands.

Meanwhile I’m sitting there, two and a half blocks away from the cold beer that would be the first good thing in my entire day, suddenly wishing I owned Christine.

Exercising incredible self-restraint, I gave them a short warning honk. The women started and moved aside, but not after shooting me a pair of dirty looks for interrupting their oh-so-important girl talk.

Forgive me, ladies, but you have two sidewalks to choose from for your gossiping needs. I only have one road. So unless you’re on wheels, get the fuck off it.

Exhibit B:

I think the people I hate the most are the ones who insist on jaywalking even though there’s a perfectly good crosswalk half a block away. How much time do you honestly think this practice is going to save you? Waiting five minutes for a lack of traffic, vs. a ten second walk to some convenient painted lines where cars are legally obligated to stop for you…gosh, tough choice.

I was walking to the gym once when I saw a woman with her dog standing a mere two car lengths from a crosswalk, looking for her chance to dart to the other side of the street.

Why? WHY? Can anyone explain this? Dear god, woman, the crosswalk is RIGHT FUCKING THERE.

It’s possible she was already using all her available brain power, as she was splitting her attention between holding the end of her dog’s leash and doing something on her smartphone that was obviously very important, like sending out Candy Crush requests. Her dog, being a dog, kept wandering out into the street, and was narrowly missed by a few cars before Ms. Oblivious finally looked up from her phone and reined him back in.

My absolute favorite moment was when the street finally cleared and Ms. Oblivious made her long-awaited stroll across…straight to the corner that the crosswalk she deliberately shunned would have led her to about ten times faster.

Exhibit C:

What can I say about this last asshole? People, if you want to risk your own life dashing across a six-lane thoroughfare at the busiest traffic hour of the day, be my guest. But please, don’t be so much of a twat as to bring your toddler along for the ride.

It was rush hour. I was on my way home, waiting at the intersection of 70th and Granville, where there are perfectly good crosswalks in every direction. The light turned and we began driving forward.

Just then a man, for whom getting directly over to Safeway from the Asian produce market was just too pressing a need to warrant walking down to the corner crossing, decided make a break for it as six lanes of accelerating traffic bore down on him.

And trailing behind him, with a tenuous grasp on his hand, was his son, who couldn’t have been more than three years old.

Let me repeat that. The man ran across one of the busiest streets in our city at the busiest time at one of the busiest intersections, WITH HIS KID, and instead of picking up his little boy and carrying him, he just DRAGGED THE KID BEHIND HIM.

I don’t have children, but if I did, I would’ve run home and hugged them for about an hour after witnessing that spectacle.

So please, people, before you step off that curb and into the road, ask yourself this question: Am I being an asshole?

Actually, that’s a pretty good question to ask yourself before doing anything.

Although if more people did that, I wouldn’t have nearly as much to write about.


Today’s blog post was brought to you by the letter J, the number 30km/h, and the IsThatYourKidInMyFender Challenge, AKA the Blogging A to Z Challenge.

1 “jaywalk.” Dictionary.com. Dictionary.com, 2015. Web. 11 April 2015.

Advertisements

17 thoughts on “Asshole Crossing

  1. Like you I’m an occasional jaywalker, but only when I’m pretty sure I’m not going to get in the way of anybody who, either in spite of or because they’re behind the wheel of a two-ton hunk of metal, has the right of way.

    But speaking on behalf of my fellow pedestrians there are two automobile assholes I’d like to address:

    The first is the guy who, driving down the lane closest to you of a three lane street, sees you politely waiting to cross and stops and waves to you to proceed. And you decline because cars are zipping down the other two lanes, and you know the responsible thing is to wait until traffic clears so you wait until he gives you the finger and speeds off.

    The other is the guy who speeds through a red light and nearly runs over your toes while putting his phone down just long enough to yell “GET OUT OF THE ROAD!” at you.

    Granted these people do serve a useful purpose. They remind us pedestrians to be considerate.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The former example is one of my biggest pet peeves. If it’s your right of way, please, for the love of god, take it. Don’t make me out to be the bad guy because you took it upon yourself to try and be nice in a way that is totally useless to me.

      This is not limited to drivers. I frequently find myself in the position where it’s a pedestrian’s right of way but they try to wave my car through. I understand we Canadians are a polite people, but all this does is encourage more bad habits.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. The other assholes are the ones in the daycare/grade school parking lots who, after securing the issues of their loins, punch the accelerator and nearly (obviously) almost squish said child’s classmates…and to top it off they give a glaring look at the FIVE year olds mouthing through the windshield what can only be a recipe to ensure their child grows up to drag their future children across traffic.

    Like

  3. Admission – occasional jaywalker. But not of the a-ho variety. ‘Ms. Oblivious’ – what an apt description for a lot of people these days. Most of the inconsideration I see comes from people who are just not paying attention. Or if they are paying attention it is to their only needs only and not to the needs of others around them.

    As for the guy who dragged his toddler across the busy street. I’m thinking Child and Family Services. Or alternatively, castration.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Exhibit C is horrible. Horrible! But it’s not uncommon in Japan, unfortunately. Apparently jaywalking isn’t illegal, and people often peer-pressure others to join them in their “jaunt” across double lanes after parking their car a foot off the curb (I kid you not. There is always one entirely wonderfully lane completely unusable due to terrible parking by drivers that don’t want their hubcaps scuffed.) Ugh.

    Like

  5. No, you’re not being an asshole. Last example’s just terrible. One thing to put one’s life in danger, another to do so with a child. Jaywalking is way too dangerous here in SoCal with cars flying in every direction at all hours, so I don’t even attempt it … most times. Too many blind spots.
    Silvia @
    Silvia Writes

    Like

  6. As a British person, I feel it would be inappropriate to try to pretend any sort of empathy for your situation. As a nation, we jaywalk, always. I don’t think it’s so much impatience though as the fact that most of our roads are not very wide and they’re almost never laid out in convenient ‘blocks’. Nope, when we design towns and cities, we hand a blank piece of paper to a 5 year old, get them to scribble on it and then build roads to that plan. This means that the crossings are haphazardly placed in really strange places and rather than try and figure out where the nearest one is according to the flow of the leylines in the area, we’re just gonna go ahead and stroll across the road. Sorry.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s