31 October 2008

Raise Your Hands if You Remember Walking

This was really embarrassing. Earlier this evening I was walking in the crosswalk and found a car stopped in the middle of it, parallel. I had to walk around the car and outside the crosswalk to continue on my way. The passenger door opened as I walked by nearly striking me. I immediately apologized to the driver and passenger, “I’m sorry, I thought this was a crosswalk,” was my smart ass bon mot.

So it seems crosswalks are to be taken over by cars now. I’ll have to stay away from them in the same way I avoid sidewalks. Pedestrians used to be able to stroll on sidewalks before they became the sole preserve of cyclists, joggers and the odd skateboarder (is there any other kind?).

I guess the only place to “walk” is across parked cars or by leaping from rooftop to rooftop. I’m just worried about a whole vertigo deal. I’ve got a friend in San Francisco -- Scotty I calls him -- who’s got a deuce of a vertigo problem. He used to be on the SFPD until he let a uniformed cop fall to his death. Last I heard Scotty was dating some blonde dish. Hope it works out.

Walking is so passe anyway. It’s going the way of the rotary phone. I miss the rotary phone in a purely nostalgic I-don’t-really-mean-it-way. Among the greatest improvements of my lifetime is phones. The whole touch tone business is a time saver and don’t you just love speed dial?

Caller ID is a real gift. Answering the phone used to be russian roulette. It could be your best girl or a telemarketer -- who knew for sure? You’d excitedly pick up the phone thinking it was a job offer only to hear a creditor prophesize your doom unless you paid up but quick. Sometimes with caller ID all you can see is a number and you get into the whole “who the hell is that” business. Thankfully that quandary can be handled by good old voice mail, another thing we didn’t have when I was growing up (around the Bronze Age if you must know).

Best of all is the cell phone. You can call from anywhere. At the grocery store and not sure if you’re out of limburger cheese? Call the better half and ask her to check the fridge.

We live in age of miracles, ladies and gentleman. Phones in our pockets. Phones that can take pictures, even record sight and sound. The missus has an iphone so she can check the internet on her phone and listen to tunes. I’m fine for now with a phone and ipod that are sold separately. I’m such a dinosaur.

Which brings me back to this whole walking thing. The car in the crosswalk might have been the clincher for me. I gotta get me a jet pack.

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