Watch Where You’re Going

I held off on this post because I didn’t want to ruin anyone’s holiday cheer. I didn’t participate in Boxing Day, but I can only imagine the bulls that were unleashed in china shops and shopping malls, alike. So I’m strategically placing this post on the day after such chaos (I’m assuming there was chaos), in an attempt to appeal to you more than I already do.

There’s no other way for me to write this, so here comes the rant. Everyone take three deep breaths and a brief sniff of smelling salts – dirty socks will suffice in lieu of smelling salts.

I don’t wanna hear anyone say “Ew!” at that last suggestion!

Let’s go.

Strollers. I’m convinced they are a seasonal thing because I only ever find myself complaining about strollers around the holidays.

I’ve never pushed a stroller before, though by the looks of it, it doesn’t look that hard. You strap your kid in, grab hold of the handles, and push your way through the mall.

Can someone please tell me why I almost get run over by a stroller every time (EVERY TIME) I go Christmas shopping? Please. Give me a legitimate excuse for why these stroller rollers come so close to making contact with me.

I was at the mall a couple of weeks ago, just walking along minding my own business. All of a sudden, a stroller was coming my way. The lady pushing the stroller had a wide open lane beside me to pass by. But instead of doing that, she made a direct line to my legs.

“Take him out at the legs, Mama!” – Her kid

She went out of her way to go out of her way and drive her stroller directly at me. At the last second she realized it would be too much of a hassle to have her air bags deployed, and went around me.

I’m telling you, she was about three inches away from us appearing in front of Judge Judy to settle this like normal, civil people.

If you’re asking me why I didn’t move, well my Mom was on my left and about 15 feet of open space was to my right. So what was I supposed to do? Let this lady drive her stroller between my Mom and I like she was Moses parting the sea?

NO!

Take your 15 feet of space and go. Formula One drivers would kill for that much room down a straightaway. And this lady wanted a head on collision, instead. Her pit crew wouldn’t have been too pleased.

Another year, I was blindsided and nearly sideswiped by an out of control stroller in the food court. I don’t want to talk about. My life had never felt more precious.

I refuse to believe that people are so unaware of their surroundings. Though I once found myself at a busy subway station on a day where everyone had to get off at the same stop and proceed on shuttle busses.

In the middle of the crowd – bumper to bumper butt to butt posterior to posterior traffic – the guy in front of stopped walking and pulled out a really big map to look at. I thought I was being Punk’d.

Who pulls a map out of their pocket, these days? Shady behaviour.

Are you serious? There are hundreds of people breathing up, down, and around your neck, and you stop moving your feet? Needless to say I committed a hit and run speed walk.

This guy was worse than a slow walker – he was a no-walker.

Slow walkers will be the death of me. That, or Toronto sports teams. Or pizza. Now, I’m not talking about people with injuries, disabilities, or the elderly – most of the time, the elderly are the quickest of the bunch.

I’m talking about the able-bodied Joe Slow, who walks as if he’s trying to balance a cupcake on the top of his shoe.

Picture it. Picture it. Picture it. 

Can you picture it?

I can’t handle it. Any slower and I’d be going in reverse. I can beep like a truck if needed, but I shouldn’t have to! I’m getting frustrated just talking about it. JUST MOVE. Or walk faster. Or stay home. Yes, stay home. Please.

Don’t be a Slowpoke Rodriguez. Be his cousin – Speedy Gonzales.

You know how to figure out if someone is a slow walker, or not? They’re the ones who never complain about slow walkers. Who do slow walkers get stuck behind? No one. Exactly.

And what do you get when you combine a slow walker and a crazy stroller roller? A person at a grocery store pushing a buggy! Yes, I know it’s a shopping cart. I call it a buggy.

If anyone out there also calls it a buggy, we are now beasties.

*Besties

Though we can be beasties, too. I just don’t know what that entails.

When I was a little kid, my Mom would take me grocery shopping all the time in the summer. My job was to push the buggy and park the buggy. I always found the best parking spots in the grocery store.

These “parking spots” were out of the way, but within eyesight of my Mom so she knew I didn’t get stuck in a freezer, or kidnapped.

This was my crash course lesson in buggy pushing. I was a pro. Tight turns, narrow straightaways, children at play, stray cans of tuna – I could maneuver passed them all.

Now that I’m a big kid, who still pushes a buggy, I’m amazed at how clueless some people are in the grocery store. They never notice that they’ve parked their buggy in the middle of a lane as others are trying to get through.

A few weeks ago, I came to a rare three-way stop inside the local grocery store. After 6 seconds of myself and two others trying to figure out who was going to push their buggy first, I whipped out a stop sign and a whistle and turned into a crossing guard.

Sorta.

I told both of them to go before me. Same thing, though.

What bothers me is that the people who are in the way never actually think they are in the way. It’s always my fault for showing up to Aisle 6 while they are there. Sorry, but I need chips. What do you want me to do? Make my own? No. Those taste like toasted cardboard.

I could go on forever about people being in the way. Like the left lane of an escalator. Everyone knows that’s for passing – just like on the roads. If you’re standing still on the left side of an escalator, rest assured, there are a half dozen people behind you staring holes through your thick head.

I was going to talk about drivers on the road, but what is there to say that we don’t already know about them?

As part of a driving test, there should be a portion for stroller pushing, walking in a crowd, walking up an escalator, and grocery shopping. If you fail at one, you fail at all of them.

People of Earth, it’s not that hard.

Here is a list of reminders:

1. Don’t walk at people, walk around them.
2. Thou shalt not steer a stroller into the direction of oncoming humans.
3. If you’re not complaining about slow walkers, you are the slow walker.
4. Let Paul take chips off the shelf when you see him coming.
5. Don’t be stupid.

Until next time, keep your hands strollers to yourself.

Rant over.

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About Paul

This is the part where I'm supposed to write something interesting about myself and you'll read it and think, "That's not that interesting." So let's not do that and just think about pizza instead, on the count of three. One, two, three. Donuts. Now, wasn't that interesting?
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47 Responses to Watch Where You’re Going

  1. Jess says:

    Same goes with people who stop in doorways, unless you mentioned this. I read the whole post, I swear but it’s 5:30 so my brain is not exactly holding information down successfully. But I cannot stand people who stop in the middle of entrances/doorways. I usually do a good shoulder budge/torso budge (because I’m short) and speed by. The wonderful thing about being short though is that I can do that, speed by, and the annoying person looks around wondering where the shoulder budge came from, or they think I’m a child and let the assault go. I’m like a phantom.

    I’m talking gibberish now. Byeeeeeeeeeeee.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Paul says:

      I can’t believe I forgot to mention that! It happened to me so many times just yesterday. It’s the worst because when you say “excuse me” they look like confused and don’t know which way through the door they should go. Lol talk gibberish more.

      Liked by 3 people

      • Jess says:

        Haha I loveeeeee when I say “excuse me” and they just stare at me and shift about a centimeter, as if that helps the situation. Let’s just stick all of those people on their own planet. Although it would probably look like the zombie apocalypse because it would just be a bunch of dazed and confused people standing in doorways. A little creepy now that I think about it. And I’m glad you enjoyed my morning gibberish talk. I’m sure it will continue.

        Liked by 3 people

      • Paul says:

        Haha just jump on their back and demand a piggy back or crawl through their legs. That’ll show em! That planet could be called Concussia because they all act concussed.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Jess says:

        Hahaha CONCUSSIA. Our days would be a little bit brighter with each venture. I just give them the stink-eye and pummel through. With my scowl, I probably look so bitter and unapproachable haha

        Liked by 2 people

      • Paul says:

        We need more people like that in this world and fewer people who look like they’d run for a pony ride at a seconds notice.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Jess says:

        😂 a fellow bitter person. I love it.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. James says:

    We call them pushchairs over here but otherwise it’s the same scenario. I was trying to walk somewhere the other day and there were three of them side by side blocking the way (because they were also walking slowly). Surely there should be some kind of ‘single file’ rule in that situation?

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Miriam says:

    Haha love this and agree on all counts. But I have the perfect solution… steer clear of the shops (that’s what I did this year) 😄

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Val says:

    Haha! I’m afraid (very afraid, lol!) that I’m a ‘slow walker’. In a supermarket my eyes glaze over, I feel like a deer in headlights, and I stop. Everything turns off. It’s why Mr H. does all the shopping now. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  5. darthtimon says:

    This post wins the internet for the day. I HATE blithely unaware people, especially in busy circumstances. Teenagers (those pesky teens!) are the worst. They will get out onto the pavement/corridor, then spread out so no one can get past them, then slow right down to a pace similar to that of a tortoise.

    Grrr!

    People will often park their trollies (aka shopping cart) diagonally in the MIDDLE OF THE AISLE in supermarkets. They then huff at you if you have the nerve to move it so you can get by it. Next time, they’ll get a sack of sprouts in the groin.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Paul says:

      Ughhh teenagers are the worst! Especially in high school. They would form a huge circle in the middle of a hallway just to talk to each other. Standing off to the side was too difficult a concept for them to grasp.
      I hate how protective people get when you move their cart. And then they’ll pull it forcefully towards them as if to say “happy now?” The unspoken language at grocery stores is quite vicious haha

      Liked by 2 people

  6. I’ve been trying to get kids outlawed in public but no politician will touch it. It’s like better food labeling, it would cure so much in the long run.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Squid says:

    To try and explain the unsteerability of strollers, I will give you first-hand advice from someone who has pushed their little brother in a stroller. THEIR WHEELS ARE VERY UNPREDICTABLE. It’s like riding a fast horse bareback. Steering is very, very hard. But, if they still should work on their steering before endangering other peoples’ lives.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. peckapalooza says:

    The grocery store thing just happened to me this morning. They make the aisles wide enough so that traffic can basically flow fairly regularly. If one person stops their cart… sorry, buggy… there is, in theory, enough space for me to move over and go around them. Not today. I stood there for a good eternity… maybe it was five minutes, I can’t be sure. This elderly couple parked their cart on one side of the aisle, then proceeded to take up the remainder of the space to decide which brand or off-brand style of toilet paper they would like to buy. Meanwhile, I just stood at the end of the aisle waiting. And I couldn’t look at them, because then they’d think I was a weirdo, judging them for the kind of toilet paper they were looking at and then it would take them another hour to change their minds. Or they would think that I was being rude or pushy. So, instead, I pretended like I was really interested in all the different flavors of pita chips the store had on display at the end of the aisle. But you can’t just ask people to move. Because then you’re labeled a social deviant and they don’t let you go back to your favorite grocery store where you know exactly where all the important groceries are.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Paul says:

      Haha what a full day you’ve had. I wonder what would’ve happened if you said to them, “I think you should go with (insert toilet paper brand). I’ve never had a problem with them.” Sometimes making an awkward situation even more awkward is the only thing to do. You’re right though, you must never ask someone to move. You’ll be outcast so fast. I hope the pita chips were interesting, at least!

      Liked by 2 people

  9. Barb Knowles says:

    Haha I said “Ewwwww”, my grandson said what ? and I read that you didn’t want anyone saying “Ewwwww.” I agree with everything you said. I have visions of you protecting your mom from the stroller-wielding shopper barreling towards you two.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. The grocery stores are a nightmare. The carts are enormous. The crowds are enormous. The challenges and dangers are enormous. The day before Christmas I thought a woman trying to get to the bakery before me was going to take me out. Not take me out for a pastry mind you…take me out for good. I saw my life flash before my very eyes as her cart came straight across my path. She had that glazed (donut?) look in her eyes and wanted to be ahead of me at any and all cost. I backed off to ensure I wouldn’t spend the Holidays in traction. No muffin is worth Death…well, maybe the cranberry nut.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Paul says:

      Haha glazed donut. Congratulations for living to tell the tale, you never know when a simple visit to the bakery could be your last. Maybe there should be stop signs, or lights, in grocery stores.

      Liked by 3 people

  11. I really don’t understand why people don’t just use those strappy backpack things, so you can wrap that baby to your torso like a hostage. Or a bomb. Takes up so much less space and hassle than a stroller, plus it’s good exercise.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Anshumanth says:

    I don’t know what toasted cardboard tastes like !

    Liked by 1 person

  13. idontknowcookbook says:

    I totally get it. I’m short but I’m a speed walker my children have to run to keep up with me. As for buggies in a grocery store, why must people be in the middle of the aisle and stand there forever looking at the same shelves they always do. It’s like hello the ketchup is in the same spot it was last time you were here. Pick it up and move on.

    Liked by 1 person

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