I’ve sounded off several times in the past at things stupid pedestrians do to make me angry but of course I’m often a pedestrian and there are many stupid things people do to me in this circumstance that make me angry as well. First and foremost are dickheads who apply “the rule of tonnage” to pedestrians. Namely, “I’m bigger than you and made of metal so you’d best watch the fuck out.”
The fact that pedestrians are squishy and vehicles are hard has resulted in all sorts of laws and protocols that attempt to provide some sort of balance. These include things like footpaths, pedestrian crossings and crossing lights. None of which are a guaranteed protection against some of the fuckwits out there. The most extreme examples that I have personally been subjected to include:
Being with someone who was hit by a bus while he was standing on the footpath. As large buses come into stops they tend to “swing” in at an angle which results in their front end crossing well onto the footpath. This happened to my friend – he was completely on the footpath (not leaning out onto the road as some dickheads tend to) but he had his back to the bus so he didn’t know what it was doing.
The fucking bus driver, on the other hand, was looking straight at him. The driver didn’t stop despite the fact he was heading straight at a pedestrian. He didn’t slow down. He didn’t change trajectory. He didn’t even beep his fucking horn in warning. And the prick acted like he’d done nothing wrong when my friend accosted him.
Luckily, all my friend received in this case was a shock and a bruise but there was a case in Sydney when a bus did this at speed and hit a semi-famous soap star and sent her flying through the air. She was knocked out when she hit a wall but more through good luck than good management she didn’t suffer any permanent injury.
Another instance I recall is when a dickhead bike courier nearly took me out while I was on a footpath. The spandex-clad moron came barrelling around a corner on a crowded footpath and missed me by a few millimetres. It’s unlikely he would have killed me but it would have hurt like hell. By the way, I don’t know about where you live, but here you aren’t allowed to ride bikes on the footpath. So, beyond being a dick, he was breaking the law.
In my shock I uttered a fairly quiet “fucking moron!” Spandex boy took offence at that, stopped his bike and leaned threateningly towards me saying “What did you say?” Now, I really fucking hate bike couriers, they’re such ponces. In Sydney they tended to hang around in groups, clearly thinking they’re cool and above mere mortals. I always wanted to yell at them “It’s a fucking job, not a sub-culture you knuckle-dragging wankers!”
Anyway, one thing working as a bike courier tend to do for you is give you pretty impressive muscle tone. This guy was taller than me (not hard – I’m a shortarse) and had way more body mass. He knew he had these advantages and was trying to exploit them to the max. But I was really pissed off. I literally screamed in his face “I said you’re a fucking moron! This is the footpath you ignorant prick, I hope you get taken out by a truck at the next intersection!” This scored some laughs from the other pedestrians and made the dickhead back off. And it sure as hell made me feel better.
One more story, this one about a pedestrian crossing. I have people tell me they deliberately don’t look at cars when they’re crossing a road where they have right of way. They think this puts all the responsibility on the driver. Maybe it does but most car drivers don’t give a shit about you. I do the exact opposite – I stare right into the car driver’s eyes so they can’t pretend they don’t see me. This also gives me a pretty clear indication if they’re not going to stop and I have to jump out of the way.
In one case, I was crossing a fairly narrow road in a suburban shopping street. Their was one none-too-generous lane in each direction, cars parked on both sides, lots of people and a speed limit of 50km/h. Not the sort of place you expect some dickhead to come speeding down the road. So when I saw I guy thundering down the road at around 75-80km/h in his V-8 tiny penis compensator straight at the pedestrian crossing I watched him very closely.
I kept expecting him to stop and he kept not stopping. I had only taken about three steps which put me right in front of him and he was only a short distance away and still not slowing down. At the last second I jumped out of the way (literally) and he chose the same moment to slam on the brakes, creating a cloud of smoke and drawing quite a lot of attention to himself.
So I got back to my feet and started walking again. This fuckwit had the nerve to the try and make it my fault. He said something out the window along the lines of “You’re supposed to look before you cross the road.” That was it. I snapped. I stopped and seeing as the wanker had his window open to impart his wisdom to me, I took the opportunity to impart straight back at him. At the top of my lungs.
“I was looking you fuckwit, that’s how I avoided being run over! This is a fucking pedestrian crossing! I don’t wait for you, you wait for me. Not running over pedestrians is not an option that you get to decide on a fucking whim! And there’s a speed limit here as well! Just shut the fuck up and piss off before I call a cop!”
It’s amazing how good I felt after that. Sometimes it’s the little things that can brighten you whole day.