Archive for June, 2015

June 26, 2015

Mean Streets

I know I’m getting older. And, as a result, I’m likely getting crankier. But some of my complaints are justified.

Let’s start with an example. Just as traffic in North America drives on the right side of the street, so too should pedestrian traffic walk to the right on sidewalks. Otherwise people would be bumping into each other all the time. Walk on the right and pass on the left.

Now, a lot of people do not seem to realize this rule of the sidewalks. Minor infractions are harmless. But the wandering text-er or the spread out group of friends can make navigating sidewalks in our ever busier city difficult at times.

Today I was walking west along Bloor just west of Bay (I was slumming). I was walking briskly and keeping to the right on the sidewalk. Two older women using canes were approaching and I saw an athletically built middle aged man carrying the ubiquitous coffee container coming towards me. He moved to his left to pass the women, thus putting himself directly in my path.

I had nowhere to go to my right as I was already on that side of the sidewalk. And I am tired of moving over for misbehaved persons. So I continued straight ahead and the man and I bumped into each other. Not a huge bump but both our shoulders hit.

I continued to walk on but heard him yell ‘hey’. I didn’t stop figuring to avoid a confrontation. He yelled it again. I stopped and turned around.

He said: ‘what the fuck are you doing’?

I replied: ‘i was already on my side of the walkway, where were you going?’

He: ‘There were two ladies with canes on the sidewalk and you nearly hit them’

Well, of course, I would not have come close to those two women. When he tried to squeeze around them as I was approaching he put himself on a collision course with them when he hit me.

I simply turned and walked away. Then he screamed ‘I should break both your legs right now’.

Oh, yes…it took every ounce of control I had to continue walking and not turn around to suggest that he try to do just that.

Morals of the story:

…please remember there are rules of the road even on the sidewalk

…if you are wrong and don’t have the guts to admit it, at least don’t blame someone else for your transgressions.

…why is is so hard to stay calm and avoid confrontation? I really did want to have it out with that jerk.

People like that come in all sizes and from all walks of life. He is a self righteous asshole (I write this just after the event and I’m still boiling) who likely has never seen anything he does as wrong.

Suggestions on how best to handle these people?

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