Monday, November 22, 2004

Gripe of the Week

Blogger's Note: Due to some computer problems at work, and general busy-ness at home, I had a bunch of things written or partially written but wasn't able to actually post them. I've spent most of the day at my blissfully quiet new job doing blog maintenance and I'm all caught up, so if you're the type who checks in every day (and if you are then I adore you), make sure you scroll down to get all the backdated stuff. Thanks for reading!

Oh good. It's been a few weeks since anything has really pissed me off, I was starting to worry.

Let's talk a little bit about umbrellas. No, let's go back even further than that, to a more basic level, and talk about arms.

People of New York, must you swing your arms wildly when you walk, like some sort of deranged tin soldier from the Island of Even More Misfit Toys? Because, you know, when you do this in crowded spaces, like the tunnel between 7th and 8th Avenues in the Times Square subway station, you hit people. I know this is partly a reflex, that the human body is made so that the arms swing in opposition to the legs, but I don't know, even at my most relaxed and my most insane rush hour speed-walking, my hands just don't get more than a few inches away from my torso. More to the point, it's an awfully easy thing to control. Just put a half a second of thought into it and you can easily stop. Put your hands in your pockets or grab the strap of your purse if it's a real problem. I promise you won't fall over from lack of balance.

Which brings us to umbrellas. I won't even get into how inappropriate a large umbrella is in New York City. There's just not enough room for eight million people to open umbrellas more than three times the diameters of their bodies. But I can almost overlook that because I understand the impulse to not get wet. However, it's overcast today but not actually raining, and for some reason each of those people with a big Mary Poppins umbrella feels the need to carry it at his side, horizontally. While swinging his arms. I'd just like to thank you all for waving a long pointy object so thoughtlessly near my crotch. This behavior is not limited to the street. Oh, no. They do it on stairs and escalators too, putting the sharp end of their sticks right in the faces of the hapless people behind them. And when I gently put a hand on the umbrella and push the tip towards the ground, they give me attitude?

As long as I'm on this rant, I've also noticed that the same manic arm-swingers are also all smokers? It's bad enough I have to breathe your smoke, could you at least please remember that the object in your hand is on fire and be a little fucking careful how you carry it??

Thank you.

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