You know what sucks? Incompetent sidewalk walkers

Josh Anderson “directs” traffic with the help of a powerful neon yellow vest in one of the most annoying sidewalk intersections on campus. The neon vest represents authority and power so individuals have no choice but to obey traffic commands. Photo courtesy of Ariana Hansen.
Josh Anderson “directs” traffic with the help of a powerful neon yellow vest in one of the most annoying sidewalk intersections on campus. The neon vest represents authority and power so individuals have no choice but to obey traffic commands. Photo courtesy of Ariana Hansen.

    I am going to make a suggestion regarding our core curriculum for next academic year. Instead of taking that pointless Freshman Seminar class, I am going to suggest that every student (and faculty member) be required to take Sidewalk Etiquette 101.

    I dread every time that I need to walk across campus in between classes. Walking on a sidewalk should be such a simple task. However, I have discovered that we have a plethora of incompetent sidewalk walkers.

    If you have ever taken a stroll on Maryville College’s campus, you surely must know what I am referring to. If not, then you are likely one of the incompetent individuals that I am complaining about. I am over playing chicken with people on the sidewalk.

    Every time a group bigger than my own is approaching from the direction I am walking in, I am always forced to move off of the sidewalk to make way for these people that don’t have a clue.

    Who do these people think they are? Last I checked, being named homecoming king or queen did not actually deem you royalty. Therefore, I do not see any reason why I always have to defer to the grass and mud beside every sidewalk while all these people just dominate the sidewalk.

    It is very simple folks. The first rule of walking on the sidewalk is (1) Always stay on the right side of the sidewalk when someone is approaching from the opposite direction. The second rule is (2) Always stay on the right side of the sidewalk when someone is approaching from the opposite direction. I hope you enjoy the “Fight Club” reference I threw in here regarding the rules. However, there is an obvious problem with the first two rules in that it means we must trust that everyone knows their right from their left.

    Seeing as there are plenty of ignoramus’s on campus, I am sure that many of them never learned this either. I know what some of you are thinking: What if I am walking beside a friend when this happens? Do I just shove them off the sidewalk in order to walk on the right side?  “Sigh…” If this is you, then I have a simple solution for you. The third rule of walking on sidewalks is (3) When someone is approaching from the opposite direction and you are in a group, simply fall in line behind or in front of them.

    If the person you are with is anything like you, they may wonder what you are doing. This is a great opportunity to educate them on what just happened so please take advantage of it.

    For those of you that are concerned about not being able to walk right beside your significant other for fear of separation, do not fret. I think you should be able to manage walking separately for 3 seconds to allow someone else to pass by you. Look at this as an opportunity to see what it’s like to walk by yourself and without your fingers interlocked. Besides, the odds of your college relationship actually working out long terms are slim to none considering it is all based on lust and a mutual interest in beer pong. Might as well get used to walking by yourself.

    I think I have made it clear what to do when you are approaching other so-called human beings on the sidewalk. If I haven’t gotten through to you in this regard, then I suppose you will just have to get a posse every time you walk to class. Just make sure your posse is bigger than everyone else’s so you can intimidate them into moving off the sidewalk so your group can walk comfortably.

    Unfortunately, this is not the only issue I have run into on our sidewalks. During classes, how bout a little urgency? I am all for the casual Sunday stroll through campus… on Sundays. But if it’s between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, my attitude is this: “Shiz gotta get done!”

    Therefore, if you are walking on a sidewalk on campus, please keep a good pace.  As much as I would like to uncomfortably pass you on the sidewalk to cause an awkward encounter, I would much rather just act like you actually have something important to do.

    I also want to make a motion for no headphones on campus sidewalks. I can not count how many times I have passed someone on this campus and looked like a complete idiot trying to say hello to someone who is not going to respond because they do not have a clue that I even spoke to them.

    Look, I understand. There have been plenty of times when I have not wanted to speak to, well, any of you, so maybe this headphone thing is a good strategy to avoid speaking to anyone. However, if this is your endgame, get some big headphones rather than the earbuds so that it is apparent from far away that you are not going to respond to a “Hello.”

So there it is. That is your guide to how to not act like a complete and inconsiderate idiot on sidewalks around campus. Feel free to apply this to other areas of your life. For instance, you can apply this to hallways, aisles, staircases, and moving walkways at airports… Oh man, don’t get me started on those things…

 

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