Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Pavement hogs

I tend to walk a lot. This is because a) I'm too poor to afford a car or public transport and b) I'm too scared to ride a bike in London. This set up generally serves me well, because I live in walking distance of university, several supermarkets, and most other things that will keep me happy and alive.

However, I have noticed that whenever I am in a hurry, there is always someone in front of me who is walking more slowly and who seems impossible to overtake. These people I call pavement hogs and in my view are a menace to society surpassing asylum seekers, children and the unemployed. I have also noticed there are several types of pavement hogs, which, with the aid of clear and colourful diagrams, if I do say so myself, I shall describe here.

Type 1: The sentries
(aka teenage girls and tourists)

These are social creatures. They work in groups, where they occupy an entire pavement whilst walking at a painfully slow pace. Their most annoying trait is that they usually stand at a distance where you contemplate overtaking them by squeezing between two of them, but where they are just slightly too close together to eliminate the risk of physical contact. And as I'm English, making physical contact with a stranger is worse than a bee sting to the eye.

Fig. 1: Sentry pavement hogs

Type 2: The wandering tribes of Israel
(aka drunks, the homeless and tourists)

Type 2 generally act alone. They create their nuisance by walking slowly, but in no discernable direction. Therefore it is impossible to overtake them without the risk of them diverting course and making physical contact with you.

Fig. 2: Wandering tribes of Israel pavement hogs

Type 3: The stop-starters
(aka parents with young children and tourists)

This type of pavement hog can either act alone, or in groups. These type of pavement hogs walk along at a normal pace for a while, and then abruptly come to a stop, maybe to take a photograph, consult a map or berate a child. This means you, whilst walking behind them, end up doing a pedestrian foxtrot. Quick quick slow... quick quick slow... quick quick slow...

Sometimes these different types combine into super pavement hogs. For example, types one and two can be merged into the drunken hoardes of football fans, whilst one and three can merge into the tourists with a tour guide.

If you think I've neglected to include any groups, please let me know.

Fact of the Day #2

Terrorist attacks are more likely to occur on a Wednesday than any other day.

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