Stupid Pedestrian Pursuits

Just when I thought I was granted a reprieve from writing about idiots on our nation’s highways, yet another fantastic feat of lunacy took place right before my eyes. This time however, cars and drivers were not the featured fools. The spotlight was on the walking witless.

I’ve noticed that there are two kinds of pedestrians: The Trusting and the Cautious. 

The Trusting have complete and utter faith in drivers. Not unlike the kamikaze squirrels of country roads who dodge across mere seconds before tire tramples tail. I’m certain that if I asked a pedestrian of the Trusting variety if I could borrow his/her credit card for a little while to buy my sick brother a hot water bottle, my request would be readily granted, no questions asked. The idle minded are the ones who feel there’s no need to look before crossing. No worries. The driver will see me.

The Cautious perpetually glance around to make sure danger is nonexistent. Traffic is checked and re-checked before action is taken. They may even chastise drivers who fail to follow proper rules. Pedestrian pursuits are followed only after safety is ensured.

Yesterday, I drove on a highway that flaunts colorful fields of zinnias, marigolds and sunflowers along one side. Tourists often stop and take photographs of this picturesque stretch. 

I proceeded at fifty-nine mph (slightly above the speed limit of fifty-five), when onto the busy highway, about one hundred yards in front of me, stepped a figure in a broad rimmed straw hat. At no time did I see this person’s face;  her head was turned in the opposite direction, which meant that she hadn’t bothered to look for me either. Watching her easy, carefree gait, I slammed on my brakes, as did the line of cars behind me.

Should I have anticipated her little foray into traffic? One minute she was hugging a sunflower and the next, she was on the road. I study people’s minds (or the vacancy therein); I am not a fortuneteller.

While I waited for her to move, (she’d paused to admire a weed inhabiting the asphalt), I glanced across to the opposite side of the highway. Parked on the shoulder, a companion awaited the return of the lady. An indulgent smile played on his lips, head half-cocked. He seemed unaware that traffic swerved to avoid his lady friend’s saunter back to the vehicle. I’ve always believed like attracts like. This case provided evidence. Meager minds attract meager minds.

I’d like to say that I got out of my car, kicked the stuper (short for an exasperatingly stupid person) in the butt, knocking off her straw hat while hastening her toward  her nearby destination. My only purpose would be to see if there was a gaping hole beneath the straw hat where her brain should be. 

The rest of the way home I wondered why this hollow head crossed the highway without looking. Was she suffering from a crick in the neck that made it painful to turn her head? Was her simple-minded companion watching out for her? Or was she just plain old-fashioned stupid?

A few days prior, a similar incident occurred just before I drove straight across an intersection during a green light. A ped decided to exercise his freedom of expression by diagonal crossing directly in front of me. Since I was the first car out, I saw him coming and waited. He never once glanced in my direction. I shook my head for so long, I made myself dizzy.

I’ve read that role models are sorely lacking in today’s society. I disagree. I think there are role models everywhere. Though not necessarily all positive ones.

Stupers provide us with compelling instances of how not to behave. I believe I’ve learned at least as much from people who’ve caused me frustration and pain as from the ones who’ve provided me with stellar examples. Stupers exist to remind us of the importance of thinking.

Don’t stop thinking!


2 Responses to “Stupid Pedestrian Pursuits”

  1. M.C. says:

    I hate it when pedestrians jump out in front of you for no apparent reason. Is looking both ways first so hard to do?

  2. Suzie says:

    I think some “stupid pedestrians” want to be hit by the cars,
    so they can sue the driver.

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