I almost hit a guy with my car today. I’m glad I didn’t, of course, but to be honest, it would have served him right.
This guy — or, as I’ve come to call him, Mr. Fat Sack of Crap — was clearly one of those Entitled Pedestrians that we run into (no pun intended) from time to time in this city. He clearly thinks that he is a Pedestrian, and is therefore exempt from the rules of the road that require that we all make reasonable accommodations for others. But not Mr. Fat Sack of Crap. Let me explain.
I’m driving to work at a not unreasonable rate of speed, when Mr. Fat Sack of Crap starts to cross the street. Mr. FSC doesn’t look left or right, doesn’t try to make eye contact with drivers to make sure he is safe, but walks straight ahead into traffic without stopping. I see him, fortunately for him, and I have to break fairly hard. The streets are icy, of course, and I start to slide. I can picture myself hitting Mr. FSC, not very hard, but hard enough to knock him down. Now, does Mr. FSC pick up the pace a bit, try to get out of the way? Of course not. He ambles across the street like an arthritic walrus, still looking straight ahead like he doesn’t even know I’m there. I honk — and not a gentle honk, but a long, loud, angry HOOOOOONNNNNNKKKKK — and still Mr. FSC doesn’t acknowledge my presence. Finally, he moves his blubbery head and give me one of those disdainful looks that says “What’s your problem?” I give him a cheery one fingered wave, which he returns.
If I had hit him, it probably would have been judged to be my fault. But it was entirely his. Mr. FSC made no effort to look around for traffic, no effort to protect himself from getting hit by a car, no hint of common courtesy that keeps up from descending into chaos.
I’m a driver, and a pedestrian. When I walk somewhere, which I do as often as possible, I am always aware of vehicles when crossing the street. I try to get across as quickly as possible, and as safely as possible. I try to make even fleeting eye contact with drivers so we acknowledge each other’s presence. This is what pedestrians do. Or at least, should do.
I’m hoping Mr. Fat Sack of Crap will be at least slightly shaken up by today’s near miss, but I doubt it. He’s an Entitled Pedestrian, after all.