So here on WordPress there’s this great feature that allows you to see what search strings have drawn people to your site. Last week someone came around looking for, and I quote, “Skills that require licensing.” Good on you, Mr. Like-Minded Individual Sir. Besides jukebox operating there are many such skills that should mandate federal licensing. Which brings me to this week’s offering:
Miss(ed) Manners: Urban License #2: LHTFWA
That’s short for Learned How To Fucking Walk Already.
New York is literally FULL of sidewalks and guess what? People walk on them. For the most part, very poorly. Too slow, too fast, not straight enough, wrong side, stopping when you should be going, etc. These are the tell-tale signs of the retarded streetwalker.
If people were made to apply for streetwalking permits, this city would be a better place. In the license application below I’ll explain in further detail the very simple process (including a six week Walker’s Ed training program) one would have to go through in order to receive their LHTFWA certificate.
At this point you may be wondering aloud, “Dave, how do I know if I’m a problem streetwalker?”
There are a few signs. First, are you drooling? If yes, wipe your mouth and stand away from the glow box, Corky. Second, when you walk do you routinely hear the gruff, forced exhales of angry people as they try to shuffle around you and your club foot? No?
Most problem walkers fall into one of four categories.
1) The Wobble Walker or Shambling Mound
(If you got that joke meet me on top of a high building for a joint suicide on the grounds of hyper-nerdiness)
The Mound usually weighs in at somewhere between 290 and infinity pounds. Their amorphous globular shape seems to ripple in the wind as they take up the entire street ahead of you. The problem with Wobble Walkers isn’t that they’re fat, it’s that they move from side to side more than they progress further. The overweight are A-OK with me so long as they use that girth to get a little forward momentum going. Not Wobblers though, no they plod about shifting their weight from east to west. They move forward only on account of their legs – sensing an impending plummet to the ground – jutting out to stop the catastrophe like re-inflatable cellulite airbags.
2) The Stopper
Picture this: You’re headed home after a long day of work. Mr. Jenkins was all over you today, “Where’s that report, Collins?” “You need to stay on top of stuff, Collins!” You’re fed up and need your feelings of rage and homicide numbed by the soft blue glow of telemorphine ASAP. Your legs are working on their own, pretending the pavement is the doughy remains of Mr. Jenkins’ knee-strike battered face.
Then, the person right in front of you stops. Usually to either: Take out their cell phone, focus on an already in progress call, rummage through their bag looking for a metrocard or just to appreciate the magnificent beauty that is New York (or sneeze, whatever). 8 times out of 10 this will happen right at the top of a set of stairs. Will Mr. Jenkins’ get a murderous reprieve as you throw your rage against the back of this stuttering interloper?
The stopper is a danger not only to New York citizens but also to him/herself.
3) The Wrong Sider or Japanese Tourist
We get it, where you’re from people keep to the left. Not here. Here we keep to the right. Here we like our beer cold and our panties un-sniffed. This is the rule.
There’s a small subdivision of Wrong Siders who are equally as dangerous: the Clueless Scaffolding Spacehog. These are the people that walk down the middle of the narrow pathways created by work areas. These people too must be taught.
4) The Groupies
Not cool groupies like the ones that take off their shirts at the mere mention of Steely Dan. No, walking Groupies are the tourist twats that link arms and prance down crowded streets at 5:30pm laughing and giggling about what they just bought at Scoop. I don’t even recommend licensing these people. These people should be shot, their bodies stuffed with explosives and then lobbed via trebuchet into the plate glass windows of Scoop stores the city over.
The Licensing Process
Before ticketing for non LHTFWA street operation becomes common, you should look into coming down to the bureau and applying. For most people a simple practical exam will clear you for partial access to 90% of the city’s streets (Special tests will be created for Soho, Times Square and Narrow Subway Platforms).
Failing the test will require you to take the Walker’s Ed course which will focus on stride length, gait and steadiness. Other features include:
* Focus on: Walking and talking on a cell phone at the same time.
* Watching where the fuck you’re going, you asshole, you.
* Getting the hell out of the way when you feel like stopping.
* A four day seminar entitled, “Hey! The Streets Don’t Belong to You, Buddy!”
* With price of enrollment comes the free pamphlet: “Walk/Don’t Walk Signs: What They Really Mean”
* Mastery of the side-by-side/front-and-back conversational streetwalking dynamic formation.
If I were you, I’d get down to our offices now and sign up, the lines are sure to be really long, and you can bet getting there is going to be fucking hazardous.