I bet this has happened to you. You’re walking along a crowded pavement, and some dimwit is walking directly towards you with his phone held in front of his face.  He’s so busy typing a text that he is unaware of anything going on around him. And you – along with everybody else – have to step out their way so as to clear a path.

Ignorant and impolite. It’s also incredibly annoying.

You would love to just keep walking directly at him until he is forced to stop and look up at you. Then you snatch his phone and hurl it off to the other side of the street. Actually, it should be the law that you can do that; no right-thinking court in the land would convict you of anything.

But you don’t. No, you move to one side.

Okay, stick with this for a minute. I’ve just returned from performing in Kiev, where there are so many cars that parking on the wide pavements is permitted. However, there are some places where they restrict parking by placing concrete flower blocks – at about shin height – at random points on the pavement.

And that’s why you never see a walk-texter in Kiev. Because concrete block trip-hazards don’t move out the way. If the text-twit tried it on the pavements of Kiev it would lead to a full somersault and end with him spread-eagled on his back in a puddle.

Well, it got me thinking. Perhaps we should have some of these trip hazards placed at arbitrary locations on our pavements. It would certainly concentrate their thinking. In fact, some randomly placed knee-high metal posts and holes would all add to the excitement.

Those of us who concentrate when we’re walking, and politely negotiate our way through crowds of oncoming pedestrians, would be fine. Those who think their lives are so important that they can communicate by text and everybody will simply move out their way would keep the ambulance service busy.

Rather entertaining, too, I think. 

Drew McAdam


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