The Walking Virtually-Dead

Graphic Caity Hall

So there I was, minding my own business, going through my mental to-do list as I headed to the metro (let’s see—I have to renew my OPUS card, go to the bank—oh yeah, cheese is on sale this week—hey, did I ever respond to what’s-his-name’s email?), when without warning, the dude in front of me suddenly stops in his tracks, forcing me to swerve to avoid him, narrowly missing the elderly woman menacingly swinging her IGA bag.

What’s the deal?! What earth-shattering news could make him screech to a halt like that?

And then I saw it—silly me, the man got a Facebook notification. What was I thinking? Of course he had to check it in the middle of the stairs.

Do you really think that people can’t wait a single second more before hearing what you had for lunch? Is the need to post your latest selfie or “like” a comment that urgent? And if the need really is so great, why can’t you have the basic courtesy to at least move to the side?

I propose that the city instates a new task force to combat this issue. We’ll call it the Anti-Texting-in-Public-and-Taking-Over-Sidewalks-and-Blocking-Doorways Brigade.

Those fixated by their phones while blissfully dominating the entire sidewalk must be stopped. A fitting penalty would be to hold their phone just slightly out of their reach, watching them agonize over every incoming text they can’t immediately respond to. Ah, sweet, sweet revenge.

So the next time you’re out, have some common courtesy for everyone else who really doesn’t give a flying fig what your cousin thinks of her new boots. And if you don’t, the ATIPATOSABD will spring into action.

—Randy Pinsky