Human Trafficking

This is the 22nd post I’ve submitted for Turtle Time (my portion of Bobcat Territory), and the 16th I’ve written specifically for the website. None have been explicit diaries or journals, but it’s been pointed out to me that, in a way, they serve the same purpose; while they are not direct synopses of my life, or written in a style typically associated with that genre, they all relate to aspects of my life that I, at the time, felt were noteworthy (at least enough to write about them). Each column, in isolation, is perhaps not that significantly representative (other than A Cactus Named Spike), but the oeuvre of the work does a pretty decent job at giving a snapshot of my life.

Some of my Blogcats have been fictional narratives, but most have been editorial pieces focusing on random subject matter. Some have attempted to deal with wide-ranging, relatively important topics, like the state of American politics and the apparent meaninglessness of life. Others, like how Destinee Hooker’s parents suck at naming their children, have focused on the trivial, hilarious, infuriating minutia of existence. This Blogcat, as you will soon see, falls fully into that latter grouping.

Drivers, in general, have a pretty decent grasp of how to navigate amongst each other. Yes, many drivers are terrible. Some people drive too slow, some people tailgate while driving too fast. Some people sit at the front of the line at a traffic light, but are too busy texting to notice when the light turns green. Some people will cut you off, because they didn’t notice you in their blind spot until after they made the decision to change lanes. All these things can and have resulted in accidents, as well as a bunch of pissed off people.

These issues, however, happen less often than not because they are problems in execution, not in understanding. Most people intend to do their due diligence, but sometimes fail to do so because of a lapse in judgment or physical application. The driver who cuts you off knows he should have looked over his shoulder, or he did but just didn’t see you. It’s not that he didn’t know it was a possibility that you might be there; rather, he knew it was a possibility, but believed it wasn’t the case.

Pedestrians, on the other hand, strut about in blissful oblivion to the possibility that other pedestrians might exist in their immediate surroundings. Mobile human beings simply have no regard for the fact that other persons might be in their near vicinity. Drivers understand that – when backing out of a parking spot, for example – it’s important to take a look around to see if anyone else is coming. Conversely, people on foot have no problem stopping short, turning around, and launching themselves in the opposite direction without so much as a glance at who is around them. It’s as if, when there aren’t vehicles involved, the green Walk guy is always on.

Grocery stores are where we are at our worst. Whenever I meander through the aisles in the third-world Giant by my apartment, people are constantly running into me, and are baffled at how this encounter could have occurred. Well, I’ll tell you how it happened. It happened because you had no awareness of your whereabouts, yet decided your 39.5 straight seconds of one speed and one trajectory was too much and you needed to make an unannounced swerve in a new direction.

I find it interesting and infuriating that people, while behind the wheel, seem to grasp the risk inherent in changing direction, yet people, while walking around, don’t seem to at all. Of course, I should mention that there is much more risk when a two ton vehicle is involved, so at least it’s not the other way around, but shouldn’t the same logic apply?

To those of you who navigate your physical surroundings in this cavalier fashion, I’ll leave it at this: I don’t mind that your slow ass blocks the entire aisle while you decide which brand of Split Pea soup you want, but please don’t lunge to the left without first checking over your shoulder. Or if you’re going to insist on doing that, can you please stop timing it perfectly with my attempt to pass you by? It’s getting old.

To those of you whose movement is more informed and deliberate, I issue you this challenge: Go to a supermarket on a busy Saturday, and try to walk around for half an hour without getting run into. I dare you. I double dare you. Because it’s impossible.

Actually, scratch that. Don’t go to a supermarket specifically to do this. If you were to do that, your life would be super depressing, and I’d never want to wish that upon you. Next time you’re there for a better reason, though, give my challenge a trial run. I promise, you won’t be disappointed.

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