Walker Profiling
A Compendium Detailing the Various Types of Pedestrians One Might Encounter Whilst Traversing the Streets and Sidewalks of New York City
By: Joe

Part 2 of 3



You can go back to Part 1 if you want my wonderfully long-winded intro, but, to sum up for those of you joining us late in the game, I am writing about all the categories of annoying pedestrians I've encountered on my many jaunts through the streets of New York City.

Oh, you can e-mail me with any input you might have. Or if you just want to talk. I'm here for you*.



THIS SHIT!!!!!!!


Nickname that Doesn't Even Make Sense But I Think It's Funny:
The Last Mimsy
No. of Offenders:

The Most Important Man in the World isn't particularly irritating to me, he's more just funny. This is the guy, very often a businessman, who acts like dealing with pedestrian traffic is absolutely the worst possible fate in the world (hey, I'm just writing up this list for fun, okay?). Although I think very few of us actually enjoy picking our way through crowds of jerks, this type makes sure that everybody else knows how he really feels.

The simplest and most common form of expression is the disgruntled tongue-click and tends to be employed by important men and women alike. If you or someone else happens to get in the way of this type for more than a second, you'll likely be privy to a sharp, succinct "tch!" I guess a well-placed "tch" is sometimes in order. It's sort of like honking the horn in a car. It isn't usually aggressive enough to warrant a violent response, but it gets the point across that someone else was in the wrong. More often, however, Mr. Important is just an impatient douche and needs to relax.

The more entertaining qualities of this type make themselves apparent whence they are put under extreme duress, for this is when they will begin uttering pissy phrases. Usually a tidy little expletive or "come on already!" are the norm. Although this is perhaps leaving the realm of pedestrianism some, the best environment to witness an Important is if you get stuck with one in a subway station or, better yet, subway car for any signficant period of time. This is when they begin to come unhinged and start crying out to nobody in particular things like, "let me off this fucking train!"

Sometimes, apparently thinking the transit authority isn't doing a good enough job, this type wil try to take things into their own hands and will begin making an effort to direct herds of people with such brilliant ideas as repeating the exact same thing the train driver just said over the intercom. I once witnessed a woman losing her shit shout out "Step all the way in! Step all the way in!!" to people entering our car, immediately after the intercom had issued identical instructions. She was resoundingly ignored. How strange! And here I thought being a silly, noisy twat would pay off!!!

Bottom line: Darfur nothin'! These people deserve your pity most!!!


Vaguely Referencing an 80's Cartoon Nickname:
The Real Romantics
No. of Offenders:

Simple enough, the couple are two lovebirds who walk along side by side without a care in the world, including whether or not there are other people trying to get around them. Couples tend to be worse than the classic Romantic (defined in the first part, for those of you who are just confused now) because science has proven that love makes you slower and, if the Romantic is oblivious, the Couple is oblivion itself. There is their significant other and nothing more!

The fact that a couple means two people already means they're taking up more sidewalk than, you know, one person. The problem is compounded by the fact that the couple usually insists on being joined physically. Now, undoubtedly I only have this opinion because I'm perpetually lonely and disgruntled and there is a sucking wound where my heart should be, but hand-holding seems like quite the archaic practice to me. I mean, honestly, doesn't that get sweaty after awhile? Really, unless you're in the rape capital of the world (Six Flags) or something, your girl will probably be just fine without you attached to her, at least for a few moments. Anyway, this joining of limbs acts as a barrier, about the length of at least half of another person, making it all the more difficult to bypass a couple. Jerks!

Bottom line: NOBODY LOVES ME.


Fairly Straightfoward Nickname:
No. of Offenders:

What, you don't know what an old person is? I suppose they have more of an excuse for their slowness (the oldness) than the average Romantic, but honestly they should understand their place in this society: locked up in a closet somewhere, being periodically fed purees of the fruits none of us real people want. Sometimes they have canes too, which you have to be careful not to trip over.

Old people are even more of a nuisance whence they get crammed into some sort of technological wonder that allows them to sometimes be even faster than those of us with futures and stuff to do later in the day. Now you not only have to circumvent them, you have to get out of the way of their doom machines, which take up way more space than a person just using his feet does. I'm not making a whole other category, so this pertains to anybody riding in any sort of contraption. I'm looking at you quadrapalegics!!!

Bottom line: Where are you even going at this hour? The buffet's been closed.


Alternative Name:
Tethered to a Being
Nickname Derived from Alternative Name:
No. of Offenders:

This is sort of the same problem as the Couple. It's a person that is attached to something else by way of their hand. However, in this case it's even worse because the thing they're tethered to tends to exhibit much more erratic behavior than your significant other might (EXCEPT WHEN IT'S HER TIME OF THE MONTH AHAHAHAHAHA, GUYS!!!). There's really two sub-categories to this one.

Firstly, you have people with dogs and kids. Babies are less of a problem because they generally stay in front of the parent at all times, whether they're in strollers or embarassingly strapped to their chests. Kids that have the use of their legs, however, are much worse because they can take up any portion of the sidewalk at any given time, depending on their mood, and they also create a barrier by remaining attached to the hand of their parent and/or guardian. So, what I'm saying here is that inattentive parents who let their kids go running off on their own are less of an impediment to me. There's no need to explain the problem with dogs now because it's the same exact thing, except leashes are longer and more flexible than arms so they create even more opportunities for tripping and troubles of that ilk. In fact, if you own one of those kid leashes, I see no difference whatsoever.

The second category and the one that pisses me off more because it's far more common is the goddamned suitcase with wheels. Look, I know that it turns out backpacks are terrible for your posture and that's why I have the crippling pain I live with to this day, but can't you just get one of those classic shits that you hold by your side? How much crap you got in there, huh?!? You can't tell me you're getting on a flight every day of the week!? Are you?!? Really???

The reason these wheelycases suck so hard is, although they travel in a relatively straightforward line behind the person lugging them, they take up a whole other chunk of walkway behind you. It's basically like two people walking single file, joined by a solid bar in the middle. Worse yet, the person in the back has no conciousness, so it's basically like leading a tard around with a hard plastic leash. You know how difficult it is to get around something like that? No?? Well, look into it.

Bottom line: Oh, haha, I said tard. Oh, Joe, you so offensive.


Alternative Name:
The Record Skipper
Something Like a Nickname:
No. of Offenders:

The Surprise Pylon is the evolved form of the Romantic. Whereas the Romantic is just kind of slow, the Lon takes it to the next level by actually coming to a complete standstill at seemingly random intervals. Sometimes they have a genuine enough reason, as you'll see them stop to consult a map or a guide to fine dining, but just as often they'll stop in place out of frigging nowhere, apparently suddenly struck by a brain aneurysm or something.

One of the most adoring qualities of this type is that they seem to really often choose to make the bottom of a staircase their time to take a siesta. I don't care where you come from, I think you should be aware that staircases only function correctly if PEOPLE CAN GET ON AND OFF OF THEM. In really extreme cases, a Lon will stop while IN THE MIDDLE of a staircase. In such an instance, it is completely legal to shoot them.

The Lon is very often a repeat offender, so if you see them abruptly stop once, try to use this time to get around them, or you'll find yourself in the same position again and again and, eventually, somebody's getting mocha frappucino all over their backs, with or without intent...you make the call!!!

Bottom line: We all need a break sometimes, but try going over to the side to take yours, yeah? Dummy.


This One's Easy:
No. of Offenders:

Jeff (he makes thingies for this site) reminded me I needed to add a category for our fine impoverished citizens, so here it is. Homeless people generally travel alone and, frankly, I find them to be generally unobtrusive. Often they just line the borders of the sidewalk like the paper in a shoebox. Sure, they'll probably ask you for some change, but all of you have to do is keep walking and, booya!, problem solved!

The walking homeless can technically be a little scarier as it's a bit unsettling to witness them sauntering down the street screaming or muttering to themselves or, on some occasions, fighting the air. Really though, these nutty homeless usually want nothing to do with you. I mean, clearly they're already occupied with someone or something else, so don't you worry.

I don't find the on-foot homeless getting in my way very frequently, so I really think they're quite amenable as far as pedestrians go. The thing I personally find most amusing about the average homeless on the move is that they usually seem to be in a huge rush. They walk just about as briskly as most businessmen (except they tend to be better about getting out of the way of others, which is, again, very much appreciated), but with the difference of wearing old coats, rags, or garbage bags and muttering/shouting the entire way. I always wonder what it is exactly that these homeless have that is so important to get to and why they are talking so rapidly and the conclusion I've made is as follows:

The average homeless is a brilliant theorist and is either on his way to a homeless convention that he is expected to speak at or, more pessimistically, a lecture hall invented in his mind and he is not only very late, but is still trying to work out what he is going to say as he walks. It's unclear if the homeless just have naturally vivid imaginations or if they were all university professors at some point in their lives. I've just started a masters degree so I expect I'll have some concrete answers in a year or so.

Bottom line: My students are waiting!!!


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