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Show Me a Jaywalker

And I’ll show you a potential friend

By Remington WritePublished 2 months ago 3 min read
Photo Credit — Eric Fischer / Flickr

The way I behave out in traffic I'm going to give my partner a heart attack one of these days. When it’s my damned light, I’m walking. You in the black Escalade with tinted windows? You are going nowhere, bubby, you sit tight and wait. There’s no right on red in this city, btw, so chill.

When I’m out there walking in the city I need to keep moving. Especially in the summer when it’s blindingly hot. I am not going to get stuck on some corner waiting in direct sunlight for the little white walking man light to appear. I’m just not. I’m always watching ahead, seeing what’s coming and what the lights are doing, ready to make my move. Standing mid-block when traffic is stopped at both ends at the light? That’s a clear “go” signal in my book.

You do that, too? We should get together — six feet apart if we're still observing that social distancing business (are we?) — and talk.

Ever get hit? Yeah, I did. Once.

Check this out. I was in the crosswalk AND it was my light! Can you believe it? Tell me about what happened to you.

See, I have a theory about jaywalkers and jaywalking. We’re people who are seeing the big picture; we’re watching the lights and who’s pushing them and who’s paying attention. We aren’t people who just automatically assume that the “walk” light means that it’s safe to walk. We also aren’t people who will only walk when some numbnuts light on the corner indicates that we can. We tend to be intelligent risk-takers (not all of us, obviously, there are idiots who just walk out into traffic without watching what they’re doing and those are people we avoid).

But people who aren’t going to let some pesky traffic signal dictate their behavior when the nearest approaching vehicle is four blocks away, these are the kinds of people I like to hang out with and get to know better.

People like you.

Now that we’re hanging out, I think we need to find a better term for what we do in traffic. For one thing, the term as it was originally used meant someone who didn’t understand that we walk to the right on sidewalks so that people coming in the opposite direction — who are also walking to their right — won’t bump into us and make us spill our coffee. However, before there were jaywalkers, there were jaydrivers and they got that name because, being hicks from the countryside, they refused to obey traffic laws and stay on the right side of the road with all the ensuing chaos you’re imagining right now.

Given that we aren’t hicks and we do understand basic sidewalk etiquette, strictly speaking, we aren’t jaywalkers.

What are we?

Rebels, yes, I suppose. But we don’t just rebel for the sake of rebellion. We have our reasons and they make perfect sense to us even if they don’t to our long-suffering partners and loved ones. Freewalkers? That is more accurate but it sounds a little silly. Free thinking, free love, free hugs. What gives? We can do better.

I will admit to being a card-carrying member of the Car Haters of America Syndicate (is that a thing? you ask. No, it is not. I made it up. Writers do that, you know). But I do hate cars. It might have something to do with questionable driving lessons or not. Cars make people lazy and stupid. Put any reasonably sane person behind the wheel of two tons of metal that are capable of moving up to eighty miles per hour easily and they instantly go power-mad. They seem to think a yellow caution light means speed up and that there’s some kind of race on to get to the next red light.

I’m glad you agree.

That aside, we still haven’t settled on a good name for the kinds of people we are. We insist upon the right to walk where we want to walk. Hmmmm. How’s this? Right Walkers. That’s us. We are the Right Walkers and you’d better slow TF down and watch where you’re going. We are Right and you are Wrong.

And since you’re Wrong, it’s time to see what can be done to eliminate cars from the city altogether.

Who’s with me?

© Remington Write 2022. All Rights Reserved.

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About the Creator

Remington Write

Writing because I can't NOT write.

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