Comforting the dreaded pedestrian ‘Walk of Shame’

“BE CAREFUL!” yelled an irate driver through his open passenger window, rolled down, I assume, for the express purpose of berating my curb-mate. The unlucky fellow had stepped into the crosswalk prematurely, trying to beat the light, and had nearly been mowed down at 7:50am on a Friday – what a way to start the weekend!

But the driver who balled him out was three cars behind the action. He had no reason to get involved, and I felt for the poor victim. Calgary drivers aren’t so careful themselves, and I’ve reamed out more than a few while hiking this concrete jungle. But while it’s easy to slink away unknown in your glassed-in Cavalier, it’s much harder to keep your head up when you have to walk down the street step-in-step with the witness to your humiliation.

He was a small man, with scuffed shoes and a shabby, beat-up briefcase. His shoulders slumped down further after the attack. He hung his head as we crossed the street together. My heart went out to him and I tried to think of something to say to ease his embarrassment. But, really, what can you say?

So instead, I did something. I gave him a knowing half-smile, then made a jaywalker’s mad dash across all four lanes of 7th Avenue.

There are many ways to let a man know that he is not alone.

(image source)

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3 Responses to Comforting the dreaded pedestrian ‘Walk of Shame’

  1. Liz Johns says:

    Well done. We’re so crazy towards each other when we’re on the road. It’s so easy to be ‘big and brave’ when you’re hiding in the safety of your car. Society eh! Pathetic. 🙂

  2. michelle says:

    I have felt this pain too many times to count – good on ya!

  3. Cymbria says:

    I have always subscribed to the philosophy of the ‘aggressive pedestrian’. I won’t hesitate to assert and/or fight for my right of way (after making eye contact of course!). But Calgary is the first city I’ve been to where drivers will cut you off even after sharing the aforementioned heart to heart, tête à tête, eye to eye moment of civility. It’s just shameful. On the plus side though, it means I never have to feel guilty about giving their hood a good “THUMP!” on my way by~ 😉

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