Pedestrian Poopheads

I’ll start this in full disclosure: I’m not sure if poopheads is a word or not and I’m assuming it’s not because my Word program has it underlined in a very nice shade of red. Now, I’m not sure who actually installed all of the words on the Word program, but it’s very clear to me that they simply missed placing poopheads (little red line again) in the vocabulary section of the program. Maybe it’s because their life is fine. All of their stars and moons are aligned. Their dog wags its tail and fetches the paper, along with the sandals, when they arrive home. Maybe they own a jzillion shares of Microsoft stock. Maybe they had a great burrito at lunch right before they installed all of those words into the program. Who knows? But this I do know: when I ride my bike, all of those pedestrians who attempt to cross in front of me are poopheads (lrla…see above) or better yet, become poopheads (lrla) as soon as their feet leave the sidewalk and hit the street.

When I was a wee lad growing up on the mean, cold streets of San Francisco, I was told many, many times to make sure I looked both ways before I decided to play frogger and venture across the street. Like it was yesterday, my mom would say “look left, then right, then left again.” Now folks, you know why you look left first and then again? Because it doesn’t matter where you are when you cross a street, if you are going to get hit first, it will be from a car coming from your left (unless, of course, you are in England…and then, you need to speak to an English mother). And..if you then look right and step out, a car may miraculously occur from the left and you will get hit if you do not look left again.

Pretty simple, eh? So simple, it has stayed with me throughout my 57 years on this planet, but I may not make 58 years if pedestrians continue to blindly step off the curb. Pretty much every morning, after my early morning bike ride, I like to stop at my favorite Starbucks and grab a quick cup of Joe. I sit outside, rain or shine, cold or hot and just watch both the foot and car traffic in front of me. I am simply amazed at two events that happen every day: 1.) not all cars stop at the stop signs on the corner and 2.) not all pedestrians notice that not all cars stop at the stop signs on the corner. Which, I might add, make for some pretty interesting driver/pedestrian interaction; certainly interaction enough to give the pedestrian more of a jolt than the caffeine that is in the cup they are holding in their hands. Pedestrians simply make the mistake of thinking that everything and everyone are going to stop for them, regardless if they are in the intersection or crossing the street midblock. And, if you don’t believe me, one day, when you are sitting outside on a busy street having coffee or a donut or smoking a cigar, just watch what goes on in front of you and I guarantee you would rather meet Osama Bin Laden in a cave than cross the street without looking. And for the record, Osama drives a cab in San Francisco. Why the Feds don’t know this, I’ll never figure out.

I bring all this up because on my daily commute to work on my two wheeled steed, I pretty much have a near accident with a pedestrian every day. Not because I’ve run a red light (and again, under full disclosure, I have done that every now and then) or because I’ve run a stop sign (another full d: yep, have done that) or because I was exceeding the speed limit (those of you who ride with me know I don’t ride fast enough to break any limit….speed or otherwise…ok, maybe the weight limit for my frame, but that’s another story best saved for when I’m on a sugar high), but because some poophead (lrla) decided he/she wanted to step out into the street from behind a parked car while chatting on their cell phone with Uncle Ned from Arkansas (you can deduce what you like from the Arkansas comment…it probably will be right) or gazing into the sky to see if any additional liberals are parachuting into San Francisco at that moment. Of course, if it weren’t for my exceptional bike handling skills as well as my outstanding eye/hand coordination, at least two pedestrians would be dead each day. At least…..

Just like automobiles, pedestrians come in all shapes, sizes and colors. And just like cars, some are faster than others. Unfortunately for me, I never seem to encounter the gazelles, who could quickly elude the bike (and me) as we bear down on them, ready to leave road kill in our wake. Nope….I always get the pedestrians who every year attempt to become finalists for the Darwin Awards, better known as The Stupidest People in America. They wait for me…every day….along every inch of pavement I courageously cover…until they find the exact right time to step in front of me as I attempt to break the land speed record. I don’t live near a forest, but I’ll bet you I’ve seen more “deer in the headlight” looks than Elmer Fudd.

I’m going to close this out now because I need to get to the printers and get some new business cards. I’ll disburse them at the scene of every near accident for every poophead (lrla) to read:

Among the