Friday, May 16, 2008

Urban etiquette: an occasional series

Todays' topic: Stand right, walk left

As any regular commuter by BART or Muni knows, the rule on escalators is a simple one - stand right, walk left. In fact, this rule appears to be universal.

So why is it so fucking hard for people to figure this out? Now, granted, at rush hours the system seems to behave as planned, either because there are more experienced commuters or because there are so many people trying to walk on the left they pile up and the left-stander finally gets it through his thick fucking WWE-addled skull that he's supposed to move. But at non-peak times, you'll often see some fucking retard just hanging out on the left, totally oblivious to the fact that everyone else is standing on the right.

Now, if there's no one standing next to the retard on the right, that's cool - I'll just cruise around him and continue down the stairs in my normal breakneck rushing-to-a-fire speed that I employ to jet around town normally. But when Calvin Clueless is jabbering away with his mouth-breathing girlfriend next to him, I have to get right up behind him and then go "EXCUSE ME" which has the double-barreled benefit of making him jump a little and hopefully teaching him the walk left stand right principle.

They've got the right idea in London. If you try that stand left crap there, they will run you the fuck over, no lie. I saw it happen several times. That's the way the natural order is enforced, folks.


Rocco said...

couple things:
first off, what is a mouth-breathing girlfriend?
secondly, you may know that my biggest pet peeve is walking 3 abreast on the sidewalk, thus blocking passers-by. i don't find that mentally teaching people a lesson works though. you have to be pretty direct. people are stupid.
just sayin.'

yumgirl said...

I always seem to get behind someone who is walking and when we are almost to the bottom they stop?!?! This happens to me all the time! I just don't get it? Does this happen to you?

Rocco said...

may i make a few suggestions for future columns?
-oblivious cell phone talkers in stores aisles
-walking out of a store/bar/restaurant, etc and just stopping in the middle of the sidewalk. best accompanied with blank stare.
-don't even get me started on parking.

Anonymous said...

Oh sweet mother of pearl, VALIDATION!!! SEE!?!? I'm right! Why did they take those signs down in Toronto!?!? Because people were ruuussshing and huuuurrting themselves. Bah! If you can't walk up an escalator without hurting yourself, you've got way bigger problems that probably can't be fixed by mere signage.