Market Street, Manchester

“It’s just because you’re in your 30s now Mark, you’re just less patient with stuff” says the ever-dwindling pragmatic voice in my head.

‘people seem to contrive to walk directly into me…’

Nope, I’m convinced I’m right. I’m convinced that general pavement etiquette is dying. It’s rapidly morphing from a manageable pet peeve into shit-flinging safari park of unbridled fury. While that probably doesn’t sound too healthy, thankfully it’s not my fault.

It amazes me how often people seem to contrive to walk directly into me, despite having about 250 yards notice, or despite me actually having no way or place to manoeuvre around them. But yes, I get it. You’re in a rush aren’t you? Or you have a child with you? Or you’re late for work? Or you have such a big day. F*** off, this isn’t London.

The contrast between the etiquette we show as drivers and pedestrians is often used as a source of observational comedy. The “After you. No, after you. Ha ha ha. Isn’t this amusing?” attitude is notionally juxtaposed to the screeching rage you might exhibit while driving, right? Well not in my case. I’m becoming the exact antithesis. A previously and otherwise rational man reduced to bellowing at people while I walk to work.

To me, my response of shouting “NO, NO. IT’S FINE, I’LL JUST TURN SIDEWAYS AND LITERALLY SLITHER MY BACK DOWN THE WALL JUST SO YOU CAN CONTINUE TO WALK THREE STRONG ON THE PAVEMENT. UNBELIEVABLE!” completely bypasses a usual filter which would tell me that standing in the street shouting confrontational monologues to otherwise-pleasant middle-aged ladies probably isn’t a good look.

Thankfully, I’m right. So if you’re one of these people, stop it, for both our sakes:

  • Friends In Formation: walking in twos, three’s or even fours in rigid formation. Sure, one of us, could move forward, or drop back for half a second to allow you to continue on your way, but we’re talking. Soz.
  • Umbrell-ievable Eye-Gougers: Tottering along oblivious to the gouged eyeball on each of the prongs of their umbrella.
  • Sledge-Prammer: I know you’re a parent. I know you’re probably nagged, mithered and flustered to your wits end. I get it. But the sheer arrogance of just smashing my ankles with your pram without so much of a glance, let alone an apology, means your children will grow up to be terrible and ugly humans. That’s science.
  • The Solipsist: Solipsism is the philosophical notion that nothing outside of the confines of your own mind is sure to exist. In these terms, the people who are so involved with their own day they don’t even notice they have actually just stood on a sleeping homeless guys leg on route to barging directly into you.
  • Shopping Bag Bastards: With wrecking-ball Primark bags.

Granted, there’s a small chance I might have been one of these people to you at some point in my life before, but whatever, I was probably just busy or in a rush or something.

Get over yourself.

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Media/content/creative person by day, media/content/creative wang by night. I write food and drink stuff, whimsy, complaint letters.

Likes: Skittles, dogs, Dyson hand dryers.
Dislikes: Spiders, writing about myself, people who aren’t alarmed by spiders.

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