Reading Emily Badger’s article on How Texting Actually Changes the Way We Walk gave me quite a laugh. I see this every day and often fall (not yet literally) victim to this myself. What gave me an even bigger chuckle was remembering a story about distracted pedestrians from a few years ago. Star Wars Episode III came out my senior year of high school. Being pretty big fans of the franchise, my friend David Hopkins and I decided standing in line for the midnight showing was more important than attending class that day. We waited in line for 12 hours, a staunch tactic considering the quality of Episodes I & II. And I almost didn’t make it through the movie when at about 2:30am Ewan McGregor was forced to deliver this awful line (Notice the title of the video and the attempt of even an actor of Mr. McGregor’s caliber to not break character):
We had been in line for about 8 hours when some punks decided to walk by and start teasing the “Star Wars nerds”. Pointing and laughing at the people in costumes and shouting out “spoilers” as if we didn’t know what was to become of certain characters. As they walked parallel to us in single file they heckled just about every one they passed until karma, oh sweet karma stood there waiting for them in the form of a bus stop sign. Not a single one of the three of them was looking forward and as they were taunting us… WHAM! The first guy hit it like a cartoon character as if his arms and legs hadn’t yet got the signal that the torso had abruptly stopped. As if it was scripted the other two followed right into their leader’s back and all three fell to the ground. I have never shared such defiant laughter with a group of people before. Star Wars Nerds 1 – Embarrassed Jerks 0
The moral of that story is that distracted walking can be dangerous (and sometimes funny). I work in downtown Portland, and I usually walk about 18-20 blocks a day to-and-from work and my bus stop. I witness 1-2 very unfunny, close-calls from cell-phone distracted pedestrians and/or drivers a week. And again just like the last cell-phone distraction article I wrote, I have to incriminate myself once more. Candy Crush can’t play itself! I have yet to have any embarrassing or harmful pedestrian instances but at home I am often the victim of my ramming my toe into a chair or the corner of the couch while on my cell-phone.
Here’s plenty of reason to put your cell-phone down if you happen to be walking near a Honey Badger:
Honey Badgers have powerful jaws and sharp teeth, which are powerful enough to crush a tortoise’s shell. And that is frightening!
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