– There’s the straight-ahead, Seabiscuit-with-blinders-on individual. This is the person who will not change course, no matter what. I’m not talking about the person who is preoccupied with a conversation or who is accidentally looking the other way. I’m talking about the person who has apparently decided that the world will adapt to their chosen course. They may be traversing a busy Loop sidewalk with dozens of people all around going in all directions, but they proceed straight on, willfully refusing to make eye contact with anyone, lest that should be taken as a sign of weakness, I suppose. I hope to see the day when two such people walk headlong into one another. Since neither of them will have even begun to slow down at the moment of impact, it will be the human equivalent of Gomez Addams and his model trains.
– There’s the three-or-four-abreast group, taking up the entire width of the sidewalk. Like the individual mentioned above, these people expect their fellow pedestrians to either dematerialize, dive into the street to get out of their way, or turn around and walk in their direction. Once, when I was forced to a complete halt waiting for one of them to give way, I actually had to endure a derisive, “Geez!” from one of the group. They almost walked straight into me before looking up at the last moment and turning aside. I honestly don’t know what they expected me to do, or what I had done to earn their scorn.
– There’s the fearless jaywalker type. Look, I’ve done my share of jaywalking in my life, so I’m not coming down on that part of the process. But the people I’m talking about are psychotically fearless. They always assume that the car will slow down or drive around them. I would have thought that perhaps a certain Darwinian principle would have weeded out more of this type, but they seem to be around in great abundance. Perhaps this sub-species of humanity is exceptionally fertile and prone to multiple births to counteract their high mortality rate (note to self – apply for government grant to study these people further).
These are a few of the major types. If you have any additional ones to contribute, I’d like to hear about them!