Monday, October 18, 2010

High-speed collision warning!

The other day, I was walking on campus from my office to the library carrying a hefty stack of books.

I have been noticing how in recent months/years, more and more students are using skateboards and those engineless scooters to get around. I saw this as a perfect step of laziness between bikes and walking.

These skateboarders get bolder and bolder, sometimes whizzing and weaving at top speeds through crowds a squirrel couldn't squeeze through, coming to within a quarter of an inch of hitting you, and damn sure succeeding in startling you.

Well, that day I was walking from my office to the library, I got slammed by a skateboarder. The damn thing caught me right in the Achilles' tendon. All my books got knocked out of my hands. The sparkling gem of this incident, though, was that even though the fool struck me from behind and unawares, he had the gall to make that tsk sound accompanied by the facial expression and body language that indicated that I inconvenienced him. You know, by the fact that he collided into me.

I was, of course, too shocked to strangle him on the spot. *sigh*.


  1. Welcome to the jungle. This is such a hazard at my campus, with the buildings spread out.

    I've fantasized for years about buying a golf cart, putting a big grille on the front, and mowing down students on MY way to class.

  2. Elbows. Use your elbows.

  3. ELS... around these parts those with golf carts mowing down students are called the maintenance department.

  4. I have an excellent image of ELS with a golf cart complete not only with huge grille but ALSO spinner rims and Guns & Roses blasting out of a huge boombox bungee-corded to the back of the vehicle.

    At my old Private Snotty Not Quite Ivy university, they gave the student-athletes golf carts to help them get to class on time. For real.

  5. Because I am evil, I have adopted the following approach to the hordes of young 'uns who rove my campus looking down, eyes glued to a small screen while they attempt to walk and text at the same time: when I notice one approaching me (whether on a direct collision course or not), I walk in a way that ensures that I will just bump his/her shoulder if he/she does not look up in time. I then swerve suddenly so that I don't actually hit anyone. But I've given a few of them the shock of their young lives ("What? You mean everyone isn't going to get out of MY way while I text?"). Like I said, I'm evil, but in a socially useful way.

  6. Prof Snugglebunny,
    To add to the evil, make it appear that you are thoroughly engrossed in something pertinent to your area, a textbook, a journal, etc. Then, when you meander into the snowflake's path, come to a stop a few feet in front of him or her and loudly say "Aha!" as if you just had an epiphany. Don't just shock your target, but scare the hell out of everyone else around while you're at it.

  7. Pat - excellent suggestion! After all, it is the season of FEAR.

  8. I suggest you attach CHAINSAWS to your elbows.

  9. What about mounting a shotgun on your golf cart? Or, perhaps, a klaxon?


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