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Monday, September 28, 2009

setting a good example (for the little old ladies)

OK. I jay walk sometimes. I also cross against the lights. But only when it's safe.

See, there's this crazy thing happening at the traffic lights lately, with the lights staying green in one direction for seemingly ever, despite there being almost no traffic following the first three cars, while lines of vehicles wait in the other direction. Rather than stand waiting interminably for the lights to change, I cross on the red and head off on my merry way. Daring I know. I do, however, submit myself to one pedestrian crossing restriction: if children are anywhere in the vicinity I wait until the green man lights up for his little dance. Wouldn't want to teach them bad practices or unsafe habits.

So there I was today, the lights were doing there thing and no cars were coming. No children in sight so I stepped off the footpath and quickly crossed the road. Only on the other side of the intersection was a lovely old lady in a delicious red coat, and to my horror, upon seeing me sally forth, she too decided to risk it and cross against the lights.

As you know, little old ladies don't walk as fast as sprightly young ones, and in the end I became concerned she might be knocked down by an approaching car as she blithely called out 'Yes, I'm going to go too'. Thankfully the car slowed, she made it to the other side and we both continued safely on our way.

I've noticed this a number of times now - old people forgetting they are old and gingerly hobbling across the road in front of zippy cars and sturdy trucks. My issue is not that they forget they are old (goodness, wasn't it just yesterday I turned 23?) but that they forget they are slower now, that walking in front of cars is not advisable when you can't skip out of the way at a moment's notice.

It seems I have a no choice here but to change my ways. I could stop crossing on the red altogether - a sort of preparation for the time when I will forget I cross at a snail's pace. If I don't do it now, I won't do it then. Or I could add oldies to my restriction list: no crossing the road on the red when children and/or old people are in the vicinity.

Someone's got to look after them, because I suspect they are too busy thinking they need to look after me. So I commit to doing the right thing under certain circumstances... that's as good as I can do for now!

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