Saturday, February 23, 2008

Good Weather for Elbowing

The weather here in P-town is suddenly terrific for snorkeling, running or anything else, and I was reminded this morning of the downside of this -- that good weather clogs the running paths with a doughy superfluity of citizens eager to expose their gleaming flesh to the sun and dig up the peanuts they buried last fall, just before their indoor hibernation.

I hate to stereotype, but I don't hate it very much (it has its undeniable benefits), so I have to ask: how is it that being a grossly overweight 50- or 60-something white woman is so well correlated with being utterly oblivious to one's surroundings? The path I ran this morning was dotted with several herds of them, ranging in size from two to five, and without exception, they arranged themselves into a path-blocking phalanx and insisted on paying attention to absolutely fucking nothing except the herd's latest enthralling gossip. In some parts of the trail, I could get by such a phalanx by going off the trail, either into the street or onto the golf course, but there are many places where the trail is closely bordered by bushes, fence, or a drop-off. So I am the asshole for picking one of the smaller ones and driving an elbow into her back and stepping on her as I pass? Fine. If that makes me the asshole, well then just fine.

And then there was the very, very old man who, Zeus forbid, can't have driven there. He had a very specific trajectory he was going to follow along the path, without regard to petty conventions about staying on the right-hand side or checking to see if the path has other humans on it. It's possible it is the path between his bed and his kitchen, but he doesn't realize he's no longer in his house. In at least one instance I was one of those humans in his proprietary trajectory, and if he hadn't reminded me of myself when I'm 125, and if he had seemed sturdier than damp balsa wood, I might have gone ahead and let the collision happen.

On the other extreme were little kids left carelessly unleashed by their parents to roam the trails. Toddlers famously lack experience, judgment, and perspective, so I can't blame them for weaving and meandering as they did, but I can blame their parents. And I do! I do!

I really think those of us who kept the trail feeling relevant and wanted through the darkest weeks of winter should be given priority. Others should snorkel or gossip at the movie theater, where everyone else does.

1 comment:

Zennalathas said...

Ewww fat people!