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Feature Walk this way
Your guide to the annoying people in the mall.
July 12, 2003
Forget road rage, let's invent a new brand of anger: sidewalk rage.  Before issuing someone a driver's license, maybe they should be required to pass a walking test.  Giving people a "walking license", while a fantastic idea, is not very realistic, so let's at least make sure people know how to walk in a crowd before allowing them behind the wheel.  I don't know, maybe I'm asking for too much.  Is it too much to ask that people don't bump into me on the sidewalks?  Is it too much to ask that people don't clip my shoe off my heel because they're walking too close behind me?

There are different kinds of poor walkers, just like there are different kinds of poor drivers.  One type is the "Follower", whom I already mentioned.  The Follower walks so closely behind you, you can feel his breath on the back of your neck, this type of walker is prone to kicking your feet and calves, and running into you when you stop walking.

There is also the "Whipper".  The Whipper walks at top speed through all crowds, no matter how dense.  This walker is likely to pop up out of nowhere and cut you off, because the only thing on his simple little mind is getting to where HE needs to go.  I find that the Whipper can be derailed quickly by a well placed foot that hooks his ankle and sends him sprawling.

The "Blocker" will be moving along nicely, and seem like a good walker, but then stop dead in her tracks no matter where she is or who's nearby.  Typically, you will find Blockers in a shopping mall, where they will stop in the middle of the corridor to look into a store window, oblivious to the massive pileup they just caused behind them.  The Blocker usually does not take hints very well, so a good solid shove to the side will get her out of the way.

A "Chainer" is not a problem on his own, but when Chainers are walking together, they are a hazard to all other walkers.  Chainers hold hands or link arms, forming an unpassable barrier.  This is typically the ploy of teenage girls.  To break the chain, make like you're playing "red rover" and rush right at them with blinding speed.  Aim for a link, you don't want to have a full body collision with a Chainer.

The "Gorilla" will never break off from his pre-determined path, no matter what happens.  The Gorilla usually perceives himself as a tough-guy; in reality, he's an idiot.  He won't turn sideways to fit through narrow corridors, he won't step to the side to let anyone past, he walks straight ahead, with shoulders set.  A Gorilla can actually break Chainers by his very nature.  He will never move to the side, so Chainers are forced to break the chain to get past him.  The Gorilla prefers to bump into you and throw you a mean look than to politely step aside.  When you encounter a Gorilla, it's a good idea to stare him down as he walks past, so that he knows you are not weak.  Then laugh at him behind his back like everyone else does.

The "Stroller" walks just slow enough that you want to pass him, but just fast enough that you can't quite get around him.  Sometimes the Stroller will appear to be a Blocker.  Do not be fooled by this cheap trick, he is only pausing long enough for you to think you can safely get past him, but at the last second he will step out in front of you again.  Walking behind a Stroller can be a very frustrating experience, it's best to temporarily become a Whipper to get in front of them.

And finally, there is the "Carrier".  The Carrier will inevitably have too many shopping bags, or a large object of some kind in her hands.  If you are within twenty feet of a Carrier, you are subject to getting bashed in the leg by a shopping bag, or possibly hit in the face by a four foot stuffed animal if you happen to be at a carnival.

Just consider this a public service announcement.

- crocoPuffs

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