© 2010 Aaron Atkinson

What Blows About the ‘Windy City’

Laura and I were in Chicago a couple of weeks ago.  It was a sunny, warm Saturday and all of Chicago’s 3 million residents were outside. And they were all using the same sidewalk as us. Sidewalks in big cities should be wide enough to accommodate herds of people, but they are not.

It seems to me that the polite thing to do on a busy sidewalk would be to walk single file, or at most shoulder to shoulder with your companions, but Chicago’s 3 million all travel in packs, and they do not yield. So yield we did. For two hours Laura walked behind me each time we came upon a gaggle of walkers, while said gaggle walked four wide down the sidewalk.

Me: I’ve had it.

Laura: Huh?

Me: This blows. We’re too polite with all this yielding. Next time we cross paths with someone I’m holding my ground.

I identify a likely squadron of nine 30 year old women approaching, laughing and taking up the entire sidewalk… they are oblivious.

I outweigh the brunette in my path by 50 pounds… target acquired.

Moments before we are to collide I stop walking… and let her crash into my left shoulder.

Brunette: Oh goodness, I’m sorry.

Me: No problem. (devious smile)

Tough guy aura… established.

For the rest of the afternoon, I parted the crowds on the far right 20 inches of sidewalk like I was Moses and they were the Red Sea.

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