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All Season Guide to Urban Walking

Posted January 29th, 2014 at 10:15 AM by Sylvano the Wasabus
Iím just about to leave my job for greener pastures. This place hasnít been bad- I tried to make the very best of every moment I had. I worked on two novels while I was employed here, and I walked on breaks and lunch as much as I could. This is what I learned about walking in the city in all sorts of situations:

Beware of cars. Some of them are killers. You may think thereís a person inside driving, but what if the car is alive and that person is a prisoner? Cars eat people. Never assume theyíre not going to hit you.

If you hear people shouting at each other cross the street. I have seen more domestic disputes spilling out of houses than I care to count. Someone is usually very angry and you donít want to walk through the middle of that. If itís outside itís because someone is leaving and thatís for the best.

If you hear a woman calling a cat, donít look. Three times I have been blinded by obese women in underwear searching for their cats calling from their front porch. At least thatís what I think they were looking for.

Listen to the dogs. Unlike people, they will tell you when they want to eat you and usually are in the same place every day. Learn where they are and donít go there. Some dogs are friendly the first day and then on the second day they will try to eat you. Dogs are smarter than people, and they will deceive you.

Old women will say hello to anyone. Your answer helps them to identify you, just in case you were someone they knew.

Try not to walk the same path every day. Teenage girls who live in the area will quickly decide you are stalking them. Their fathers have guns.

Donít bring any money when you walk. I was never robbed but entire neighbourhoods are infected with the smell of greasy food cooking and I would have spent every penny I had satisfying grease lust at restaurants I passed.

Winter is the most beautiful time to walk. Thereís almost no one out, and itís very quiet in residential neighbourhoods. A serene beauty of snow and ice. Some people are very artistic when it comes to building snowmen.

If you like gardening walking in the Spring and Summer is amazing, because you get to see all the flowers and things blooming and growing. I learned to appreciate all sorts of plants that I never appreciated before. Itís okay to stop and smell the flowers.

Donít talk to small children who are cute and want to talk to you. Their mothers are waiting in the house with scissors to stab strangers who try to abduct their neglected children.

I learned to appreciate shade. We have really hot, humid summers. Seeking shade as I walked saved me. I swear its ten degrees cooler under the trees.

Watch where you step. There is broken glass and screws and nails everywhere. I had a huge piece of glass go through my shoe and luckily miss my foot.

If people look crazy, they probably are. There was an old man on one of my routes and he kept a beautiful yard- but he cut the grass with little hand trimmers. Heíd sit out there on a cushion. I thought he would be a character, but when we made eye contact he said ďGodís taking over Germany.Ē I kept going.

If you see an attractive woman who looks friendly do not engage. There is usually a possessive man just around the side of the house with a weed wacker.

Do not approach acrobats. This sounds odd but itís true. I pass many parks and once in one there was a group of acrobats practicing. I paused to watch. They told me off. ďWhat are you looking at?!Ē Obviously I was looking at mean acrobats.

If people you know see you walking they will offer you a ride. They will think you are lost. Why else would you be walking around? When you tell them youíre just walking they will then think you are crazy. The upside is that they will never bother you when you are walking again.

Even on rainy days it doesnít rain all day. Often you can walk between the showers. You will only remember to bring an umbrella when you donít need it.

On the coldest days you will need something to cover your face when you walk into the wind. The rest of the time you will be fine. If youíre cold at first, youíll warm up.

People with beer bottles in their hands say loud things that they think are funny but they never really are.

People who are hoarders hoard things in their yards too.

Flying men swear.

Life changes very quickly. Sometimes I walk by one day and everything is good and the next day a building is burned down, or a tree has been cut, or a huge hole dug in the ground by machines.

Paranoid people put up ďkeep off the grassĒ signs. Realistic people build fences.

Swimming pools almost never have people in them.

Skunks are non-confrontational.

People spend most of their time alone or being angry. I have only passed happy people together a handful of times. Of course Iím just passing by but I hope what I see isnít indicative of peopleís lives.

And finally, if someone is picking you up try to be ready and come out right away. If you keep them waiting, even if they smile when they see you, they want to strangle you.
Total Comments 8


ZBeeblebrox's Avatar

good stuff
Posted January 29th, 2014 at 01:08 PM by ZBeeblebrox ZBeeblebrox is offline
Arch-vile's Avatar
Nicely written.
Posted January 29th, 2014 at 01:34 PM by Arch-vile Arch-vile is offline
MegaSilver's Avatar
Excellent writing, as always.
Posted January 29th, 2014 at 06:45 PM by MegaSilver MegaSilver is offline
flameslayer93's Avatar
My favorite was the teenage girls and their fathers. XD
Posted January 31st, 2014 at 05:33 PM by flameslayer93 flameslayer93 is offline
Tornado's Avatar
Amazingly awesome perspective.

I totally agree that Winter is a great walking time due to the lack of others out and about.

Some great insights and well written to boot. Thanks for sharing. Good luck with the new gig.
Posted January 31st, 2014 at 05:53 PM by Tornado Tornado is offline
chas's Avatar
It used to be that you could tell people were crazy when they talked to themselves loudly as they walked along behind you. Now you know they are being crazy while they are talking into their cell phones at other crazy people while they walk along behind you.
Posted February 2nd, 2014 at 02:00 AM by chas chas is offline
Mars1912's Avatar
Originally Posted by IshMEL View Post
Two Bugbears I've been working on:

Spoiler Alert!

Spoiler Alert!
Link to original thread.

Did you know you have a card now Slyvano?
Posted February 3rd, 2014 at 09:27 PM by Mars1912 Mars1912 is offline
Sylvano the Wasabus's Avatar
Bugbears are the best. I like hit and run! But you've got his personality wrong. He's intimidating and sensitive.
Posted February 3rd, 2014 at 10:37 PM by Sylvano the Wasabus Sylvano the Wasabus is offline
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