Saturday, November 22, 2008

Avoid the Ones in the Rain Ponchos: A Scientific Study

What I find most remarkable about the tourists walking on the sidewalk in Manhattan, god bless their economic contribution, is their solid refusal to accept that they are not riding in a car. They are nakedly vehicle-less on the crowded streets, meandering along sandwiched between millions of us actually trying to get someplace on time.

Current Working Hypothesis:
  • Tourists in denial: although on foot, retain delusion they are somehow in automobile.

Two Preliminary Observations Supporting Hypothesis:
  • Families cluster on the sidewalk as if they were enclosed by a four-door sedan. Dad on left, mom on right, two kids in the back.
  • Out-of-towner discussions ensue as if occurring inside a car with the windows rolled up.
    Case Study:
    Fanny-pack woman on a street corner waiting for light to change waves around a map and exclaims, "Where are we? I think the Empire State Building must not be on this street. I said we should have turned back there."
    Her husband replies, "No, I think it's up ahead on the left."
    Meanwhile, a dozen locals are close enough to breathe on, all of whom wonder silently why nobody has asked them to point toward the Empire State Building. New Yorkers do not understand that tourists sneaker along inside invisible autobody pods.
  • Tourists loudly protest and complain about rudeness when they get bumped by another pedestrian. Accustomed to traveling comfortably seated inside a buffer of glass and steel amidst orderly traffic patterns, they are not used to the open-air, full-body exposure to others, jostling in lassez-faire sidewalk free-for-all mayhem.
Scientific Inconsistency Refuting Stated Hypothesis:
  • If one of the visiting pedestrian meanderthals or 4-abreast mall-walkers was driving along in their pick-up truck, they would likely not squeal to a complete stop in the middle of the highway to admire something shiny in a shop window.
    And then wonder why they got rear-ended.
  • Further analysis is required.
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