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skot AT izzlepfaff DOT com

Wednesday, 08 September
Very Pedestrian

Hi, howdy, hi, and all that shit! Have a good weekend? I did. Nice and relaxing. I think my favorite part was hanging out and my friend K.'s, and he became disgusted with a package of corn tortillas (we were making tacos); I think they smelled funny or something--I wouldn't know, as I was eating flour tacos. Anyway, K. was most dissatisfied with his flatbread purchase and suddenly yelled at me, "DUCK!" Then he hurled them at my head. Fortunately, my unearthly reflexes kicked in, and I did duck, and they sailed over my head through K.'s fourth-floor balcony door and gracefully fell to the pavement below, landing with a lonely-sounding DAP. K.'s girlfriend K. covered her eyes at this sadly typical display of tortilla discontent--this was by no means the first thing she had ever seen hurled furiously into the street--while K. (the former) and I entertained ourselves briefly by watching cars run over the discarded corn-disks. Not for very long, really, though. It wasn't like they were getting much flatter. It's just fun watching cars run over stuff, even mundane things like substandard taco shells.

Not so much fun is watching cars run over things that are precious to you, like, say, you. As a person who walks to work, this nearly happens to me, oh, I think nearly EVERY FUCKING DAY. I say nearly, of course, because I have so far managed not to be run over, but it's only despite the best, most enthusiastic efforts of Seattle's frankly incredibly shit-blind drivers. I could fill a lot of space with stories of my near-hits. (Seriously, Seattle drivers: an awful lot of you are real fuckballs, and I sincerely hope many of you die in exotically unpleasant scenarios involving things like starved boars.)

Most stories, unfortunately, about walking around being menaced by cars, observing local fauna excreting, etc., are pretty boring. Including these. Enjoy!

Every morning, I am forced to cross Olive Way, which at the I-5 overpass is a one-way road where two lanes veer off onto the freeway onramp. Needless to say, cars aren't real fucking enthused about gearing down to let people cross the onramp entrance, despite the clearly posted crosswalk, so I routinely have to scamper across the road to avoid being crushed by the accursed commuters every morning and afternoon. You get used to it, but it certainly instills a singular loathing for the zooming parade of bastards who ignore you waiting to cross the fucking road.

One morning I began to cross (with cars oncoming but down the road a bit), and I failed to correctly judge the outlandish speed that one small car was approaching at. The next thing I knew, the damn sporty little can had squealed to a screeching halt mere feet from my knees, scaring the helpless loafs of shit nearly right out of me. (Bear in mind that the bloody assholes are supposed to stop anyway.) Then--then!--the tiny little silver fucking douchecar emitted this unbelievably horrible noise--BLAAAAAP!

The fuckette--for it was a woman--was honking at me. For crossing the street. At a crosswalk. At which she was hurtling at barely subsonic speed. Well, that was it. In a truly reptilian display of limbic outrage, I wheeled on the car and let fly with my lit cigarette at the windshield, whose trajectory was remarkably flat for such an aerodynamically challenged item. It bounced off the glass feebly, and I screamed, "FUCK YOU!" I was dimly pleased to see the woman flinch, probably fearing that I was going to crawl into her car like a mythical, horrid onramp incubus and violate her in some awfully specific way.

I felt bad about this later--a little bit--I mean, freaking women out is not something I strive for on a daily basis. But maybe this one deserved it . . . a little bit?

Walking to work, as I mentioned before, also entails on a regular basis seeing things like people relieving themselves on the streets. At least in most urban settings. I barely register it any more, except in kind of a "Gee, I sure hope that peeing guy doesn't talk to me." Sometimes they do. "Hey, you got any change?" Uh . . . no. Please don't vengefully pee on me. But hey, you know, people gotta pee.

But perhaps not . . . well . . . inventively. Another day, this time on my way home from work, a fellow was taking a piss right outside the Capitol Hill library. His technique was, ah, innovative. Rather than the usual "huddle against a wall, go to it" method, this man rewrote the rules. He was standing near the sidewalk, his pants around his knees, and he was bent over at the waist. He had tucked his dick in between his legs, Jame Gumb style, so his dick was pointing backwards under his ass and clenched between his thighs, and his urine described an unlovely parabola from its point of origin directly onto the sidewalk. His female companion watched this display clinically, and they gabbled incomprehensibly, exchanging baffling syllables animatedly. I wondered if David Lynch was directing a scat video, and hurried along, despite the realization that even that would be better than Mulholland Drive.

The final tale to relate rests on the sorta-kinda reputation that Seattle has for its laughably strict no-jaywalking laws. For years I heard tales of people getting cited for UNLAWFUL STREET CROSSING, mostly of the friend-of-a-friend type, so I never gave them much credence. Until one morning.

I was waiting at a light as I made my way to work; traffic was minimal at best. Olive and Bellevue was deader than a thousand corpses, and so I made my way across, not noticing the cop car idling at the light behind me. He pulled up alongside me with full lights and a BLAP on the siren; already I was filled with disdain. Oh, for God's sake, I thought. I'm public enemy number nine hundred and five.

"You know why I pulled you over?" he asked. I refrained from letting him know that I was already on the sidewalk. Where was he going to "pull me over"? Into someone's apartment?

"I guess because I walked against the signal," I said. I noted sadly that he had alongside him, at seven in the morning, a Subway sandwich larded with pepperoncinis. I mastered the urge to ask him how his divorce proceedings were going.

"Yep. That's seventy-four dollars, you know." He said this in flat tones that mirrored the state of his depressing sandwich.

"I'm sure sorry," I replied. "I was just trying to get to work. I'm a few minutes late."

He seemed to survey me for a few moments, trying to gauge my smartass factor, which, when it comes to cops, is nil. Why fuck them around? It's only going to mean woe.

He said, "Would you have done that if you'd have seen me first?"

This struck me as really puzzling. Would I have crossed illegally had I noticed the cop car? Of course not. (Lord knows I'm too much of a moron to be trusted with something as complicated as crossing the fucking street on my own, officer! I need the government's aid for this perplexing task!) He seemed to be asking whether or not I was just a feeb or some kind of loony anarchist street-crosser.

"No, sir, I don't think so," I replied. "Like I say, I was just in a hurry to get to work." Like most of us are murdering ourselves to get into the office.

He scowled at me like the SCUMBAG I OBVIOUSLY WAS. Then he said, weirdly, "Seventy-four dollars!" again, as a further warning. And took off.

This is like the most petty thing ever, but my Christ . . . that cop has inspired me to walk on every stupid light I ever see.

Note: Comments are closed on old entries.


"Like most of us are murdering ourselves to get into the office."

no comment, still laughing

Comment number: 005039   Posted by: teena on September 8, 2004 05:53 AM from IP:

Same here, teena. :)

I really really really dig your style, Skot. Please don't stop blogging. ;)

Comment number: 005040   Posted by: Carlo on September 8, 2004 06:19 AM from IP:

I once had a similar encounter with a Portland police officer. I decided to turn left on a decidedly red left arrow (the light for going forward was green, and the view up the street was clear for miles, but still, the turn arrow clearly indicated that I was to wait). As I pulled around the corner, a siren went off disconcertingly closeby. A glance in the mirror confirmed my fears: a cop had been waiting to turn left immediately behind me.

The cop gave me a withering stare as he pulled up beside me. He shook his head in disgust. "Right in front of Officer Friendly," he said, as if he had trouble believing the depths to which Portland drivers would sink.

"Sorry officer."

"Two more years," he said. "Two more years of adult babysitting." He sounded as if he despaired of making it to retirement. Then he pulled away. I felt so insulted, I wanted to call him back to give me a ticket.

Comment number: 005041   Posted by: on September 8, 2004 08:58 AM from IP:

That last comment was mine -- didn't mean to be anonymous. I'm not that ashamed of my criminal past.

Comment number: 005042   Posted by: Billl on September 8, 2004 09:00 AM from IP:

I gotta say, I hear you on the subject of Seattle drivers. I moved here from elsewhere and they drive me stark raving, and I do mean raving, nuts. Sigh.


Comment number: 005043   Posted by: Mary Kay on September 9, 2004 08:22 AM from IP:

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