Mark Thompson

Slow Walkers? They’ve Got Nothing on Those Unpredictable Walkers

Everyone hates slow walkers, but you know what? Compared to these bastards, they’re borderline saints.


The modern experience is landscaped by many hills one can choose to die on. Many pointless wars are fought on a daily basis. They’re always between two disparate parties and always with no possibility of a peaceful middle ground. Coke versus Pepsi? Star Wars versus Star Trek?

While they should all be taken seriously, and should all end in violence or divorce, I believe there’s one we can all get behind, or fight over. Slow walkers. Yes, them. They’ve overtaken the previous champions of urban annoyance (sorry junkies/ebullient backpackers) to proudly stride the top step, veeerryyy slowly.

They’re everyone’s easy enemy. So much so that the collective antagonism toward them has launched as many Tinder bios as it has interior fantasies of flipping these glacial fucks the bird, mouth upturned the feeling of speculating how good that’d be. Which would be soooo good. However, and please, come at me over this, but I can handle slow walkers. They’re not the problem. Those who walk in an unpredictable fashion can fuck all the way off.

You know the type, those who weave nonsense parabolic trajectories beyond ticket gates, those who make you draw in you reverse your inertia, as you miraculously twist yourself to arabesque around their fuckery, only for them to meet you in the exact opposite position a nanosecond later.

Just like driving, a certain amount of trust is placed on the other party. Most busy downtown sidewalks are the same as their roads: not suitable for traffic. So, as everyone is crippled by the same issue, you trust others to do the right thing, or obey the rules, no matter how loose. If they can’t do that, sure, be dicks, but be predictable dicks. I’ll respect someone who walks entirely alpha, with traps flexed, legs akimbo, and eyes darting for the opportunity of the next fight. That’s fine, as long as he walks in a consistent pattern.


What none of us want is some rogue stroller, some jazz walker, some enlightened bastard who plays fast and loose with the rules, someone who pulls out into foot traffic, not to merge, but to check their phones.


What none of us want is some rogue stroller, some jazz walker, some enlightened bastard who plays fast and loose with the rules, someone who pulls out into foot traffic, not to merge, but to check their phones. Someone who crosses from left to right over the right line, leaving no indicator blinking, but sudden stopping. WhyWhy are you doing this? This coffee is meant for my throat, not the cuff of my shirt.

I can only speak from my own commuting experience, so I’m unsure if this rich genetic subset has spread to other cities, but I’ve noticed subsets within the meta subset. The less important the mode of transport, the more likely you’ll cross paths with one of these characters. You see, I’ve recently moved to a suburb that has a ferry stop, and I’m very excited. Don’t hate me, the house I live in is a dive, so are we cool now?

Anyway, I thought I’d take advantage of this transpo fad and try my best to take it to work as often as I can. It feels like a very small holiday. You’re vacationing on the way to work. However, once the bloated wobbling obsolete beast lazes its way into the harbor, it’s time to get your game face on. And lord, as soon as that gangplank clangs the jetty, it’s ostensibly the dinner bell for these fucks. Now, I’m unsure if the six-minute journey on calm seas is enough to perforate the eardrums of those on board, as I’m unsure if these ghouls tapped on with their foreheads, but the vague winding fuckery of those who struggle their way up the jetty would hint at a serious concussion. Please go to sleep.

I suppose it’s my own fault for spicing up my commute, but the truth universally acknowledged remains. Those in possession of not much time to get to work must be in want of a clear path.

So, the next time you’re unsure what the fuck you’re doing, please pull over to the shoulder and let the faster traffic pass to the right.



Mark Thompson

Mark Thompson lives in regional NSW working by day in an accounting firm, and by night lives and breathes being a food and wine snob. He hopes to one day be a food critic or at the very least, meet Maggie Beer.

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