By the time you read this, I will probably need some money for bail.

January 9, 2014
One of the main reasons I decided to rent my current apartment was its location — a quick fifteen-minute walk from the university where I work.

Well, that and the apartment building’s fine collection of vagina art, but that’s a whole other blog post entirely.

One of these paintings is of a vagina. You decide which one.

One of these paintings is of a vagina. You decide which one.

I had a pretty lengthy commute when I lived in Buffalo — a forty-five minute drive each way. I kind of hate driving and really kind of hate other people driving, so most of my commute was spent swearing at swerving drivers and texting drivers and ALL THE DRIVERS! I HATE YOU ALL! DIE, DIE, DIE!

I imagined my new walking commute would involve a lot less swearing and thoughts of murder and a lot more sunshine and fresh air and possibly some skipping.

Sadly, this is not the case. You see, my road rage has just been replaced with sidewalk rage.

But instead of swearing at people from the insulated, sound-proof safety of my car, I swear at people from the sidewalk.

Which means that people could potentially hear me.

Which also means that at any given point I may end up getting arrested for crazy, disorderly, sidewalk-yelling.

It hasn’t always been this way.

I really liked my walking commute in the beginning.

DSC05058

My commute BEFORE.

And then it started to snow. A LOT.

My commute NOW.

My commute NOW.

Mind you, my problem is not the snow itself. Sure, it’s cold and slippery. But, it’s snow, you guys. That’s what snow does.

My problem is the people.

Basically, well, how-do-I-put-this-so-I-don’t-sound-like-a-total-psycho, I HATE ALL THE PEOPLE.

I hate all the people who don’t shovel the sidewalks in front of their homes or businesses or big huge massive churches. (I’m looking at you, Mormon Church on the corner of my street. I’m looking at you.)

There's supposed to be a sidewalk somewhere in front of that church.

There’s supposed to be a sidewalk somewhere in front of that church.

I hate all the people who drive by me super fast, spraying sludge all over me and my work clothes, as I’m trudging along the side of the road because I can’t walk on the sidewalk because the sidewalk is now covered in three feet of snow WHICH SOME JERKHOLE IS TOO LAZY TO SHOVEL.

I hate all the people who stop their cars in the middle of the crosswalk even though it’s called a crossWALK and not a crossSTOPYOURCARRIGHTHERE.

I even hate the people who stop their cars in the middle of the crosswalk, and then they see me walking, and they realize they’re in the middle of the crosswalk, so they back up their cars all apologetic-like so I can walk through. I know they have realized the error of their ways, but I still hate them.

The only people I don’t hate are my fellow pedestrians.

Yesterday, as I was walking home from work, I shared disgruntled comments  and eye-rolls with the people walking in front of me over the disastrous state of the sidewalks. One guy struck up a conversation with me as we slipped along the sludgy side of the street. And another guy cheerfully told me to “Walk safe” as he walked by me.

The cockles of my rage-filled heart were warmed by the sudden sense of solidarity I felt for my fellow walkers.

We may be few and far between and covered in sludge.

But we are scrappy and resilient and have really strong calf muscles.

And, yes, we are screaming at you from the crosswalk because IT’S CALLED A CROSSWALK FOR A REASON, YOU JERKHOLE!

Have you ever experienced pedestrian rage? How do you cope when   you want to KILL ALL THE PEOPLE? (P.S. Police, I don’t really mean I want to kill all the people. I’m speaking figuratively here. Please don’t arrest me.)
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I've blathered on long enough! Now it's your turn!

  1. On January 9, 2014 at 8:54 am Hata Trbonja said:

    I also suffer from sidewalk rage. Here in France it isn’t the snow: it’s the poop. Thats right, poop. Lots of dog poop. Everywhere. It is impossible to dodge. I hate it. I would take snow any day over huge mounds of poo.

  2. On January 9, 2014 at 9:16 am Katie said:

    I can so relate! The first few snowfalls here people were good about shoveling. But apparently a foot of snow followed by -15 temps caused people to give up on shoveling altogether. The sidewalks in my neighborhood are horrible!! But the streets are gross and slushy so I still try to walk where the sidewalk should be, on top of a foot of packed down snow.
    Katie recently posted..Crying a River Back to Namche

    • On January 12, 2014 at 10:11 am Sally said:

      Yep, I’ve been flailing around on packed down snow all week. You’d think the fine people of the Great Lakes states would be better at shoveling than they are!

  3. On January 9, 2014 at 10:27 am jennifer said:

    You better believe I have pedestrian rage! The people to the left of me never shovel the snow, ever. Then we get to the corners. Now I understand, no one is in charge of shoveling the actual street. So when you go to step off the sidewalk onto the street, there will be a lot of snow there. With lots of footprints in it. I hate when those foot-printed piles freeze. So now you are walking on snow mounds with foot prints frozen into it. Which is really the same thing as begging for a twisted ankle.

    Or when those piles melt and crossing the street = you have no choice but to step into several inches of watery sludge because there is no other way to step off the sidewalk.

    I don’t even have anyone to direct my anger towards since as I already mentioned, I am aware that no one is responsible for shoveling the actual street.
    jennifer recently posted..Travel Day: New York City to Niagara Falls, Ontario

  4. On January 9, 2014 at 10:37 am Selly said:

    I hear you, Sally, I hear you. Walking in China can be a total nightmare. Drivers here think they have the right of way at all times, I’m sure you might remember this. So even if I am walking on the sidewalk which you know is supposed to be my part of the world the car behind me is still honking madly because he’s trying to get out onto the road. I’ve kind of stopped moving away, I just shuffle along in a kind of “I-Dare-You-To-Hit-Me” kind of manner. Apart from that trees grow in the middle of the sidewalk, people wait for busses and won’t move away and street vendors take up more of the sidewalk than there actually is. Then there is all the construction… The workers perpetually use the sidewalks as a place to store supplies so it’s impossible to walk on. The best place, and it’s seems to also be the safest place to walk on, is the side of the road. The part cars are to my right, the traffic to my left. There I have peace…anywhere else forget it!

  5. On January 9, 2014 at 11:05 am Katharina @ 100 Miles Highway said:

    Uhm… I experience pedestrian rage almost every day. Not against cars or people who don’t shovel their paths. No. I feel rage against other pedestrians!

    You see, I work close to London’s Oxford Circus – which is, as the name already says, a circus. It’s the main place to meet for tourists, so try getting around on a hurry – it’s literally impossible! But it gets even better: not only is it super crowded… but also full of completely unpredictable people: they start walking, you follow and suddenly – they stop! to take pictures! or look at a map!

    I’m pretty sure one day I’ll be smacked for pushing my way through the crowd talking to myself.
    Katharina @ 100 Miles Highway recently posted..Hiking to my Favourite Black Sand Beach in Tenerife (Spain)

    • On January 12, 2014 at 10:06 am Sally said:

      I used to work in London, too, and I remember the acute rage I felt for pedestrians and tourists. Especially those tourists who didn’t stand to the side on the tube escalators (because I was the one who was usually running up the other side trying to get to work on time).

  6. On January 9, 2014 at 12:34 pm @MsBoice said:

    Sally,

    First, I thought when I read above that you were texting drivers you hate while you drive, which turns out to be naughty and ironic. Heh.

    Second, I shall tell my Mormon comrades to shovel the %#$&?! snow.

    Third, right this second I have riding-in-a-plane rage because guy in front of me insists on reclining and I can’t work on my laptop. And by work on my laptop I mean, play solitaire. (Actually, I DO have work to do and a deadline, but can’t do any of it, so I’m instead sleuthing the internets on my iPad mini. )

    Sigh.

    So now I’m going to produce some violent, wet coughing on the seat top in front of me in 3…2…1….

    • On January 12, 2014 at 10:05 am Sally said:

      Oh yes, airplane seat rage. I’m VERY familiar with that one. Although, I’m usually the one at the end of the rage as I like to do things like drink tons of water and then have to go to the bathroom every hour. Usually I try to get an aisle seat to spare anyone from having to deal with me crawling all over them, but sometimes that doesn’t happen, and, well, the person on the aisle is never too happy. (Although, I do always warn them in advance and ask them if they want to trade. So it’s kind of their fault for not agreeing.)

  7. On January 9, 2014 at 12:55 pm Casey @ A Cruising Couple said:

    Haha I felt like I was nodding vigorously in agreement the whole time! Not that I have experienced a commute in the snow, but I most definitely felt pedestrian rage in Taiwan. With cars and scooters and street venders parked where the sidewalk would normally exist and ridiculous road rules that don’t every apply, I felt like just walking down the street was a life-threatening adventure!
    Casey @ A Cruising Couple recently posted..A Preview of Life in San Pancho, Mexico

    • On January 12, 2014 at 10:02 am Sally said:

      That’s exactly how I felt in China! There was one time, when I was walking on the sidewalk and I turned around to see a full-sized van rumbling up behind me. ON THE SIDEWALK. Which meant I had to go walk in the street, so I didn’t get run over.

  8. On January 9, 2014 at 2:13 pm Kate said:

    Ha ha, love the post–and definitely feel your pain. Sweetie is pressuring me to get my car windows tinted because I throw the finger so often that he thinks I am going to get shot one day. (I live near LA, the national capital for freeway shootings, so he has grounds to be concerned.)

    As for walking, well, I’m always muttering under my breath, “I certainly HOPE you do not drive the way you walk!” At least I THINK I’m muttering under my breath–I’m getting old and turning into the cranky old bat from the Shoebox greeting cards. My muttering could be getting louder.

  9. On January 9, 2014 at 4:23 pm Leslie in Portland, Oregon said:

    Sally, your next job should be in Portland, where it never snows (and if it does, it doesn’t stick)! Thank you for curing me of my delusional yearning for snow…

  10. On January 9, 2014 at 4:24 pm Rachael said:

    I freelance for many outlets in the ski industry and just happened upon your lovely tirade.
    I am the queen of road rage. In fact last week, I was driving down the canyon (coming home from skiing) and my 11 year old was yelling at his brother and he happened to be within arm’s reach. I popped him good. His nose started bleeding all over my OCD clean car and I tossed him a cup and said “bend over and drip in that the rest of the way home”. At the same time, I was cursing at some lady in a mini van who was ahead of me and obviously scared to death to drive in the snow as she snaked down the canyon at a rip roaring speed of 20 mph. I am laying on the horn and riding her tail like a banshee but I cant flip her off because my dang contact had popped out of my left eye and I had that precariously sitting on my middle finger as I squinted and screamed. Anyways, my kids think I am totally cray and my son later said that the lesson he learned is not to sit in the front seat when I am mad. Hey Noah, maybe you shouldn’t yell at your brother!!!

    Anyways, As a MORMON, I really wanted to check in and see if those sidewalks have been shoveled yet? Members take turns so when someone slacks, everyone suffers. Sorry it had to be us to give you a reason to call us jerkholes. Love that name BTW.
    Take care and happy walking, Rachael

    • On January 12, 2014 at 9:59 am Sally said:

      Whelp, your Mormon brothers and sisters have definitely not been picking up the slack! Is there some elder you can talk to about this? Because, I swear they haven’t shoveled the sidewalk ALL winter. (Also, I just reported them online to ‘the authorities.’ I’m pretty sure this means I’m going to hell.)

      • On January 12, 2014 at 1:27 pm @MsBoice said:

        (this is Lisa, not the one who wrote the above note you’re reponding to) Being as I live in Utah and not in your neck of the woods I wouldn’t know who to contact locally, but I did send a message to the folks at Mormon.org and said they should get their tails over there and get the snow removed or rattle someone’s cage over there. But I probably just got the social media intern. Who knows. (sigh)

        I’m betting your reporting locally will get some movement (let’s pray…ahem).

        I don’t think you’ll go to hell, but they might send some missionaries over to ya.

  11. On January 9, 2014 at 8:00 pm Dani Blanchette said:

    Hahahaha…Here in Vegas I actually want to kill the pedeatrians. Do they these tourist people realize that there are other people behind them, possibly trying to actually go somewhere, and stopping sharply in the middle of a sidewalk, hotel walkway, casino floor…for no apparent reason because there isn’t even anything to look at at this particular spot you just stopped at and somehow managed to spread yourself and your way too large suitcase across the ENTIRE walking area and now I’m going to trip over your stuff while you give me dirty looks like I should just wait for you to decide to go again when you are making me late for work.

    I’m sorry. Am I ranting?….
    Dani Blanchette recently posted..Oh Hey Look, Another 2013 Roundup!

    • On January 12, 2014 at 9:58 am Sally said:

      Luckily, not too many tourists in Kalamazoo. But I get what you’re saying — especially the part about spreading out across the entire walking area. In Japan, people had a way of taking up the ENTIRE sidewalk. Which I never understood. I mean, most Japanese people are pretty small, especially compared to me. So how could they possibly take up so much space? It defied physics really.

  12. On January 9, 2014 at 8:27 pm ChinaMatt said:

    Yes, yes, yes. Completely agree. I had to deal with these jerks when I walked to work in Jersey City (actually had a guy get out of his car and threaten me because I flipped him off for not stopping for a pedestrian in a crosswalk AT A RED LIGHT–he claimed he had the right of way).

    Now I deal with motorbikes parked on sidewalks and really slow walkers in Hanoi. People need to just get out of my way and let me walk, damn it!
    ChinaMatt recently posted..Biking the Road Less Traveled in Angkor

    • On January 12, 2014 at 9:56 am Sally said:

      Luckily there aren’t too many motorbikes or other walkers here in Michigan. Especially not in the winter! But that stuff filled me with all kinds of rage in China.

  13. On January 9, 2014 at 8:32 pm Ross said:

    I am reading this while I should be out shoveling the sidewalk. What a jerkhole! I’m sorry, it’s only a few inches today. I’ll go do it right now I promise. Don’t hate me.
    Ross recently posted..Virgin River

  14. On January 9, 2014 at 9:07 pm Michelle said:

    I have more road rage and Walmart rage than pedestrian rage. Not many sidewalks here outside the city limits. In Buffalo, was it a law to shovel sidewalks in front of homes and businesses? My in laws live in Brooklyn and they tell me it is the law and they will ticket people who do not shovel in front of the house or business. Which is all good unless your one of the first out and between the snow shovelers and plows, the place to cross the streets are waist deep in snow! I couldn’t feel below my waist and was soaking wet! As for the rage, my hubs has had to grab hold of me to keep me from getting out of my car at a red light to say bad words to the person in front of us! I decided Jack Nicholson is my hero after his road rage motivated him to get out of his car and beat the hell out of the offending vehicle with his golf club! A man after my heart! I just try not to drive unless someone makes me! Would rather stay in bed with a good book! Maybe I’m just not a good people person?

    • On January 12, 2014 at 9:52 am Sally said:

      It’s a law here, too, I found out. So I spent my Saturday reporting all the offenders online. Although, it’s been raining here all weekend, so by the time people get notice to shovel their sidewalks, I imagine all the snow will be gone!

  15. On January 10, 2014 at 8:54 am Montecristo Travels (Sonja) said:

    Wow … well I guess I can’t complain because this is so normal for us, everything is cleared quickly. What I hate is that we had some freak warmth (I know I know sounds weird but wait for it … ) so temperatures went from -42 to an odd +1 for about a day … then frightingly dropped right back.

    Now you would think we would all be loving the break right… WRONG.

    See, what happens is that the 4 feet of snow (yes that is the truth … not just a few inches) start to melt. Creating water puddles… no not puddles… lakes… everywhere and then .. then they freeze back UP! So now you have to basically skate. Yes the sidewalks are cleared of snow – but they are in fact a thousand times more dangerous. Hospitals right about now have a massive influx of folks with severe injuries. Concussion and broken bones are the most common. I now have a series of spikes that I can add to my boots … it has helped keep me safe. Hey actually … do you need me to send you some? They don’t cost much so I don’t mind. Let me know ok?

    So MY pet peeve … are those businesses that don’t follow the LAW (yes here it is a law) and ICE THEIR ENTRANCE. I should not have to skate to come to you. Just sayin.

  16. On January 10, 2014 at 5:04 pm Ken C. said:

    I shoveled the place where we were staying in Illinois [front, back, and side yard walks] during this recent extreme “polar” cold spell. Often, th snow was so dry and light, it could be swept away with a broom. But, I commiserate with you on those knuckle-headed drivers. I was so peeved at drivers who wouldn’t stop for middle school kids trying to cross in the crosswalk, in a posted [yellow signs] school zone! [they returned to school on Wednesday] I normally would honk and yell at the inconsiderate drivers, but the local folks don’t seem to do that in small-town Illinois, so I just fumed at them, with my darkest thoughts.

  17. On January 11, 2014 at 12:42 pm Colleen Brynn said:

    More importantly, isn’t this a legal issue? I don’t mean your getting arrested, I mean their lack of shovelling. And I’m from Canada, so the fact that I’m even bringing this up should mean something. You are liable if you don’t shovel and someone injures themselves on your sidewalk/stairs etc. Someone should get out there and shovel! Or many Canadians just take their shovelling a little more seriously?
    Colleen Brynn recently posted..Pass The Baton!

    • On January 12, 2014 at 9:40 am Sally said:

      Yes, actually it is. I wasn’t sure what the laws were here, so I did a little research (read: Google search) and found out there is a city ordinance requiring business and home owners to shovel their sidewalks. AND I found out I could report violations online. So that’s how I spent my Saturday — reporting all my lazy no-shoveling neighbors. Starting with the Mormon church on the corner…

  18. On January 11, 2014 at 11:51 pm Carmel said:

    I most definitely share your sidewalk rage. About a year before we left on our RTW, we got rid of our car. I took the bus in the morning and walked or ran the 4 miles home in the afternoon. I already kinda hate most people, but the ignorance, stupidity and general laziness of people driving where I walked made me INSANE. I can’t tell you the number of times I had someone pull out right in front of me blocking me from crossing the street, even if it was raining and they were dry and warm in their car. Frustrating.
    Carmel recently posted..PIRANHA FISHING IN PAI

    • On January 12, 2014 at 9:38 am Sally said:

      YEP. I like to do lots of arm gesturing and annoyed face making with those cars. And then stomp all the way to the back of the car to cross the street. They pretend they can’t see me. But I know they feel like the jerkholes they are. (Actually they probably just can’t see me.)

  19. On January 12, 2014 at 5:10 pm Stephanie - The Travel Chica said:

    There is this one crosswalk on the only busy street in my neighborhood and nobody EVER FREAKING STOPS for the pedestrians. I think I should be given permission by the city to write these dangerous drivers tickets.
    Stephanie – The Travel Chica recently posted..My favorite quirky place in Louisville

  20. On January 15, 2014 at 12:15 pm Heather said:

    I had sidewalk rage everyday in Shanghai. For all their impatience with lines, the citizenry tends to walk really slooooooow on the sidewalk. And there’s a bajillion of them so it’s impossible to pass them all. Then there’s the bike and motorcycle drivers who like to zip down the sidewalks and get mad at you if you’re in their way. I was hit by a lady on a bike and she had the nerve to yell at me! And don’t even get me started on the taxi drivers who fly through intersections and commit every traffic sin imaginable. I hate them all!
    Heather recently posted..China Couture: Having Clothes Made in Shanghai

    • On January 19, 2014 at 11:55 am Sally said:

      I was pretty lucky because I lived on a college campus in China, so going to work didn’t require my battling so many life-threatening experiences (although I did almost get mowed over by an e-bike being driven by one of my students once). But once I stepped off campus I was ready to do battle!

  21. On January 16, 2014 at 8:02 am Beth said:

    In Hong Kong it’s not so much of a life-threatening-adeventure as it is in China, but people here walk soooo slow and are glued to their smart phone and have no regard for the people around them. It gets me so angry!
    Beth recently posted..Stop Elephant Cruelty, Support the Travel Blogging Calendar

  22. On January 19, 2014 at 10:23 pm becky hutner said:

    this is the reason my poor 80-something canadian grandmother had to start wintering in florida. she could brave the cold with the best of them but the sidewalks were deathtraps! good luck powering through sally & you might consider making up some passive aggressive signs for the non-shoveling offenders.
    becky hutner recently posted..Fashion ‘Round the World: What people wore in 2013

    • On January 20, 2014 at 12:12 pm Sally said:

      I’m being even more passive aggressive than that — I’m reporting them on the Internet! It’s the best. I can feel like I’m taking action, but at the same time I don’t have to confront anyone directly!

  23. On January 24, 2014 at 9:48 am Ceri said:

    I experience pedestrian rage from other pedestrians because I work in a stupid big city with too many crowds of people who have no sense or awareness of their own personal space.

    I clearly need to move to your town where people are cheerful.
    Ceri recently posted..It’s Official! I’m Moving Away Again …

    • On January 25, 2014 at 10:56 am Sally said:

      I had that problem a lot in China and Japan. I was always amazed at how people who were MUCH smaller than me could take up so much more space than me on the sidewalks!

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