Allow me to paint you a picture. It’s a windy Tuesday afternoon and you’re on your way home from town. You’ve got a few shopping bags – perhaps a vacuum packed steak for tea, so bloody that it is gradually leaking red middle-class juice on to a new pair of 15% off Converse.
God, you’re COOL. You’re like that guy from that band.
Naturally, you’re anxious to get back to your semi-detached suburban bubblebox, put some Eric Clapton on your floor-standing speakers and sing tunelessly along to the first three words of each chorus (you silently mouth the other words, because you don’t know them). Anyway, there you are, briskly courting the edge of the pavement in order to breeze past the ridiculous assortment of dawdlers, aggressively obese women in tracksuits and children picking their noses, when POW! You’re unceremoniously shunted in to a puddle that has collected mud, cigarette butts and cholera at the side of the road over the course of the last 24 hours of British drizzle, by some utterly inconsiderate drone. Exasperated, you stare at your damp Sainsburys bag-for-life and then glance up to see that the newest object of your vitriol is none other than a completely anonymous, random bastard who is bashing, banging and bouncing into the rest of the pedestrian public for no other reason than they are BLOODY TEXTING. Or flicking through their Facebook news feed. Or looking at a semi-naked selfie that has been snapchatted to them by Shazza15 (who, it will later turn out, is underage).
OMG ur so funny lolz…cnt wait 2 c u babe. Stella xxx
Evidently, I am not the only person who is exceedingly irritated by this. In New Jersey, tickets are now being issued for “reckless walking”. The NTSA estimated 1500 accidents directly caused by this in 2010, with a projected year-on-year rise. And, hilariously, an American woman with a BMI higher than her IQ was so distracted while texting that she WALKED OFF A PIER. It’s incredible to watch. These dribbling cretins jolt from side to side as if they are steering themselves with their own thumbs, and, with the irritating “swish” motion now a feature on virtually every phone in existence, the switch of direction has become so rapid and chaotic that it resembles a string puppet dancing. Or someone accidentally slipping on Peter Andre’s hair.
Now, I’m not usually an advocate of vigilante justice (I am), but in this case it seems clear to me that the only way to combat this appalling crime is by legalising instant street beatings. I can’t imagine anything more satisfying than watching – even better, actively participating in – a hungover 19-year-old girl being set upon by every member of the general public within a cat-swing, and beaten to within an inch of her life as a punishment for being too absorbed in Whatsapping her BFF about where to get the morning after pill, instead of just looking where the hell she was going. Bitch.
You’re going to get punched in the head, love.
Other similar crimes include unnecessarily walking three abreast down a narrow street, suddenly stopping without warning, standing in doorways and genocide.
You have all had fair warning. Next time I come to town, I’m coming swinging.
‘But on my way, I’m going to be doing this… if you get hit, it’s your own fault…’