Monday, 21 July 2014

Pavement dodgeball

I am a regular lunch time walker. Rain or shine, I'm out pounding pavements for half an hour or so of fresh air and back stretching-out.

There's one thing that can really put a damper on a lunch time walk, though: having to dodge all those people on the streets who are glued to their cell phone screens. I estimate that it's as many as 10% of pedestrians at any given time. So why do they try to keep walking with a drunken stagger for others to sidestep? If that phone call/txt/email/Facebook post/tweet so urgently requires your attention, then don't just grind to a stop exactly where you are. Be gracious and step aside to deal with it. The same applies to changing music: do it before you start walking and not in the middle of the footpath. Today, I had to dodge someone reading her Kindle while also sipping coffee. She's lucky not to have ended up wearing either of them!

I've often thought that dedicated walking lanes would be a good idea, much like swimming lanes that prevent slow swimmers getting in the way of water babies. There would be lanes going in each direction (keep left!), including slow lanes for window shoppers, passing lanes for striders and time out lanes for cell phone viewers. I liked this article about trialling cellphone lanes. Clearly, I'm not the first to encounter the perils of multi-tasking (that is, walking and talking). I'd love to see the idea take off.

Replace balls with cell phones
Until that happens, I'm inventing a new game: pavement dodgeball. Now, it's not strictly dodgeball as the balls are mostly replaced by hazards like umbrellas, baby buggies, shopping bags and dogs on lead, but the idea is the same. Actually, now that I think about it, the premise is the complete opposite as the object of my game will be to walk squarely into anyone coming towards me while glued to their phone or other electronic device.

I need some help with developing the scoring system. I have a few starting rules. Points will be awarded according to:
  • the level of shocked reaction received
  • the type of collision (for example, a gentle elbow brush or a full on shoulder charge)
  • whether the hit was front on or from behind
  • whether the target moves to get out of your way
  • the knock-on effect (for example, if they move and someone else hits them instead).
Bonus points if they drop their phone!

What points or rules am I missing?

1 comment:

Sab said...

hah, definetly bonus points for if they drop the phone! I am not an owner of a cell phone (yup... living in the stone age apparently) but I know many many who do, and are always on their phones. A good phone drop is sometimes needed! ;)