The view from the pavement is a lowly one – especially when you’re staring up into the eyes of the people who just watched your journey from prideful individual to pride-less, newly arrived to the asphalt by means of a pedestrian crash, individual. This crash-dummy’s eye view is as undesirable as it gets, but don’t even think about being Sorry For Staring if you see one of these catastrophes unfold before your eyes – they make for great entertainment. Who doesn’t love a good pedestrian fail? Here are a few that I’ve been lucky enough to witness.
Take My Eyes, But Not the Board!
Fact of life: everyone wants to see a good skateboard crash. This story is second hand, but a good friend of mine almost got to witness just that. There was a dirty, dirty hippie riding his longboard down Sanford drive towards Tate Plaza when he decided to hop the curb up onto the sidewalk. He popped the board over the barrier, and started to lose a bit of control. At this point, everyone whose field of vision in which McHippie-boarder was stopped and stared, desperately hoping to witness a crash. The silver surfer, in a deft showing of athletic ability – especially for a hippie -gained his control and aptly hopped off the wobbly board to avoid crashing and consequently (unknowingly) fulfilling the wildest dreams of the onlookers.
As McHippie was thinking to himself how awesome he was for not being face down on a sidewalk in that moment, he realized that the almost-fall had shot his board out into Sanford drive, right in the path of a big, heavy, mean, skateboard-eating UGA bus. The bus driver had no time to react. His eyes widened as the wheels of the bus demolished the board like an Israeli bulldozer on a peaceful protester. The man dropped to his knees and cried, “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!”, as if someone had just forced him to shower or shattered his favorite bong.
Bearing witness to this would be no easy task – one must balance the urge to instantly start laughing hysterically with the empathy and respect that one feels for another who has just lost a beloved object to the wheels of a bus. This is quite the weighty decision that requires moral fortitude and a dedication to decency. I propose laughing after 30 seconds have gone by and you have had time to pretend to call someone and be laughing at their funny phone-jokes, because the fact of the matter is that this sort of occurrence makes it impossible not to laugh. Sorry For Staring has confirmed with an eyewitness that compulsory laughing did indeed take place.
"Oh Dude. Dude. I mean. Dude. F. Dude. C'mon. Duuuuuuude. Not my. DUuuuuUuUUuuude. Dude. Dudeeeeeee." -Skateboarder
The Trip Wire
The other day I was gaily moseying along on my newly acquired mountain bike, headed back to my east side shag pad after a quick stop at Sunshine Bikes downtown. With the goal of going from Washington Street to Clayton Street, I decided to cut through the 40 watt parking lot in order to avoid having to make a double left turn. This was a costly mistake.
I pedaled hard a few times, getting my speed up to the neighborhood of 15ish mph before glancing at the “40 Watt Parking Only” sign and deciding that even though it was there, that it should only pertain to cars, and that I would continue through the parking lot because, you see, I was on a bicycle. Which is definitively not a car.
The 40 watt, in a fervent effort to sabotage bicycle commuters, has constructed a trip wire to cause handle-bar diving and provide premium entertainment for any lucky passersby. The cable, with its high strength-to-weight ratio (this comes into play in 5 seconds), was thin enough to be almost transparent – I didn’t even notice it until the aforementioned strength-to-weight ratio put a stop to my forward progress like an Israeli bulldozer to a peaceful protester.
The real winner in all of this is, as I came to realize as I confusedly lifted my face from the asphalt in an attempt to discern what exactly just transpired, was the man looking at me from his car window. Never before in his life had he been more happy to be stuck at a stop sign. He classily executed the impossibly hard task of asking if I was OK without laughing, then cracked a smile, thought to himself “That was awesome” and proceeded to make his right turn. I got up, dusted off my person, assessed the battle wounds, and put my pride back in my satchel before pedaling off into the sunset, befuddled and embarrassed.
Clockwise From Top: Man flips over handlebars. Pride level takes drastic hit. Lucky dude has day made.
Ice (?) Skating
Problem number one: homeboy is roller-blading around campus. If you’re going to do that, you had better do it well, because when your skate slides out from underneath you as if the bricks on the Baldwin street crosswalk were ice, you’re making an extra large sized ass of yourself. And it’s impossible – absolutely impossible – not to laugh at.
The best part about this one is that I didn’t see it coming. Homeboy stood poised at the crosswalk at Baldwin, SLC bound, poised to leap into all of his Rollerblade-y glory as soon as the white man appeared. I stared at him, then down at his k2’s, then back at him, perplexed as to whether I though he was the raddest dude alive or just a strange, strange man for electing to skate around campus. White man. Homeboy leaps into action. He pushes off with the right foot. His weight shifts, and he powerfully pushes off on the left. Then the right. Then the left, gathering speed all the while. I was admiring his elegance and swiftness as his blades propelled him across the sun-bathed bricks in the late afternoon. Right skate. Left skate. Swoosh, swoosh, boom.
Boom. Just like that. Homeboy gets horizontal. It happened in a flash, but I saw it play out in front of my eyes in slow motion. He pushes powerfully on his right skate, but the wheels find nothing to push back against due to the extreme angle at which they converge, and the skate, as if it were suddenly on ice, slips out from under him. He Never before and never since have I seen someone go from being upright to being flat on his face in the middle of a road so elegantly. His status as a man standing upright was toppled by his epci fall – like an Israeli bulldozer to a peaceful protester.
Hey, look at me, I'm rollerskating! I'm doing it! I'm doing it! Oh. I'm on the ground.
What these three experiences have done for me above all else is instill in my small black heart a healthy dose of hope. Hope that while crossing the street, the person in front of me will run his bicycle into the newspaper kiosk. Hope that my benign commute will turn into the spectacle of a lifetime and a week’s worth of bar conversation. Hope that even though it may be 20 degrees and rainy, that somehow, someone may collaborate with these ideal pedestrian-accident-creating conditions and, once more – just once more, give me something at which to be Sorry For Staring.
Sorry For Staring.com wants to know about YOUR eyewitness accounts of pedestrians failing and transporting themselves. Do post a comment!