#3. People Who Must Always Stay Parallel to Their Walking Companions
Seanbaby once described a row of pedestrians walking straight at you as the '94 Knicks, who seem to relish the thought of running you down.
The Jeremy Lin Knicks would have apologized.
There's also a lot of walking walls out there that do make some effort to try to avoid you, but in the stupidest way possible. Instead of one or two people in the group dropping back behind the others, everyone in the row moves to one side and tries to squeeze together as tightly as possible without breaking formation. Under no circumstances can any person in the row be allowed to move more than 3 inches forward or back from the line, lest the delicate mind-link between them be broken.
No matter how closely they cuddle, four people in a row are still pretty much impassable on a sidewalk. The kicker is when they just stare helplessly at you and shrug, like, "Hey, we're doing our best. I have no idea what else you could possibly expect from us. There is literally nothing else we could do to move out of your way." Then, when you stumble off to the side into the mud, or a brick wall, or off an embankment, they just look apologetically at you like it was one of the great unavoidable tragedies of life, like a freak natural disaster or something.
I realize the hive mind link explanation only applies in a small percentage of cases, when the pedestrians in question are actual human replicants in the service of the shadow government's lizard masters, but most of the pedestrians I've seen doing this lack the telltale transmitter node on the back of their neck.
In the case of genuine humans, the only excusable explanation is that their conversations are so vital that they cannot be broken for the five seconds it would take for a walker or two to drop back a moment and return to the line. So I guess they're all about to propose to someone or broker some kind of peace treaty.
#2. People Who Leave Two Seats Between Them at Airports
A lot of people complain about how unfriendly and mistrustful we've become these days and how we should all be chatting up strangers more or something. This is bullshit. Everyone knows strangers are gross and have cooties and nobody wants to sit next to one, especially in an airport.
So everybody goes to great lengths to leave at least one seat between themselves and a stranger when they sit down in an airport lounge, or any other public place with unassigned seating. Fair enough. But unless the stranger is very obese or emitting some kind of poison cloud, one seat should be fine. It's just gratuitous to leave two spaces. And it fills things up pretty fast, leaving new arrivals with no place to sit.
In the illustration above, if they weren't so greedy and just gave themselves one seat's worth of buffer (which is plenty for preventing cootie transmission), the fifth passenger could find herself a seat as well without having to risk touching anyone.
The same goes for anywhere else -- bus benches or waiting rooms or wherever. Just leave enough space so there's no way you can accidentally touch the person, nor can they "accidentally" touch you by using the old movie theater yawning trick. You don't need to be so far away you can't recognize them, or even tell whether they are men or women.
#1. People Who Spontaneously Start Conversations in High-Traffic Areas
Everyone's familiar with situations where blockages can be a huge pain for hundreds of people, like a packed, busy sidewalk, or a crowd exiting a sports stadium. In fact, the Romans had a word for a stadium exit area -- vomitorium -- that paints it as the stadium "vomiting" its audience out into the streets. And as everyone knows, blocking vomit on its way out is not pretty.
That's why it's infuriating when people spontaneously happen upon an old friend in the middle of such a crowd and decide to catch up on everything that has happened in the past 10 years right then and there, in the middle of a narrow hallway full of people trying to get past.
There's nothing wrong with taking the time to connect with someone, or even with suddenly discovering you had a very interesting joke to tell the person you were already walking with, but what's maddening is that these people are so excited they can't move it to the side. You don't even have to miss one moment of what happened after your friend left for the Peace Corps, he's actually made a recent discovery that it's possible to talk while walking 10 feet to the wall.
The icing on the cake is when these two people get so excited about their travel adventures or spontaneous ideas that they start calling other people over. Sure, when people start grouping up in the middle of a high-traffic walkway, it's "socializing," but when blood cells start grouping up in one of your brain arteries, they call it a "stroke." Either we can stop being so cavalier about obstructing other people, or we can stop being so judgmental toward blood cells, either way.
For more from Christina, check out 5 Weight Loss Tips for Cynical Bastards and 5 Topics Guaranteed to Elicit (Condescending) Advice.