January 08, 2007

Wake of Destruction

I cut people a lot of slack. If someone makes an innocent mistake or blunder, I'm pretty forgiving. The people who just make me angry are the ones who display a willful disregard for things going on around them.

This morning I wasn't in a great mood on my way to work. It's rainy here today and my trainer forgot that we were supposed to meet this morning. I didn't sleep well last night and so I wasn't in a great mood.

Then, I go to get on the subway and this dude in front of me with a bag over his shoulder steps onto the train in front of me. He gets as far as the corner of the seats in the train and stops with his bag jutting out blocking passage to the middle of the car. This means that unless someone wanted to push past him, which New Yorkers actually do not tend to do unless it's really crowded, everyone getting on the train had to be bunched into the area right in front of the doors.

I was the person who pushed past him. I made sure to clip his bag and knock it off of his shoulder on my way into the car, too.

He shot me a look that I returned with a blank stare.

This is what I have to say about that: MOVE TO THE CENTER OF THE CAR.

It wasn't crowded this morning, thankfully, so there was absolutely no reason to dry hump perfect strangers on my way to work.

And since it's raining, every mouth-breathing window-licker has an umbrella and is waving it around like they just don't care. In fact, I don't think they do care and that is why for the light drizzle that is spritzing the city this morning, they dug out their huge gold umbrellas of 12' diameter. Naturally, they don't move these umbrellas to the side as the walk down the side walk or raise them up to avoid impaling their fellow pedestrians.

My solution: walk right into them.

You see, there's this fun little principle in physics called rotational inertia. It's just like regular inertia but it applies to rotation. Pull in your concept of leverage and you will know that it is harder to stop the rotation of a lever from the pivot point than it is to stop it from the end that is in rotation.

This is what I think about sometimes.

When I walk into someone's umbrella, the relatively minor collision with my shoulder, chest, or arm sends the umbrella into a spin that the ignorant owner attempts to correct by just using the handle. The bigger the umbrella, the harder it is to stop the spin.

With a well-timed jolt to one of those springy spines, you can send an umbrella tumbling to the street.

Naturally, I did my usual habit of making an effort to steer clear of most of the umbrellas. The ones I didn't try to avoid were the ones that made no effort to avoid me or deliberately ignored me.

So, my hobby this morning was to leave a wake of dropped bags and umbrellas as I walk down the street.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at January 8, 2007 12:19 PM | TrackBack

I love it. I do the very same thing, especially in grocery stores and getting on and off the bus.

Posted by: sompopo at January 10, 2007 08:25 AM
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