People Who Text While Walking

Do you know what makes the Misanthrope happy? When people who do dumb things get their just desserts. Few stories make me virtually leap with joy, but hearing about the teenager that walked into an open manhole while texting was one. Living and commuting in that dank, dark pit of filth and grime known as New York City, I am confronted with these bozos on a daily basis. And I can’t take it anymore.

If you are a research scientist who is on the verge of discovering a cure for cancer or developing bacon-flavored coffee then you have my permission. These are very important tasks that warrant 24-hour information.

For the rest of you, please stop thinking that the inane drivel your friends and acquaintances are twittering is so important that you cannot even stop to read it. We are adults. We are not high-schoolers who are so into our relationships that every innocuous detail takes on such profound importance that we simply must let the whole world know.

Is it really so important that your co-worker tells you “OMG I’m LMFAO because I figured out what UFIA means.” Or “Johnny Handsome said high to me!” Twitter is an absolute, mind-numbing waste of time, space and electrons. Your attention span has become so dull that you cannot relate an idea in more than 140 characters.

We have become a society so steeped in gossip that we need to have a steady stream of blow-by-blow nonsense from every person we know at all times in a form that is easily digestible. We have become a society that does not discuss ideas or events, but people, to paraphrase Eleanor Roosevelt.

As a species, we are selfish narcissists. We think that what we are doing at a moment in time is so cool that the whole world needs to know. We are texting all the time. We have to have Crackberries so we can get the latest inspirational e-mail chain letters telling us how great we are, so we can pass them along to ten friends. We think that we are the center of creation. And so everything I am doing and everything my friends are doing must be known. Now!!!

And these moronic mental midgets talk on the phone at high volume on the train. So what if I am inconveniencing everyone else? I just have to know the juicy details about Kate Winslet’s separation from her husband and who got kicked off Dancing With the Stars! These wastes of carbon go tap, tap, tap on their phones all day long, numbing their feeble minds even more than one thinks humanly possible.

They are so important to the world, in their minds. So what if I am endangering other people walking on the crowded street? So what if I get hit by a car in a crosswalk because I am not watching, or fall into an open manhole? Vanity, ego and narcissism take the place of common sense and decency.

How bad is this? Well, we are happy to destroy common sense in favor of stroking the egos of these flops. In Brick Lane, London there was a proposal to pad the lampposts rather than actually rely on people to not be as dumb as those very same lampposts. Not satisfied with their stupidity, iPhone users demanded, and got, a see-through phone app for their phones.

Some of the more amusing, and deserving, mishaps:

–one person was texting during a wedding reception and plowed over the bride.

–one actually got into someone else’s car and tried to start it. The other driver was standing right there.

–six million people walk into lampposts every year while texting.

–in one study a clown rode a unicycle around a college campus. Pretty noteworthy? But only 25% of texters noticed him. You cannot be more oblivious to your surroundings than failing to see a f**cking clown riding a f**cking unicycle on a f**king college campus.

Frankly, our pitiful existence on this little blue ball is not important. Nothing we do matters in the least. So stop being so self-involved that you cannot wait a few minutes to get the latest update from Susan about how cute Joey is. Stop reading your damn work e-mails while walking down the street. Your job is a farce, nothing you do matters unless you are one of the two groups to whom I bestow my blessing above. And it is certainly not so important that you cannot even walk down the street without a damn Crackberry in your ape-like hand.

Soon they will have an iPhone app that provides a little light so you can text while your head is up your nether eye.

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