Sunday, July 20, 2014

There Are RULES! The Non-Functional Walk

As I got off the subway and made my way to the LIRR one recent evening, I walked down a crowded hallway at my usual breakneck pace.  I have tunnel vision when trying to make a train, and will pretty much step over anything and everything, like OJ Simpson (without the murder rap) in the Hertz commercials.  Catching my train and not waiting another 15-20 minutes at the Penn Station rat hole for the next train is important.  When anyone who is able-bodied gets in my way, I get angry.  In other words, someone perfectly capable of following the RULES who does not follow the RULES is a RULES VIOLATOR.

So you can imagine how irritated I was when I came upon a couple performing the NFW, or "non-functional walk."  "What's the NFW," you ask?  The NFW is a walk performed by two or more people that maximizes how aggravating they can be to railroad warriors.

I can't explain the NFW properly without a crude drawing, so see the image below.  On the left are eight smiling, bald, skinny people without feet or hands making their way in one direction.  On the right you see a couple.  A happy couple.  A smiling, happy, shiny couple strolling through Penn Station during rush hour.  The man is pulling a bag on wheels,  They're holding hands, singing a happy song, not a care in the world.  Completely oblivious to the traffic jam forming behind them.

I'm agitated by the NFW just looking at my crude drawing.  They are taking up three times the space of the non-NFW people, as shown by the pink brackets.

The NFW in action, nearly causing me to miss my train

That evening, I was unable to pass the NFW on the left, because of the throng of skinny, smiling, bald people without hands or feet.  I couldn't pass them on the right, because of a wall.  So, I stewed and walked slowly.  I had a train to catch, and I was stuck behind the ever-happy Cliff and Claire Huxtable.

For the youngsters:

Cliff and Claire Huxtable were the mom and dad on "The Cosby Show," which dominated TV ratings in the 1980s.  Cliff and Claire had five kids, demanding jobs, a large budget for Chess King sweaters, and lots of time to spend at home giving great advice to Theo and Cockroach.

Chess King was a mall store that sold hip clothing to kids who wanted to wear Chams de Baron, Z Cavaracci, and other apparel often seen in a Culture Club.

I'm off topic.  Back to the story, I had to walk slowly behind these people until I could find a small opening, and I wiggled my way through.  I made my train, but it was close.

To summarize the RULE: If you're in Penn Station, Grand Central, Amtrak, or the Des Moines Central Rail System, and it is rush hour, be aware of your surroundings.  Let others pass.  And I like your Members Only jacket.

Happy and safe commuting, and may you encounter uncommon sense.

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1 comment:

  1. 1. Excuse me. 2. Move 3. Shove past