Walk n’ Readers:
Definition: An individual who walks while reading all while attempting to navigate through intense amounts of human traffic in tight quarters.
You may hate them as much as I do or you may be one of them yourselves. When I think about reading I think about being sprawled out on a beach chair with a good thriller or curled up on the couch on a cold February afternoon with this months National Geographic. I ultimately just want to be sitting somewhere, almost lifeless, enthralled by my imagination as I dive deeper and deeper into my read. I can only assume that most people are like me. Correct?
These people are ruthless and rampant in the city of Montreal. They come in all walks of life. Moms, Dads, students, Executives, Starbucks chugging dingle berries. You name it they’re out there terrorizing the streets and the underground.
My morning commute can be a little frustrating from time to time. Because of our cold harsh winters, Montreal has a deep intricate network of underground malls, shops and restaurants all connected by several of our metro stations. This was all fine and dandy back in the 80’s and 90’s when our population in the downtown core wasn’t nearly as large as it is today. Our once plentifully wide and vast corridors are now cluttered with the 8am morning commuters. It’s not uncommon to see someone trying to pass someone else by veering into oncoming traffic only to cut back in to avoid a Tim Hortons large double double head on collision.
So herein lies the problem. Now let’s take 15% of those people and give them an iPad, Kindle, Kobo, paperback or whatever and insert a “thrilling read”. Let’s take away 60% of their focus, 100% of their peripheral vision, 80% of their reaction time and 90% of their regard for others all while trying to keep up with this massive school of corporate salmon working their way upstream. What you get is A LOT OF REALLY PISSED OFF PEOPLE.
Justin’s Solution: One by one I’m doing my part to clean up the walk n’ readers in the city. I have developed a strategy to ensure walk n’ readers think twice about their actions and question themselves as to how important it really is to get that chapter finished before they get to their final destination.
Step 1: Find a walk n’ reader ahead in the distance and weave you way through traffic.
Step 2: Pull in front of the walk n’ reader and decrease speed until you’re 2-3 feet away.
Step 3: Stop dead in your tracks and prepare for impact. (If walk n’ reader has a coffee be sure you’re wearing something waterproof that day)
Step 4: ALWAYS apologize. Remember this was an accident right?
At this point you should the witness the walk n’ reader put away their book or reading device and continue on to work like a good little salmon. You have now contributed to helping your city be a better place and alleviate the bottlenecks associated with walking and reading.