Originally Posted: 2004-06-08 10:01am
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morning glory for pedestrians
8:45 am, Tuesday. 13th street block between Filbert and Arch.
A guy in a black Elantra pulls out of a parking garage, and being in a hurry, nudges his car quite close to a pedestrian crossing his path. The pedestrian isnt thrilled by the driver's attitude and makes a gesture to give him more room as he passes. The driver snarls something like 'cmon fuckface, move your ass' which really makes the pedestrian walk extra slow. He returns the driver's insult with one of his own.
Finally he is clear and the driver peels out, all of fifteen feet, before nosing up to the next car in the lane (a line of cars is waiting for the light to turn red). The driver then hurls yet another very loud insult.
The pedestrian strolls calmly across to the drivers window, raps on the glass, and tells the driver to settle down and that pedestrians have the right of way.
Then he starts back on his path. This makes the driver go ballistic, and he unleashes another vicious, derogatory torrent of abuse as the man walks off. "You gotta problem with me, asshole??" he shouts, inviting the stroller to come back and take it up with him. He just cant let it go.
There is this clear, wonderful moment when the pedestrian, now back on the opposite sidewalk, stops dead in his tracks, and seems to debate with himself. This moment is perfect, its like a wave about to break. Three seconds later all hell will break loose; and the character of the scene will be completely different, but those three seconds are golden.
In a flash, our hero makes up his mind and strides quickly back to the driver's window, and slams his palm on the glass. Bam! In a VERY loud voice, now, he commands "Pull it over!!" I mean, NOW!!" Instantly the driver in the black Elantra is surrounded by the blue uniforms of very large motorcycle cops. They're all bellowing at him to pull his vehicle over to the side of the street.
At this point I continue on to work with a huge grin on my face. I dont have to watch anymore.
See, all along 13th Street near Arch, there is a tell-tale line of police motorcycles, often parked prominently along the sidewalk. There is also a small municipal parking lot on the corner filled with police cars. There are little eateries and pizza joints here too, usually filled with cops getting a snack. Up the street is a large official-looking government building. Police officers are usually striding purposefully into this building with papers under their arms. Other men go in and out too, and they're usually wearing suits and ties. Final clue: a big gray sheriff's bus, with grill windows, is usually parked on this very corner. In short, this building is one of Philadelphia's Criminal Justice Centers.
So, just how many more clues does one need that a passing pedestrian male, (a guy in his mid-forties, tall, husky, wearing a polo shirt, Hagar slacks and loafers) is probably a plainclothes detective?
Idiot. Situational awareness! Hurrah for pedestrians.
this is in or around c.c.