18 October, 2010

Stop, Look, Wave

Spotted: on a lonely pedestrian walkway, somewhere in a sleepy cattle-town of New England. A pedestrian crosswalk that states, "STOP LOOK WAVE."

This is a new development. I lived in this town for four years and yet, in all that time, one (eins, uno, one) person got hit by a car. The car at fault was, it should be noted, traveling at less than 10 miles per hour. The man that was hit was only slightly bumped, a little rattled, and mostly embarrassed. In the scope of vehicular accidents, this one may not have even registered. And yet, here we are given irrefutable proof that there was a committee who decided to assuage their deep concern for pedestrian safety in that one main street two-thousand person town through explicit written directions about how to cross a street. STOP LOOK WAVE.

I would like to point out, for the record, that if one were to follow these directions of "Stop Look Wave" exactly, then they would be putting themselves in a situation that has them staring directly at the ground and not, you know, oncoming traffic. Some people can't walk and chew gum, what if you can't walk and read words at the same time? Then what? This would be especially difficult to do if you're not expecting words to be there on the ground to read in the first place. And what if you're a slow reader? There you are, walking across a nice, bright, well-lit, seemingly safe pedestrian walkway when, hark! What are these strange new symbols affixed on the ground? Why I bet someone wants me to read them... BAM. Log-loader truck.

I would also like to point out, for the record, that these instructions don't actually tell a pedestrian what to do after one has properly stopped, looked, and waved. Now what? Clearly, if I've taken the time to read the words, I am simply trying to obey the letter of the law. If some city councilman is going to go as far as to tell me how to properly cross the street through explicit written directions, at least take the time to make them a complete set of directions. How long has mankind been crossing the street as a pedestrian? Since the invention of the automobile? Since the dawn of time? (Woolly mammoth crossings. Real threat.) I hate to be one advocating survival of the fittest here, but if at this point in the history of humanity you can't safely cross a street without something hitting you, then maybe you just shouldn't be passing on your genes. You know? It's not like there are directions dictating what to do about revolving doors, and people seem to manage those just fine on their own. Well, almost.

06 October, 2010

Guest Appearances by: the President & the Bieber

Some things in life you only really think over as you are idly drifting off to sleep one random Tuesday evening. They may be light daydreams or beautiful visions, ones that may never come to pass but, with enough hope and prayer, you feel that one day, maybe, in some distant universe, they just might.

Justin Bieber has never been in any such moments for me. Yet now, as I welcome him as the newest addition to my household, a feeling that is nothing short of glee comes over me when I pass him in my house. He's usually in the dining room or the kitchen and he hasn't seemed to move on his own accord yet, as cardboard cutouts tend to do. But sometimes we give him a little help around the house and place him in the upstairs bathroom, or the walk-in closet, or even Ryan's bedroom. The Biebs has proven to be entirely too effective at freaking out at at least one (if not both) of my housemates.

"Bieber in my bathroom! Bieber in my bathroom!" Ryan screamed last night when she went to brush her teeth and found Bieber instead. Justin didn't flinch, but I guess it is because he is so used to being near screaming and crying girls.

It's one thing to wake up in the middle of the night and see the unexpected silhouette of a person standing there motionless, but it's another thing entirely to flip on the lightswitch and be met with the uncomfortably sultry eyes of one underage Canadian pop sensation. It feels more than a little wrong. (But, in the words of Ryan, also a little right?) Recently, all the roommates (myself included) decided that the sight of one of the cutouts in someone's bathroom or closet late at night or first thing in the morning was probably not a great idea in terms of avoiding attacks. Even if the cutout's hair is perfectly coiffed.

The Biebs' recent Cambridge adoption gives some much needed company to our previously singular dining room loiterer: President Barack Obama.  For now, the Prez. and the Biebz spend working nights together staring off at walls across from each other. (On the weekends, we pimp them out for photo ops.)

To make things more festive, we've given the Biebs some mardis gras beads. (Did he take his top off in New Orleans? Would he? We may never know). We left Pres. Obama without any accoutrements. We might be young, but we're not disrespectful.

Even without the pranks, simply having the cutouts around is enjoyable.

"Morning, Biebs." I say to him as I grope my way around the kitchen for coffee. As he has yet to respond, I'm just going to assume that he's not a morning person. (Yet.)

"He's too tall!" Denise told me tonight as she stood on tiptoes trying to kiss the President. See? Super enjoyable.

But having them around has also raised a few questions. Does President Obama actually wear glasses? Is Justin Bieber's head really 60 percent larger than the president's? What are we going to do with the cutouts after the novelty wears off? ...Will the novelty ever wear off? Am I actually in bed with Justin Bieber? To all of the above, a hearty yes. (Except for the novelty question.)