Wednesday, December 23, 2009
The pedestrian crosswalks scattered across my town are equipped with black boxes which emit various noises- helpful sounds that range from furious beep-beep-beeps to gentle sparrow chirps. There are a few, of course, that say nothing at all, but they flash their friendly green hands and silently suggest that we waiting walkers cross right now.
I have been walking a good deal lately and am more familiar with some crosswalks than with others. I routinely encounter one in particular that uses spoken words to make its announcement.
"Walk sign is on. Walk sign is on. Walk sign is on," it declares as I move boldly across the road.
I was growing used to its jarring insistence, inwardly preferring the subtle methods employed elsewhere, but glad, still, of its enthusiasm with regard to my personal safety.
Then yesterday, I found everything changed.
I was gliding across, the green hand was waving cheerily at me, and the little voice piped up- the same voice, but with an entirely different personality.
"Hey! Walk sign is on. Hey! Walk sign is on. Hey! Walk sign is on."
I jumped a bit, which caused a momentary stutter in my stride while I wondered who was angry with me, and why.
I hate to be heyed; and when I made it to the other side, I told the little black box just what I thought of its roguish manner, and of the uncouth crosswalks of today's society.
Posted by Phyllis Hunt McGowan at 5:24 PM