Am I the only one who actually pays attention to my surroundings?

Not too long ago I was put into a position where I was stuck without a car for a few weeks. Thankfully, I live in Philly, so it’s fairly easy to get around without a car. Unfortunately, I live in Philly, so everyone else around me is apparently a clueless fucking idiot who doesn’t pay attention to their surroundings.

During those weeks without a car, I utilized my bicycle often. Fresh air, sunlight, and cardio. A recipe for feeling good, and I recommend everyone get as much of all three as possible. Most things I need are within five miles of me so I wasn’t killing myself by pedaling wherever I needed to go. I’m in relatively good shape already, biking to the grocery store would only serve to increase that.

I’ve always maintained that most cyclists are assholes, I could (and eventually will) write an entire article on this. Keeping in mind my own gripes with cyclists, I decided while I was riding my bike that I would be the change I wanted to see in the cycling community.

One of my biggest peeves with cyclists is that they ride in the street but often can’t keep up with traffic, so they just end up clogging things up by pedaling at 5-10 MPH and refusing to move for the line of cars behind them. I’m not Lance Armstrong, I know I’m not going to be able to keep up with cars. So I opted to ride on the sidewalk when bike lanes weren’t available. I know it’s technically illegal to ride your bike on the sidewalk in Philly. It’s also illegal for drivers to blow stop signs, ignore red lights, and drive into oncoming traffic to cut other drivers off, but the cops don’t care about that so I’m not going to risk my life riding in the street, and any cop that wants to write me a ticket for that is getting backhanded.

Time and time again, I found myself having to go tediously slow or even completely come to a stop because some self-absorbed moron either had their nose buried in their phone or was too busy babbling away to the person next to them to notice that I was coming up behind them. Once they finally decide that other people do in fact exist outside of their little bubble, they act shocked and indignant, as if I’m the asshole. You didn’t hear me say “Behind you!” five times because you couldn’t unglue yourself from staring at your phone for two seconds to look at your surroundings.

I always love hearing about these people when they get robbed. It’s always “I didn’t even see it coming! I was totally blindsided!” No shit? Of course you didn’t see it coming, retard. You were too busy looking at your damn phone. If these people bothered to pay attention to their surroundings and not stare at their phone like oblivious idiots they’d have seen the thief coming. People like this deserve to get robbed, and I feel no sympathy for them. Don’t want to get robbed? Pay attention to your surroundings and stop waving your iPhone around in the open.

Not hearing me coming is bad enough, but some of these dipshits are so oblivious to their environment that they’ll actually walk directly in front of me. I had someone cross the street and walk onto the sidewalk just as I was riding by. I was forced to slam my brakes as this selfish bitch waddled and dawdled her way directly into my path.

The screech of my brakes was enough to wake her up and get her attention. Did she catch her mistake and at least attempt to apologize? No, she doubled down and threw me a nasty look, as if I was the one at fault. Sorry Princess Di, I didn’t realize I was interrupting your royal stroll through the neighborhood by riding my bike back from Aldi’s. I let it go, it wasn’t worth the fight, but I can’t say that I wasn’t tempted to just hit her and keep on pedaling.

I deal with this bullshit even when I’m walking. I’m a fast walker, I’m usually walking to get from Point A to Point B, and I don’t have the time to dilly-dally. I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I’ve scared people shitless just by walking up behind them and passing them. People get so mad at me for this, I’ve even had people try to pick fights with me over it. They freak out at me and call me rude and ignorant. What the fuck am I supposed to do, wear a bell around my neck (which your oblivious ass still probably won’t hear)? Should I carry a horn with me and honk it when I’m coming up behind you? Meanwhile you’re walking so slow that the fucking snails are blowing past you and you’re weaving back and forth taking up an entire sidewalk with your stupidity. Get the hell out of my way you slack-jawed idiot, some of us actually have places to be and things to do.

I don’t get why it’s so hard to just pay attention to what’s going on around you. It’s not like you have to keep your neck on a constant 180° swivel or something. Just a quick glance at the surrounding area when you’re walking down the street or coming to an intersection is more than enough to be mindful of what’s going on around you and prevent yourself from getting injured, robbed, or worse. Hell, people don’t even bother to look before crossing the street anymore. How self-absorbed and oblivious do you have to be to not look before you cross the street? For fuck’s sake, it’s basic survival instinct! If you can’t even be bothered to look before you walk out into traffic then you deserve anything bad that happens to you.

I’m not asking for much here, I just want people to pay attention to what’s going on around them. Or at the very least, stay the hell out of my way.

By Angry_Jerk

The CEO/Editor-in-chief of AJnet, and the current king of internet ranting. Hailing from the fine village of Northeast Philadelphia, AJ has been creating content on the internet for over 15 years. None of it has really been funny or entertaining, but he keeps trying anyway. When he’s not creating new articles for the site, he can be found hitting the weights, watching anime, or playing retro video games.