Friday, February 9, 2007

If Al-Qaeda is serious about killing as many Americans as possible, I'll tell you what Osama could do. He could send me and every other American a free iPod, Palm Treo, and GameBoy DS because there is an epidemic in this country, and that is pedestrians too occupied by their blinking electronic gizmos too look both ways when crossing the street and subsequently getting their oblivious asses clobbered by a sedan speeding through the intersection. Some dumbass in Brooklyn was hit by a bus while listening to his iPod so apparently now we all need to be saved from our portable electronic devices. Thank God for New York State Senator and self-appointed urban nanny Carl Kruger, who introduced a bill to fine pedestrians $100 for using their iPods and other electronic distractions while crossing the street. One supposes that the fine is waived if the street-crossing criminal is actually hit by a car and killed.

I am proud of Carl Kruger. It takes a lot of guts for an American politician to risk his career and alienate millions of iPod users just to stick to his principles, especially when one of those principles is "people shouldn't have to look both ways before crossing a busy eight-lane street."

On the other hand, I spend enough time sitting in city gridlock to be vehemently pro-running over pedestrians who dawdle in the middle of the crosswalk, pedestrians who obliviously step into a busy street (I've done this a couple of times), and the absolute worst: pedestrians who see the red DON'T WALK hand, then look both ways and see there's a car barrelling towards them, and still charge into the intersection! And no, I'm not just jealous of their faith in cabbies and their brakes. If this is what it takes to get these idiots out of the gene pool before they breed into dipwads who kill themselves by sticking those iPod earbuds up their noses and into their brain cavities and then we have to ban the earbuds too, I'm all for it.

I could make the rational arguments as well: Millions of people are able to cross the street safely while talking on their cell phones or fiddling with their iPods. It's also possible to be distracted without being tethered to a gizmo; Kruger should expand his bill to include crossing the street while sick, or right after a break-up, or if you've got a big job interview or presentation to make or... how about we just simplify things and ban crossing the street completely? This way, we'll only have to worry about sidewalk-related deaths.