Monday, October 06, 2008

458 Rear View Mirror

#458 Rear View Mirror

This is not exactly a new idea, but it's one worth re-considering, what with the geometric increase in our self-involvement.

If rear view mirrors are necessities for cars and trucks, why aren't they necessities for pedestrians?

People clog streets, subway platforms, supermarket aisles and hallways without any thought of who might be doing what near them, and certainly with no awareness that there's anyone behind them.

How often do you have to excuse yourself to get past someone in an aisle?

Rear view mirrors wouldn't completely solve this. But they'd help.

See those three guys walking along the sidewalk? In the middle, there? Yeah. Those three. They take up the whole width. You can't pass them from either direction, and they're paying absolutely no attention to anyone except themselves. The conversation goes on. The foot traffic piles up behind them. People walking in the opposite direction can't get by, either, so they stop, causing a similar pileup behind THEM.

Make a fashion statement. Sport a rear view mirror on your hat. Or your shopping cart. Make it both practical and attractive. Little furry mirror holders for winter use. Then in summer, you can get one with straw to match your straw hat. A deluxe straw hat with a built in rear view mirror could also sport tail lights and the SUPER deluxe model could have turn signals.

Everyone would know what you were about to do on your walk and be able to take evasive action. Defensive driving? Why not defensive walking!

Plus having that mirror would increase the chance that you'd break out of your zombie reverie now and then and realize there are others on the street as well.

The supermarkets all have these motorized carts now, and they could easily put directional signals and rear view mirrors on them.

Even the regular push carts could be outfitted. And it's a new place to put advertising. On your side the mirrors look backward. For oncoming traffic, the backs of the mirror, the side you don't see, they can put a sign that says "Blue Light Special in Aisle 21...." or some such.

Sounds pretty complicated, right? Yes, it does.

Well, maybe there are simpler ways of solving this problem.

How about one of those sticky notes on your mirror.

Then, in the morning, while admiring your beautiful features you could also read a little message like "Hey, Bozo, other people exist." Or perhaps: "Today I will be aware that I'm not the only walker on the sidewalk, the only shopper in the supermarket or the only guy in a hurry."

Think it would work?

Probably not.

Solipsism may be too deeply ingrained.

Shrapnel:

--The local newspaper announced Sunday that it would not print editorials endorsing candidates for election. Good move. Saves you from having to read all the objections from readers to whomever you would have endorsed. And doesn't force you to confront the possibility that no one cares what you think.

--The McCain campaign's getting desperate. Palin is saying Obama "pals around with terrorists," and "doesn't see America like you (white guys) do." Vice presidential candidates are supposed to carry they poisoned water for their bosses. But there's poison and then there's, well, Palin.

--Do you do this? Every time you set the alarm, you wake up just before it sounds. How does that happen?

I'm Wes Richards. My opinions are my own, but you're welcome to them.(R)
(C)WJR 2008

1 comment:

Steve said...

The alarm thing happens to me every morning! I set the alarm for 5:00am, and I wake up at 4:59. Strangely, if I forget to set the alarm, I don't wake up!