Mark Thompson

The quick and the dead: Solving the clash between slow and fast walkers with one easy trick

In society, the battle between fast and slow walkers is one that may never see peace. However, there is a solution.



As we’re pushed out of the embryonic warmth of the public holiday and back into the furious cold pace of our everyday lives, we’re presented with an obvious issue. You see, society is split into two camps. There are those (like myself) who pride themselves on the impossibly quick way they navigate a street, ATM withdrawal, or ticket transaction. We do this, knowing that it’s just common courtesy. The line behind me also has places to go.

The other camp is filled with those who don’t subscribe to the same ethos. Those who aimlessly merge into the path of pedestrian traffic, glacially checking the firmness of the legumes, oblivious to the fact that they’ve cut someone off. Those who wait until the climax of the transaction until they decide to search for their wallets or purses. Those people are my problem, but conversely, I might be theirs.

Whatever the truth is, it’s a relationship that is not certain to last. Fast and slow people will never see eye-to-eye, nor will they walk in a unison step. What I feel we need is something radical. It’ll be costly, sure, but it’ll be exceptionally worth it.

What I feel we need is a measure.

Something akin to an Olympic speed trial.

The way I see it, is everyone in a metropolitan centre needs to be measured on the speed of the tasks that impact everyone else. Walking speed, pin-number quickness, menu selection certainty, all need to be run against the clock. Example: We need to ascertain whether people are drivers out for a leisurely cruise, or those who have a purpose and little time to meet it. Once everyone’s speed is noted, they’ll be re-classed and moved to an entirely new society that suits them best.

Yes, it sounds like segregation (or the lies despots in moustaches tell the people they actually want dead), but unlike the mistakes of history, this is different. Everyone wins. This reclassification is not on the basis of a negative. Not race, nor education, nor zeroes in bank accounts, you’re merely grouped with many people like you. What I propose is a series of similar, yet very different utopias. The fast people will freely zip around, whereas the more leisurely can stop to smell the roses, free of criticism and undue stress.

Yes, the practicalities might propose a problem, as we’d have to duplicate coffee shops, transport services and grocery stores to make it work, but I have one word for you: franchising. If that word doesn’t do it for you, the two that you endlessly mutter might. Think of that golden day when never again will you have to utter fucking move. Free to move, to meet your destination free, devoid of needless stress. Never again will you be quizzed on the horror of your commute, never again will you have to waste your breath complaining about the shoving brutality of this city, and never again will the prophet Ludacris enter your brain when you’re running to your bus.

It’s easy if we try, guys.