Tag Archives: sidewalks

Miss Me Yet?

I get it.

The dryer eats socks.

The refrigerator eats cat toys.

The couch eats change.

The bottom desk drawer eats crap I decided at some point was necessary for my life at work.

Fine.

It.

All.

Makes.

Sense.

What I don’t get are the things you see on the side of the road. Or better yet, along the sidewalk.

Forever lost to someone.

I’m not talking about wads of gum or cigarette butts. Nor am I talking about toothpicks, or more specifically those weird harp on a stick looking ones. Actually, they might be a little tiny guitar for a gnome. I didn’t think anyone actually used those. Boy, am I surprised!

Side note: I would also like to make mention, over the last two weeks, there has been an ungodly increase in the number of bandaids along my walking route to work. It doesn’t matter if I’m coming from my beloved ferry or the newly discovered train route. There are bandaids EVERYWHERE. All stuck to the sidewalk (as opposed to the lamp-posts).

They’re rubber slugs that have given up and collapsed.

Right there.

Between Congress and Seaport.

Done.

Expired.

Small ones, regular ones, circular ones and some that are large enough my cat could wear it as a bonnet. My lizards could use it as a hammock.

Johnson & Johnson must have seen an uptick in their bandaid sales in Boston.

What’s with the bandaids? There’s a hell of a lot of bloody blistered feet in town.

And don’t be telling me it’s from the Boston Marathon. That was April 20th and we’re now in June. (insert buzzer sound here)

But, if you were to look at some of the footwear….it makes sense. I was behind a girl today who was not so elegantly hobbling on 4 inch wedges. She had a swagger like Captain Jack Sparrow.

He, by the way, is adorable. Swagger…..Me Now….Meow.

She, swaggering like a squirrel, who just painted their toenails with silver glitter polish and can’t stop admiring them enough to take a step….not so adorable.

FOCUS! Christ, it’s exhausting to watch!

I’m just saying.

If you can’t walk in the shoes, don’t buy them. They make you look like you have no sense of balance and you’re trying to walk a tight rope with giant marshmallows strapped to your feet. You have no clue where your next step is going to land and you’re all over the sidewalk.

But, I digress.

Thank you for your patience.

What I can’t figure out is all the random shit left behind.

The other day. Route 3. A giant stuffed tiger was on the side of the road. I’m talking a kids toy, not a treasure hunter’s dream from Asia. It’s literally miles between exits. How did it end up out there? Then, of course, my mind begins to wander. Was some small child crying they lost their tiger?

I was sad.

Sad for the kid.

Sad for the tiger.

Will this tiger end up on the front of some trash truck? You know what I’m talking about. Will he be happy? I did once see mannequin heads on the side of a trash truck. I didn’t have a chance to snap a photo but damn…that was creepy yet surprising awesome.

Obviously, I’ve watched Toy Story too many times.

Walking you see all kinds of random things. Random enough that I have thought to myself, more times than I’d like to admit….”If I was homeless, this would be a score.”

I’ve seen baby bottles, blankets, shirts, socks, fleece pull overs and tarps. The tarp would be a score as would the fleece pull over.

But then there are the things I see where I scratch my head and just have to say….WTF?

Earlier this week…on my way to grab a sandwich for lunch I came across a shoe on the sidewalk. A perfectly decent loafer. A left one at that. IMG_1886
HOW DO YOU LOOSE A LOAFER?

I’ve seen shoes along the highway. The only thing I can think is someone gets pissed and throws the other person’s shoe out the window when they’re sleeping. Ha. Ha. Ha. So funny. Fucker. Wait till you go to sleep and I’m going to take a permanent marker to your face. Then we’ll see whose laughing.

I’ve seen a right sneaker and then a mile down the road the matching left sneaker. Okay, they obviously left them on the roof of the car and drove off.

Then there are the random flip-flops. Alright. Well, not a huge loss. It’s a flip and a flop. Meh.

But a brand new left foot loafer? You’re going to miss that. Especially if you are currently wearing the right one. Walking down the side walk. With a limp. Duh. Where’s my shoe?

What the hell is going on here? Aliens. Blame the aliens. Always blame the aliens.

The shoe didn’t even have time to get it’s white parts dirty! It makes no sense. Of course, I took a snap!

The other thing that baffles me are the people who move and randomly leave their belongings along the roadside. Are they leaving breadcrumbs to find their way back? If you don’t want to move, don’t. Shouldn’t be a newsflash.

I feel, one of two things could be happening with these cushions….

1. The owner of the couch wants a new couch. Easiest way to get a new couch. Loose a cushion.
2. It was an accident. In which case, sitting on a bunch of duct taped phone books is going to be unfortunate.

Just saying.

Today is Friday and on the way home, I stop at the grocery. I run in and then when I come out, something catches my eye. I look over one space to the left. IMG_1946

Are you kidding me?

Who looses their PILLOW?

This isn’t a fluffy, throw on the bed as decoration type of pillow vis a vis Marilyn Monroe. This isn’t a porn star’s, I need some lift and support, type of pillow. This is a regular, put your head down and go to sleep type of pillow.

First off, what are you doing with a pillow in the grocery parking lot?

Secondly, why is it in the shopping cart return?

Then I think…..ohhhhh, if I was homeless, that would be a score! (what is wrong with me?)
And next, I snap a picture.
Of course.

A Rant on Tourists

I live in a tourist town.  We have tourists from May thru September.  Most of them arrive on giant floating cities.  Some arrive via metal tubes that shoot through the air.

It doesn’t matter how they get here.

Either way they arrive….

Some where.

Some how.

They’ve lost all their smarts and have become clueless.

Is there an alien space craft that hoovers over these crowds of people and sucks out their abilities to think reasonably before they land?  Or is it something in the water served on board?  Don’t eat the tiny bag of peanuts, it’s contaminated with brain enzymes that will eat away your sense of logic for the next 7 days….

Here’s my list of current concerns with the tourists.  I thought about putting it in a David Letterman style of list, but they’re all just as equally aggravating to me.  It doesn’t matter where you’re at, all tourists are the same, the blind leading the blind.  Remember, when you go on vacation – don’t forget to pack your brain – I’d put it in my carry on if I were you.

1.  Know where you’re going.  Alaska, is not part of Canada.  Nor, are we part of Russia.  Alaska is not off the California coastline, near Hawaii.  Responding to a question with “I don’t know.  My spouse arranged the trip.  Where are we today?  Kansas?”  No, Dorothy, not Kansas….and don’t make me break out my flying monkeys….they haven’t had breakfast yet today.”

1.  What’s with the shoes?  Next time you go on a vacation, check out the shoes.  90% of the people on vacation buy new shoes to wear on the trip.  For Alaska, that means they buy big, chunky, heavy soled hiking boots.   After all, they’re coming to Alaska where there’s only dirt trails, igloos and wild native people running around.

Apparently, there’s a lot of hiking to be done between the diamond store and the tanzanite store and the gold nugget shop and the t-shirt store and the trinket shop and the kettle corn stand and the opal store and the bus tour excursion and the restaurant and the….

When you go on vacation, don’t you want your feet to be happy?  Why wear something that’s going to make you miserable.  Oh, wait!  I get it!  You’re trying to fit in with the locals!  Ah ha.  Right.

(I do have to share one story where I had a couple sitting in the front seat of the bus who were going on a tour, that I was driving the transfer for.  Both the husband and wife were decked out in the latest hiking clothing, freshly pressed, brand new hiking boots and jungle hats.  Each was frantically tapping away on their iPhones.  When I announced the parking area we’d be stopping in for their tour would be muddy, they both instantly looked up at me and curled their lips back in disgust.  I nearly said something – but held back.  Isn’t that the reason you’re dressed the way you are?  To experience a true Alaskan adventure?  Apparently not.)

1.  Make a Decision!  I work in a building, that has several small retail shops on the first two floors.  Tourists, always, always, always stop in front of the door in a far off daze….confused as to what to do next.  Here’s a hint:  either you’re in or your out.  Which one is it?  There’s not revolving door here like at the Trump Tower so you only have to choose a direction….are you going inside to shop or continuing on the sidewalk?  Either way, make a decision and move it!

1.  Share the Sidewalk.  Without fail, daily walks up and down the street outside my office have become a battle ground that would be worthy of a competition.  People are lolly-gaging around, looking every which way but where they’re going.  If you’re a party of three and see someone approaching you – move over and share the sidewalk.  If you’ve just run into Marge and Steve and want to talk about tonight’s dinner options, then move over to the side so other folks can pass by you easily!

Why is it people feel the need to own it all?  Then they’re annoyed when you go around them by saying, “excuse me.”

Note to yourself:  Rude is  not sharing the sidewalk.  Especially with the locals.

1.  Watch the Umbrella!  The primary use of an umbrella is to keep you dry.  The secondary use of an umbrella is to gouge out people’s eye balls.  Note:  when raining and you’re walking under blocks of canopied sidewalk – an umbrella is unnecessary.  Secondary note:  It’s all fun and games until someone looses an eyeball.

If you did your vacation destination research, you’d already know southeast Alaska is part of the Tongass National RAINFOREST.  Which means…it rains….a lot.  Showing up unprepared and either having to wear a cheap trash bag rain poncho or better yet, tying a plastic bag over your head is inexcusable.  Did you know, you can actually purchase rain jackets?  Complete with a hood!  At a decent price!  They come in any color to match your hair/eye/lipstick color? Better yet, guess what?  You can by these in your home town and even online!  Shocking, isn’t it?!  Choose the rain jacket – forget the trash bag.

Note to yourself:  Yes, you can even get matching his and her’s rain jackets!  Amazing what clothing manufactures have thought of these days.  You say your husband will only wear this one men’s style?  Easy fix for you! Just get the man’s version in a smaller size for yourself.  Problem solved.

1.  Picture Taking.   Although there may be 4 giant cruise ships in town on the day you are visiting.  Although the sidewalks may be packed with tourists carrying souvenir bags.  Although people are stopping left and right to take pictures of our quaint town.  This town is still a fully functioning city.  Complete with people who work full time jobs.  The cars, going down the road…guess what…they’re real!

Stopping to take a picture in the middle of the street is stupid.  This isn’t Disneyland.  When you turn around and realize there’s a 2 ton pick up truck waiting patiently to continue down the street, don’t look annoyed – they could have run you down.  Did they honk the horn at you?  Oh, wait, they did….because you had to take more than one picture from that spot….and you’re holding up local traffic!

1.  Crosswalks.  We have a multitude of cross walks and two situations commonly occur at these locations.  Either, people think the crosswalk automatically forces cars to stop immediately – or they believe it’s a great spot to take a picture.  In either case, the visitor isn’t looking – they step right off the sidewalk….into the middle of oncoming traffic, completely unaware of the car that had to come to a screaming halt to avoid hitting them.

Note to yourself:  When at a crosswalk, you still have to stop and look both ways before crossing.  There’s not an invisible barrier shield in place to protect you.

Second note to yourself:  When you are 3/4 of the way across the street – KEEP GOING!  Stopping 5 feet from the other sidewalk – is not the sidewalk!  You are still IN THE STREET and likely to get hit.

1.  Did you know?   When you step off the curb, you are in the street?  Did you know cars go back and forth on the street?  Did you know you can get killed or hit by a car when you blindly step off the curb, into the street, in front of a car?

Note to yourself:  When planning to step off the curb, into the street, you might want to see what kind of vehicle is about to pass you.  You know, to avoid that run down feeling.

1. P’s & Q’s.   Kindness matters.  People will go out of their way to help a person who shows a hint of common courtesy and good manners.  Did it every occur to you to say thank you to your tour bus driver?  How about offering your front seat to the lady with a walking disability?  Or waving to the local who kindly stopped for you in the middle of the street – as you darted out from between parked cars?  The local who explained to you how to get to a particular restaurant – did you say thanks?  Or just turn around and walk away?  Right.

1.  You Know What They Say About Assuming.  Just because someone is driving a tour bus, working as a crossing guard, serving patrons in a bar or volunteering in a visitor center….doesn’t mean they are the uneducated and low-life people you are assuming they are…since that is the job they are doing.  On the contrary my friend.  Chances are those people are company managers, business owners, office managers, retired military, school teachers and other respected community members.  Even if they weren’t, it doesn’t give you the right to think any less of them – and disregard their kindness when they assist you.

We do these jobs because we enjoy them.  We enjoy sharing our love for Alaska with visitors every day.  We don’t expect much, but an occasional thank you and appreciative nod goes along way.

Note to yourself:  Hey!  Saying thank you, please or just hello – it won’t hurt me and might even brighten my day a bit!

1.  Don’t Insult the Locals.  I work in tourism.  I deal with tourists on a regular basis.  Nothing aggravates me more than when someone who thinks I can’t hear them says: “Who would want to live here?  I could never live here.  I wouldn’t be caught dead living here.”

Good news!

You don’t have to worry about living in my community!

We only let people with a positive attitude, sparkling personality,  witty sense of humor, appreciation for the beauty of Mother Nature, the easy going attitude of whatever Mother Nature throws at us, we can handle, the ability to handle hurricane force winds on a seasonal basis without blinking an eye, common sense when driving in the snow, adjustment to living with wild animals such as bears – knowing they can rip our heads off therefore approaching to pet them is not a smart move, cook a mean dinner and throw a good right hook when necessary…. into this state.

Don’t worry! You are safe.  We have already voted you off the island.  See ya!

1.  Can You Hear Me Now?  My number one pet peeve of all time is “don’t waste my time.”  Hate it.  Drives me insane.  It’s simple.  My time is just as valuable as your time.   When I explain to you, in great detail, how to get back to your ship using the city shuttle.  I’m actually, literally, POINTING out where you need to go — and you turn around 3 minutes later to ask me the same question – you’re an idiot and shouldn’t have gotten off the ship.  Don’t worry, I’ll contact the village and let them know you’re okay.