I very nearly got into an altercation with a crossing guard today. A woman, who in different circumstances, I would view as “cute” and “gentle.” But I guess a reflective vest can mess with anyone’s head because she was the furthest thing from cute or gentle with me this afternoon. I went to cross the street somewhere near 100 and Columbus, and in my usual manner, I walked briskly towards the other side, the outpost of this devil with a yellow vest. I was halfway across when she starts yelling and aggressively hand-gesturing to “SPEED IT UP!” At first I didn’t think she was talking to me. I mean, I was sped up, and the signal was still a flashing hand – nothing wrong with this picture. I assumed there was a slowpoke behind me. But then she yelled again, and pointed directly at me, when I was within 10 feet of her, and even though the signal was still flashing when I got to the other side, she proceeded to lecture me that I shouldn’t have started crossing when the signal was changing from walk to walk fast. But I took a breath and I decided to brush it off, as I was having a lovely stroll up until then, and she wasn’t the boss of me.
When the adjacent signal changed to walk, I merrily set off to cross the street. But wait, what is this? A hand on my chest? The crossing guard’s hand physically touching to bring me to a halt? One foot off the sidewalk, one foot on, and she was making me stop?! She dropped it a second later, looking me squarely in the eyes and ordering me, “GO!” I thought out loud (as I often do these days) “Are you kidding me?!”
Did I mention there was nary a child in sight. Or even within earshot. How was my crossing the street in a legal and perfactly normal manner in any way endangering chidren? Which, I assume is her job, to protect children. Not harrass me. Geesh!