Sunday, September 24, 2006

I'm Starting With the Man in the Mirror

There is a strange phenomenon happening in my neighborhood that I need to explore with you fine people. It does not matter what season, what day of the week, or what time of day. Perfectly normal strangers, most which seem like fine upstanding members of the community, are encountering each other on the street and giving each other head nods. Yes, head nods. Now, these head nods of which I speak only happen when both individuals are running. Two people, sweating while pounding the pavement, nodding at each other. Sometimes it is your standard forehead-down head nod. Other times it is the more complex head-tilted-to-the-side-chin-up head nod, the kind you would normally associate with a "what's up?"

Now, what I find so strange about this tribal ritual is that is it distinct to runners. When walking around my neighborhood, the head nod does not happen. Walkers prefer the standard "hello." Maybe this is a whole pace of movement thing, the faster the person the faster the interaction.

What bothers me though, is that runners and walkers don't interact. Each group has decided that the other is unworthy of acknowledgement. Each is a members only club, fearful of, or ambivalent to, "others." I have decided to single handedly break down this barrier. I am going to introduce a new form of communication that will be suitable for both groups, no matter how fast they are moving. It will be something slower than a head not, but faster than a "hello." Maybe I will use a "hey." Or even a "yo." Or maybe even a combination head nod and grunt. Not nonverbal communication, not yet a word. Something that will break down this wall that is tearing my community apart. I hope to unite the sidewalk, we can't keep going on like this.

5 comments:

Bea said...

I just thought about it and you're right about the exclusivity of the greetings. That's quite a quest you've set for yourself. Conquering the pace diffential will be difficult with walkers normally unprepared for such a quicker greeting, but I have never been one to call anything impossible. Good luck.

Big Kahuna said...

Number 4, the problem as I see it is that runners are sooooo out of breath that they can't speak and what you perceived as a nod was actually just their heads flopping in the breeze.......

Lis said...

You're starting a revolution. I salute you.

number4of5 said...

bea...thanks, I am going to need it, but if you want to make the world a better place, you've got to look at yourself and make that change.

dad...you have won the award for funniest blog comment ever!! I laughed out loud when I first read that, and I am still laughing.

lis...at ease soldier. At ease.

carolyn said...

i'm with lis. i have complete faith in your ability to bring about unification of greetings. i look forward to your follow up post, or, alternately, reading about it in the NY Times when it becomes a worldwide phenomenon.