Friday, April 18, 2008

Irritation of the Day: Towpath Etiquette Offender

It is another beautiful day in Northeast Ohio. The sun is my already sunburned face can attest...and all is right with the world. Oh yeah. Except for one thing. The Stupid Flipping Towpath Etiquette Offender!

Anyone who walks along a towpath trail faces the possibility of running into flagrant towpath etiquette offenders. I generally avoid this problem altogether by seeking out off-the-beaten path trails where no humans dare to venture. But today I was busy running errands after work and the towpath was my best bet to get a little fresh air. As I arrived at the trail head, a freakishly blond gentleman with a large dog was walking towards the same trail. I, following the towpath etiquette rules, was walking several paces behind him so as to give us both our own space for nature enjoyment. This came to a halt when the said dog stopped to do something...doggish. Again following towpath etiquette rules, I proceeded to pass the now stopped pair on the left hand side. And that's when it got nasty. The blond gentleman started walking at exactly the same time as I attempted to pass. And worse off. He was walking at exactly the same pace! I attempted to pick up my pace but now the dog was right behind me attempting to sniff my swinging appendages and various bits. Awkward indeed. I threw it into high gear and proceeded to turn left onto the trail hoping the blond gentleman would remember the etiquette rules and turn right on the trail. I knew I had about a 1/4 mile walk of nodding politely to passing sweaty joggers before I could veer off onto a side trail. I barely missed getting run down by some rabid bicyclists when I stepped foot onto the heavily wooded side trail. I stopped to tie my shoe...and then I heard it. The shushing of approaching footsteps. The panting of hot breath. And there he was. My offending blond follower. Except this time the dog, seeing me stopped and in a bent position, proceeded to bumrush me in what I assume was an attempt to be nice. After some polite comments on my part about not wanting to be slobbered upon, the gentleman (who I'm now convinced is a stalker) begins to walk at such a slow pace up the trail that even if I waited for 10 minutes to give him a head start chances are I'd still catch up with him and continue our awkward dance.

So I turned around and went home. Stupid blond, probably-has-severed-fingers-in-his refrigerator, towpath etiquette offender. You are officially my irritation of the day!!

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