So, there is a perception that people with disabilities are supposed to be nice; I frequently like to absolve people of these perceptions. Not in a bad way, I mean; a person with a disability can be just as prone to being mischievous as anyone else. I like to mess with people occasionally; it’s just in my nature. One of my favorite games to play is “sidewalk chicken.” This is a risky game to play; it’s just like the version you see in movies where two cars drive toward each other and the person to veer off first, in order to avoid a head-on collision, loses. In my version though, the other person doesn’t know they’re playing.
Sidewalk Chicken goes this way: I [with a vision impairment] walk on the right side of the sidewalk and see people taking up the entire sidewalk (because, you know, they ‘own’ it). If not wearing sunglasses, I adopt a “distant” expression, begin click-clacking on the sidewalk and hasten my pace. If the person jumps out of the way, I win. If the person collides with me, I call it a draw. If, and this has never happened, I move to avoid the collision, then it’s a loss for me. It’s quick, simple, and amusing. Sometimes I wish I could snap a picture the moment the person realizes they’re about to collide into a blind man. It’s usually priceless.
Bulwark: Folks don’t always pay attention when walking along the sidewalk, whether it’s texting, talking, or daydreaming. People will, if not properly motivated to do so otherwise, walk directly into you. This is how I invented the game, “Bulwark.” If I see someone coming at me not paying attention, I brace myself (it helps to know that I have a very sturdy build) and let them run directly into me. I hope that it helps to raise the awareness of the dangers of walking and texting.
The Moses Effect: I like to think of walking places as a little adventure. Generally, even in crowded situations, I can get places fairly quickly, especially when people are paying attention and the “Moses Effect” kicks in. My friends and I generally benefit from this. I walk along a crowded street and pedestrians try to avoid being touched by my cane (I don’t swing it that hard, honestly); it’s like the Red Sea parting, hence the name (I’m going to say that I coined this phrase, as I’ve never seen it used in this context before).
Please share any games you play or unique terms in the comments section below. Feel free to use my rules and play at your own risk. I do this understanding that it might not end entirely well.