Techno-zombie retribution

Posted November 23, 2011

Techno-zombie retribution

Techno-zombie: A person or persons who walk through public areas … text messaging on their cellphones, not paying attention to their surroundings. (The Urban Dictionary)

Can you walk up three flights of steps and read a Kindle at the same time? No, I didn’t think so. And yet the girl exiting Liverpool Street tube station, directly in front of me, is attempting just that. In all fairness, she seems as surefooted as a mountain goat; she hasn’t stumbled once.

But that’s not my point. What bothers me is that I’m convinced she will eventually lose her footing. I keep an eye on her the whole time; if she teeters backwards she’ll knock us all over, like dominoes! 

What is so utterly compelling, anyway, that she has to read it … on the move … in a busy underground station … in the rush hour? As a writer, I really want to know what induces such suicidal reading practices. However, I’ve resisted the urge to take a peak.  Funnily enough, I find it impossible to read and watch where I’m going at the same time.

Just like this man who’s texting on his mobile phone and aiming straight for me at the speed of a silver bullet train. He clearly expects everyone to swerve out of his way as he blindly hurtles along.  Unfortunately there are some, like me, who don’t manage to dodge him in time. I literally ricochet off his shoulder. Not that he’s bothered.

He’s too busy playing out his own warped version of ‘chicken’. With him as the winner every time! Well, I'm about to change all that. I can take your game to another level by injecting a little bit of commuters’ revenge. Here’s how it works...

I award points to commuters who bravely stand their ground and stop the techno-zombies dead in their tracks. I give extra points if they knock the wind out of them at the same time (a heavy tote bag straight in the solar plexus does the trick!).  My top marks are reserved for any collision that dislodges the brand new i-Phone 4 S from the techno-zombie’s hand.  And I’ll award a huge bonus if the phone then skitters down the road and comes to a rest just as a black cab rolls over it.

 Image: B-seventyeight, Flickr

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