I'm not proud of this, but I'm going to admit something, here: I don't really understand football. Look, there are rules in every sport that the casual observer doesn't understand, right? I love baseball, but I can't comprehend the "infield fly rule" as hard as I try. I enjoy hockey, but have trouble understanding "icing", and generally look for blood when the puck itself is too hard to see. Soccer is exciting, but I don't know when to be excited, exactly, because the clock counts UP and I never have any idea when the game is due to end.
So, American football. I used to watch with some guys back in college who were always talking about their "fantasy team" and "the draft" and how so-and-so did a nice "pick" and so on. I would always nod and smile and generally try to drink quietly and quickly until their conversation became interesting.
(When we lived in New Zealand, we were turned onto a different sport: RUGBY. It turns out rugby is just like American football, except there's no padding or helmets, the refs don't ever stop the clock, and the cheerleaders look like hobbits. I miss New Zealand.)
There was one time in particular, after I was sufficiently inebriated enough to admit my total ignorance of the sport, that I asked a buddy of mine the following question:
"Why doesn't the guy with the ball just run where there aren't any guys?"
Love football all you want. Talk about how the coaches are super brilliant and how such and such a quarterback can Hail Mary a tight end until all hell breaks loose. But at the end of the day, I haven't ever really gotten a good answer to this question. You have the ball, and your job is to run to the end of a field with it. There are people all in a line trying to stop you. Why not just run where those people AREN'T? Too often I'll watch a football game and see some dumbass with the ball try to jump THROUGH a crowd of guys who are, frankly, a lot taller and bigger than he is, and all he had to do was run like 10 feet to the right where the huge gap was and he would have been home free. One day someone will give me a good answer to that question in the hopes of getting me to like something about football BESIDES the food at SuperBowl parties. At which point I will shush them because I'll be watching rugby.
Can you see where I'm going with this? Can you see where talking about a line of large people blocking you from reaching your goal would have a DIRECT CORRELATION to NYC commuting? Ever walked on the sidewalk?
Side-by-side is rarely, if ever, acceptable. I understand it, and sometimes (on the rare occasion I mosey) I am guilty of holding hands with Fiancé as we walk down the sidewalk. But here's the kicker (ha!): if someone is coming towards us, or I hear someone trying to pass us from behind, I will scoot behind Fiancé. She thinks I'm being polite. It is actually because there's a good view when I'm behind her. Pffft. Whatever, it's win/win.
I've seen some of these rubes dragging their wheeled suitcases that boast airline tickets from some podunk flyover state when they're walking abreast in front of me, and I think, "Walk faster," which is what I generally think when I'm walking behind anyone, but it's worse in this scenerio. In this scenerio, the sentence ends with a semi-colon and is finished with, "Single file in this town, People."
I like tourism. I like that it brings money to the city. I like that tourists riding the subway brings money to the MTA so they don't "have" to raise the fares for at LEAST another four months. But if I were a tourist in, let's say FRANCE. I'd at least ATTEMPT to order some food in French, right? That's part of the fun of travelling! Not just to SEE the Eiffel Tower, but also to live like the French... if even briefly.
Well, if that's the case, welcome to New York. Feel free to visit the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. Times Square has a TON of space for you. While you're here, however, we have a few rules for you to follow, if you don't mind. First and foremost is this: It's single file in this town, People.