Friday, May 11, 2007

Jumping Songs

Today in Music History:

In 1985, UK producer and keyboard player Paul Hardcastle was at No.1 on the UK singles chart with '19'. The title referred to the average age of American soldiers in the Vietnam war.
jumper signThe Island hosts a phenomenon that I have never seen anywhere else. I call them Jumpers. Not the kind that go splat off a high rise, these jumpers start out innocently enough as pedestrians. Maybe it's something about walking that turns them into idiots, or maybe it's the breeze from the ocean that gives them a brain meltdown. Just like a bird migration when the weather warms up, the jumpers return in full force. We have our stop lights here, with the walk and don't walk lights that have the added bonus of a bird chirp when it's time to walk. Homercat lives near a stoplight on a busy street so he gets to hear this incessant chirping day and night. Also scattered throughout the city are little crosswalk lines painted on the streets (busy streets I might add) in the oddest of places. With no ped xing signs or any kind of warning to a motorist that a ped may be xing other than some faded lines painted on the street. Now here's my beef. I don't know where these people learned this, but day or night without fail, people just walk out in the safety of their little lines and never look to see if there might be a vehicle bearing down on them. Most are hoofin' it at a brisk pace. They literally jump out into the street without ever looking both ways, causing a plethora of tires screeching , cars skidding and a prevalent smell of burning rubber.

I myself have just about taken out a ped or two, even though I'm fully aware that some dorkhead is lurking just out of sight ready to jump. Homercat is ever vigilant to slow down and let the peds have the right of way. Some of these folks just bolt out from behind a parked SUV like they're the man of steel able to stop a speeding locomotive and you damn well better stop even though you were only ten feet from their precious lines. The mindset seems to be,"I know you're only 10 feet away and going 40 mph, but I'm the pedestrian and you have to stop." Yes this is true, but for fuck's sake give us time to stop. Now in the land I come from, we are taught at an early age that you look both ways before you cross a street, even if you have a chirping walk light. Else you might end up so much scrambled spam on the street. Apparently this custom has been lost on this island. Every time I see this behavior I want to run over to the offender, grab them by the collar, start to shake the shit out of them and scream loudly, "What the hell were you thinking man, didn't your parents teach you to look both ways dumbass. Eventually your luck is going to run out and you're going to end up an asphalt sandwich." I'm not talking about those people who do it on purpose because they think they can make it. The ones I'm talking about honestly think those lines protect them and never even glance up. This city is rampant with jumpers. Even after seeing it hundreds of times it still boggles my mind. What surprises me even more is that after all the near misses I have personally witnessed, there aren't more accidents. I can only remember only 2 reports in the last two years of a ped getting hit. Go figure.

In honor of the return of the jumpers, I give you some jumping songs.

Jump Into the Fire by Robin Zander

Jump by Loverboy

Jump in the Line by Harry Belafonte

Curtain Jumper by Teenage Head

Funny Toon