Works on low-talkers too!
December 28, 2011 6:59 PM   Subscribe

Having confronted the problem of how to walk past someone without running into them, it's time MetaFilter dealt with another pressing social issue: How to deal with slow walkers (SLYT).
posted by scalefree (47 comments total) 18 users marked this as a favorite

 
I've seen this before, but it's still hilarious.
posted by empath at 7:10 PM on December 28, 2011


Hilarious! But why did I start drooling every time I heard that bell?
posted by Ron Thanagar at 7:13 PM on December 28, 2011 [5 favorites]


So simple, and less expensive, what with the cost of shells, than the shotgun I've been using to solve this problem.
posted by tomswift at 7:14 PM on December 28, 2011 [3 favorites]


It's good that people reflexively move out of the way for bicyclists going up escalators.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:17 PM on December 28, 2011 [10 favorites]


That video is 5 years old, also it's plagiarized.

Plus, only 5 people favorited it when I posted it 2 years ago.

posted by anthill at 7:18 PM on December 28, 2011 [4 favorites]


You dart around and ahead of them, making them feel lumbering and slow, the end.
posted by The Whelk at 7:19 PM on December 28, 2011 [4 favorites]


Flag 'em and move on.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 7:19 PM on December 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


It's a bittersweet symphony, this bike.
posted by gwint at 7:20 PM on December 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


Plus, only 5 people favorited it when I posted it 2 years ago.

It's all in how you tell it.
posted by scalefree at 7:22 PM on December 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


Genius.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:22 PM on December 28, 2011


Is it wrong that I'm starting to leave similar comments on FB and Mefi? Saw this on FB the other day, and commented there. Well, anyway... I'll say it here as well: I THOUGHT OF THIS MANY YEARS AGO! So... WHY DIDN'T I MAKE A VIDEO LIKE THIS?

Ahem... Well, I didn't. Drat.

But this wouldn't necessarily work all that well outside of Japan, would it? I mean, here in Tokyo, pedestrians and bicycles share the sidewalk. It's an automatic, truly Pavlovian response for pedestrians to step aside when they hear a bike bell. But elsewhere...? Especially in the US, where bicycles are pretty strictly OFF the sidewalks? Nah. I don't think so.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:22 PM on December 28, 2011


It seems at a bit rude. I find a simple 'scuse me' will do the same thing.

But then I think about when I'm running, where I've noticed people tend to move towards the direction I try to pass them on. I suspect it's because if someone hears something behind, say, their left shoulder, they'll look over that shoulder, which will steer them to the left.

Wonder if the bell would help this? The sound of rapid approaching footsteps is quite threatening, which prompts people to look. The people in the video aren't looking when the bell rings--perhaps it's a less threatening sound?
posted by fonetik at 7:28 PM on December 28, 2011


Plus, only 5 people favorited it when I posted it 2 years ago.

I've just favourited it here. How's that salt in them wounds?
posted by howfar at 7:30 PM on December 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


So simple, and less expensive, what with the cost of shells, than the shotgun I've been using to solve this problem.

yeah my Vuvuzela method has been getting me punched a lot recently
posted by mannequito at 7:30 PM on December 28, 2011 [5 favorites]


> he people in the video aren't looking when the bell rings--perhaps it's a less threatening sound?

They're just conditioned to do so since so many cyclists use bells there.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:30 PM on December 28, 2011


The people in the video aren't looking when the bell rings

That's because the people are in Tokyo. There is virtually no street crime in Tokyo. as a result, people here are blissfully unaware of people around them. Come here sometime, you won't believe it. It's like no other big city in the world.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:30 PM on December 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


In other words, even your "rapid approaching footsteps" will often go unnoticed by pedestrians here.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:31 PM on December 28, 2011


> There is virtually no street crime in Tokyo

Sure, tell that to headless Andy Garcia.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:34 PM on December 28, 2011


Walk until march, speed up slighty, skip and step, accelerate.
posted by Mblue at 7:37 PM on December 28, 2011


I kept expecting him to pinch his fingers together and do the Kids in the Hall "I'm squishing your head" thing.
posted by shortyJBot at 7:37 PM on December 28, 2011 [3 favorites]


I fake having a sneezing fit.
posted by joelf at 7:40 PM on December 28, 2011


The best part was when he said "it even works on fags!" Japan in a nutshell: offensive, and yet strangely oblivious. (There's no subtitles...it's weird, given that I don't speak the best Japanese, but I honestly have no idea what non-Japanese speakers take from this video. It's a guy with a bicycle bell on his finger, talking and ringing it at people in front of him on the sidewalk.)
posted by spacewrench at 7:41 PM on December 28, 2011


I just march down Hollywood Boulevard carrying the biggest damn gun on earth.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 8:03 PM on December 28, 2011


The video points out another key factor of Japanese society - it's gentle and laid-back. No one seemed to be getting angry by getting manipulated by some joker ringing a bicycle bell. People reacted automatically, realized they had been tricked, and forgot about it.

On the other hand, everything changes once you get behind the wheel of a car in Japan. Tailgating, parking-space snatching, lane-cutting, you name it.
posted by KokuRyu at 8:04 PM on December 28, 2011


A friend of mine has been doing this for I don't know how long. Maybe more than 10 years. She has a bell always mounted on her purse strap. It has worked very well for her in [list may be incomplete]:
western and eastern canada,
Ecuador,
Bolivia,
and Japan.

She may have lived other places for a while. I don't know. But this works on pedestrians of many different... pedestrian-styles. She is a very fast walker, and also impatient.
posted by Acari at 8:11 PM on December 28, 2011


Having just come back from Japan, the whole bikes-mixed-with-pedestrians thing filled me with confusion. Not once did I hear a bell. It got to the point where I was continually throwing fearful backward glances over my shoulder in case a patient cyclist was stuck behind me.
posted by Ritchie at 8:11 PM on December 28, 2011


I wonder if this would work in the halls at my office. That's where I'd need it the most.
posted by desjardins at 8:18 PM on December 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


Sure, tell that to headless Andy Garcia .

Without even clicking your link I knew the exact scene and movie you were referring to. That scene traumatized me, because I had a mad crush on Andy Garcia at the time, and I knew as soon as that machete sliced through his neck and his head went rolling that I wouldn't be seeing him for the entire rest of the movie.
Gah! Reliving the pain!
posted by newpotato at 8:32 PM on December 28, 2011


But Andy got his head cut off in Osaka - completely different city.

This wouldn't wrk in Hong Kong though - no-one gets out of the way for anything there.
posted by awfurby at 8:37 PM on December 28, 2011


I thought the video was a hoot, but I honestly couldn't say how effective a bicycle bell would be in any of the places I've lived (all in the US with people who are less conditioned to sharing the sidewalk with cyclists).

What I can say is, in general people tend to move faster overall, as well as there being fewer people in dawdle mode, in medium- and large-sized cities as compared to the small-town southeastern US where I spent my childhood and young adulthood. One of the reasons I moved to such a larger and less-southern city, in fact.

Now...if someone could just come up with a way to deal with groups of two or more people who walk toward you spread out side-by-side, taking up most or all of the sidewalk and doing their level best to ignore oncoming pedestrian traffic. Other than contriving to stand stock-still in the middle of the sidewalk and refusing to budge, forcing them to split and flow sullenly around you - which I suppose could be considered a bit antagonistic, or at least passive-aggressive.

Doesn't stop me from doing that, mind you...
posted by Greg_Ace at 9:08 PM on December 28, 2011


Greg: "Hello, I'm walking here!" might work?
posted by Meatbomb at 9:53 PM on December 28, 2011


I've always found it more effective to scream: "OUT OF MY FUCKING WAY"...
posted by greenhornet at 10:01 PM on December 28, 2011


I thought the video was a hoot, but I honestly couldn't say how effective a bicycle bell would be in any of the places I've lived (all in the US with people who are less conditioned to sharing the sidewalk with cyclists).

I dunno. How effective is it when you're riding on the road and a car comes up behind you and starts leaning on the horn for you to get out of their way?
posted by rodgerd at 10:06 PM on December 28, 2011


Two words. Air Zound.
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 10:11 PM on December 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


I wonder if you could just shout "orimasu" like you do when you're trying to get off the bus or subway.
posted by charlie don't surf at 11:36 PM on December 28, 2011


I wonder if you could just shout "orimasu" like you do when you're trying to get off the bus or subway.

Sure, you could shout that. It wouldn't make sense, but you could shout it. You could also shout "tabemasu" (I'm eating!), or "yomimasu!" (I'm reading!) or just about anything else. A bicycle bell will work much better than any of these, however.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 2:05 AM on December 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yeah! Show those meat pylons who's boss!
posted by Joe Chip at 2:50 AM on December 29, 2011


Most of the dialogue is just him doing an infomercial-like pitch for the idea, but one part of the demonstration has him going: "it works on students..and businessmen..and couples..and athletes..and ladies..and homosexuals..and hitmen..will all get out of your way," had me LOLing at the randomness.
posted by GooseOnTheLoose at 4:27 AM on December 29, 2011


> But Andy got his head cut off in Osaka - completely different city.

Whoops. Well, to be fair, that decapitation scene is about the only memorable detail from Black Rain.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:01 AM on December 29, 2011


Next challenge: idiots who don't know how the left lane/right lane system on escalators work. Also people who don't know how to get off escalators faster than a sloth.
posted by pyrex at 8:17 AM on December 29, 2011


Also, people who stop in doorways because they can't decide to turn right or left. KILL THEM WITH FIRE.
posted by desjardins at 9:25 AM on December 29, 2011


I've always found it more effective to scream: "OUT OF MY FUCKING WAY"...

Heard most often in the military (rarely in any other context): MAKE A HOLE!
posted by ElGuapo at 9:31 AM on December 29, 2011


Now...if someone could just come up with a way to deal with groups of two or more people who walk toward you spread out side-by-side, taking up most or all of the sidewalk and doing their level best to ignore oncoming pedestrian traffic. Other than contriving to stand stock-still in the middle of the sidewalk and refusing to budge, forcing them to split and flow sullenly around you - which I suppose could be considered a bit antagonistic, or at least passive-aggressive.

Dance at them. It won't solve the problem but it could make it onto youtube.
posted by srboisvert at 9:42 AM on December 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


People who walk abreast in confined passageways (store aisles, sidewalks, etc) are vile and should be parted with extreme prejudice.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:50 AM on December 29, 2011


srboisvert: Dance at them. It won't solve the problem but it could make it onto youtube.

Dude, no WAY am I willing to inflict my "dance" moves on the internet public like that!!
posted by Greg_Ace at 2:42 PM on December 29, 2011


I'm a fast walker. I'm dating a fast walker and we are in love. One of the many reasons we are in love is because we can instinctively and with perfect precision split quickly on the sidewalk, zip around the cluster of slow walkers, and regroup without missing a single word of our conversation. I presume the satisfaction of pulling off a move like that is similar to one you would get when successfully dancing.
posted by Spatch at 3:54 PM on December 29, 2011 [3 favorites]


I live by the maxim that it's better to ask forgiveness than permission.

"Sorry!" "Yeah, sorry you're such a slowpoke with no situational awareness."
posted by Eideteker at 4:08 PM on December 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


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