Thursday, June 25, 2009

Slowly Circling Magpies and Jaybirds

Why is it that men can play, work, exercise, etc., on a solo and silent basis, and women have to shop, eat, exercise, and use the restroom in groups of two or more AND talk during the entire time with each other in person or on the phone?

I have observed the "walkers" for over two years, those folks who each morning and/or evening circle the high school block where I live [hmmm... circles and squares.] Most walk it; a few ride bikes. Most walk briskly around several times at a mile per circuit; a few just mosey around for a one-time look-see. I see individual men and women, couples, and families, but the most numerous grouping is of two, three, or four women. They come from the tracts of homes within walking distance surrounding the high school and they view this city block as their personal training station.

The younger, fit women are out for exercise. Their pace takes them around the block every sixteen minutes and gets their cardiovascular systems into high gear. Their other gear, clothes and electronic gadgets, are the variety meant for strenuous activity. Sadly, the ear buds are in and playing a preplanned routine of music, talk, affirmations, or whatever, which builds an aural bubble around them and precludes any interaction with people or nature. A lack of ear buds is immediately substituted with a constant stream of girlfriend chatter.

All the other not-so-fit-yet women subsist exclusively on verbalizing during striding. Indeed, the faster they walk (relatively speaking), the faster and louder they talk (which is counter-intuitive.) The constant stream of words must double as breathing exercises, because they never gasp for breath and, in all probability, never even inhale. Of course, trying to get a word in edgewise - such as "Hello" ("Good day" would never work because that's two words) - bounces off the linguistic force field emanating from the walkers.

There must be a cloak of invisibility over the three houses, mine being one, on the backside of the high school block because this inhabited one-sixteenth-mile suffers the same continuous, rapid-fire barrage of clucking, laughing, gossipy, female oral exposition that the other uninhabited fifteen-sixteenths of a mile receives. What! Do they think we have soundproof houses? Especially at 4:43 a.m.?

Some of the fault must be laid at the feet - or in the mouth - of my neighbor, "C", who is still up after screwing around with the recently departed truck and "T" and "L" of TLC Catering. Her morning-long (3:00 a.m. to 6:15 a.m.) banging and clattering in the back yard has been intentionally expanded to include the daily gab fests she now conducts on the sidewalk out front before the sun comes up.

Hospitals have "Quiet Zone" signs. Day sleepers often put up signs to warn off the general population. Perhaps I need a sign that says, "Night Sleeper - No Noisy Neighbors or Gabby Walkers."

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