Several states have passed laws prohibiting text messaging while walking. Some may balk at this, but I understand the necessity for such laws. Text-and-walkers are being a tad selfish by putting their lives unwillingly in the hands of others. Having to migrate through a crowd of people with their heads hung having eyeballs locked on their phone could result in one or more injuries, and that’s before you even bring automobiles into the mix.
Road rage is a virtue I’m not proud to admit I have, but a careless driver talking or texting often gets the middle finger from me. I pull up next to them, roll down my window, and make eye contact to ensure they see it, too.
But when autumn is just around the corner, I too become an obsessive text-walker. It is not coincidental that this is when Fantasy Football begins
A few weeks ago I joined my league for the year. It’s an 8-person crew, and I’m the only female. Being the only girl has given me some kind of aggressive competitive boost. I really wanted to win just so I can taunt my team for losing to a girl. (And I especially want to beat the league commissioner, who has been talking a lot of shit.) I know the feminists of the world would hate me for gloating in such a manner, but let’s get real: Losing to the only girl in your Fantasy League? Those guys would go ape shit.
So I began my research and studying. ESPN articles, stats, bye weeks, mock drafts. Instead of working, I obsessed over draft order preparations and making sure I had enough options for any scenario that could arise during our live draft. All which was trackable on my beautiful, beautiful cell phone. I became so obsessed that it was practically glued to my hand. If my phone pinged while I was in the shower, I’d quickly dry off my hands and fumble to read my notifications. I stopped having real conversations, instead mumbling “uh-huh” while I checked injury updates. I walked, talked, and breathed Yahoo!’s Fantasy Football App.
This only lasted, however, until the most mortifying moment of my existence.
Anyone who knows me personally knows that I’ve got some pretty rotten luck. The game of life is constantly throwing sticks into the wheels of my bicycle, causing me to fly forward and land flat on my face. Yes, I am quick to pick myself up, but I’m usually left with a few bloody gashes and some deep plum bruises.
So I should have known that I was not an ideal candidate for texting-and-walking.
Last Thursday afternoon, I walked out of my office building with my cell phone in one hand and a cigarette in the other. Walking down Main Street with my eyes locked on my Yahoo! Fantasy Football cell phone app, all surrounding sounds quickly turned into white noise. Had my gaze not been glued to my smartphone, I might have realized a woman was zooming straight for me on her power wheelchair. But, by the time I looked up, it was too late: One of her wheels ramped onto my big toe and powered forward. As it reached the section connecting my ankle to my leg, my knee gave out and my body turned sideways as the right side of my face fell into the brassiere of a morbidly obese middle-aged woman. She abruptly let off the power causing me to fall backwards onto my ass, the wind catching my skirt like a kite, wrapping it right over my face.
I quickly pulled my clothing back in place, aware that I had now shown half of the downtown area – my downtown area.
Perhaps the woman felt more discomforted than I since I had accidentally motor-boated her, but she could have cut me some fucking slack. As I picked myself off the filthy Downtown Kansas City sidewalk and swiped away bits of rock from the back of my legs, the woman began screaming at me. “What on God’s green Earth were you thinking!?”-“What the hell is the matter with you!?”- “Why weren’t you watching where you were going!?“ – all of which I decided were rhetorical questions as she left me no room for explanation. Frustrated and embarrassed, I just started muttering “Yeah. I know. I’m sorry. I know” repeatedly in hopes that she would stop adding insults to my literal injuries.
I grabbed my purse and began to limp the opposite direction in embarrassment. Her voice first became distant, but soon regained its volume. I turned around to see her coming straight towards me, with one flabby arm shaking its fist my way. Then the five o’clock sun beamed onto the sidewalk, causing a sparkle to catch my eye. My jaw dropped in horror as I watched my precious IPhone shatter under the wheel of the handicapped manatee. Tears ran down my face as I screamed “you stupid bitch! You just cost me the entire season!”
Texting while walking laws may seem needless to many. After all, I too was once able to dodge pedestrians and potholes. However, in the heat of the moment – that last tile you play on Words with Friends, that picture of a park bench you just uploaded to Instagram, or the devastating news that Jason Witten’s down with a spleen injury, could be the one time you’re not as invincible as you thought – leaving you without a cellphone and without hope…of thrashing a bunch of dudes in your fantasy football league.
For more from Kalie…