A Warning for Visually Disgusted People Who Drive in the South

By now, most people are familiar with the infamous London “runny egg” sidewalk. You know the kind: You walk along, look over, and there’s no go. Crickets. Poop. Crickets. Here in Fort Myers, we…

A Warning for Visually Disgusted People Who Drive in the South

By now, most people are familiar with the infamous London “runny egg” sidewalk. You know the kind: You walk along, look over, and there’s no go. Crickets. Poop. Crickets. Here in Fort Myers, we have a whole different sidewalk that is making me want to look over my shoulder almost constantly. And it has a visual connotation that probably everyone would at least consider gross: “Oh God, this is disgusting.”

“This sidewalk abruptly ends with no warning — right where pedestrians need it most.”

This sidewalk abruptly ends with no warning — right where pedestrians need it most. Even if you’re sure you have crossed the street, no pedestrian traffic permits you to have a free hand to dangle from the edge and feel the wind on your face as you tussle to hold onto the sidewalk edge. Being right in the middle of the sidewalk like you’re not even there is a little surreal. I mean, who carries a hiking stick around? In my experience, not many people in Fort Myers.

This sidewalk abrupt ends with no warning — right where pedestrians need it most. Even if you’re sure you have crossed the street, no pedestrian traffic permits you to have a free hand to dangle from the edge and feel the wind on your face as you tussle to hold onto the sidewalk edge. Being right in the middle of the sidewalk like you’re not even there is a little surreal. I mean, who carries a hiking stick around? In my experience, not many people in Fort Myers.

There are two issues at play here: safety and sanitation. It’s one thing to feel gross walking past this sidewalk. It’s something else entirely to be walking toward an apartment or house and come to your senses when you look over and find your neighbor has taken it upon himself to mow your lawn and house plants. While this sounds like something common in the South, seeing a random walker on my side of the sidewalk tell the annoyed landlord, “Oh no, stop mowing my grass,” is a terrible thing to have to do and makes my blood run cold.

Further, it’s poor sanitation. This sidewalk, should be a little more hygienic. The most noticeable features of the walk are surely the chunks of grass on each side. You have to imagine these things are good to go, so of course they should be nourished and cleaned regularly. Sure enough, though, these things exist in backyards around the country, so what’s so different about Florida?

This sidewalk, should be a little more hygienic. The most noticeable features of the walk are surely the chunks of grass on each side. You have to imagine these things are good to go, so of course they should be nourished and cleaned regularly. Sure enough, though, these things exist in backyards around the country, so what’s so different about Florida?

Some people can roll with the inconveniences associated with driving in the South. It takes time to maneuver through traffic, pick up speed and look up into the windshield at the oncoming scenery. There’s no guarantee that we ever get to turn on our headlights and actually see anything. But I need not plead with everyone to step out of their bubble — this is our home.

Life here means short days, too many cupcakes and crisscrossing errands without enough time for lunch. Longer walkways shouldn’t be a luxury. Maybe everybody’s unhappy with the walkway, but maybe nobody really wants to do anything about it. If you are OK with what has happened, then you should see the actual culprits: A rogue dog that has gotten loose; an owner who is apparently content with a sidewalk that ends its head where dogs are banned from; and, maybe, the hippie that hops from tree to tree, buries themselves in the mulch and wakes up to a ball in his mouth.

Before you make a physical connection between these events, just notice that the tulips are still blooming on the sidewalk.

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