Column: Six irritants in the way of social distancing
The emergency powers given to Police Scotland during the coronavirus lockdown don’t go far enough.
There are six areas where we need to redeploy the rapid response police picnic squads, and assign the teams on stand-by for the sound of illegal house parties to new duties.
So, my memo to the Chief Constable on how to sort out social distancing requires the following:
Whoever started the trend for bumping up on pavements needs to have their tyres deflated. Permanently.
I don’t care how loud your bell is – y’know, that optional knob on the handlebars which, if pressed, makes a sound – you have no right to be on the pavement, not when we’re trying to stay apart.
Cycling in towns ought to be more enjoyable than ever. Traffic is minimal, and you have miles of road to wheech round. Do a wheelie every 100 yards for all I care, just get off the pavement.
The only exception is if you are six, have stabilisers and pink sparkly ribbons on your handlebars. You’re exempt.
Pavements are for people, not overgrown idiots on mountain bikes who would probably have a coronary if they were banished to the great outdoors to use them.
2 Indicators on each shoulder.
I’m tired playing the “they’re going left, oh no, wait, they’ve moved right” guessing game, and having to adjust my feet more often than a Strictly pro dancer doing a jive. We need indicators on each shoulder to alert others to our sense of travel.
Obviously, this will require an intense familiarisation course for anyone who drives a Volvo.
3 Couples walking side by side
Someone coming towards you? Drop behind your partner for a few seconds and we all pass with a nod of acknowledgement and no worry we’ll spend the next 14 days isolated in our spare bedroom.
This particular lockdown offence brings out the most passive-aggressive response in my other half. I swear she is one more week away from becoming a vigilante who goes around whacking people across the back of the knees just to see them crumple like napkins in a breeze.
4 People who hog the middle of the pavement
Yes, you! There will be a special place in hell reserved for those irritants who stick to the middle, forcing everyone else to either squash themselves into shop doorways or into the road to maintain social distancing.
5 Adult skateboarders
Look, you’re 46, work in accounts, and are called Derek. Stop trying to be as cool as Marty McFly, and for pity’s sake get rid of that bandana. We know your hair is receding.
The wobbly lycra brigade need to stay in parks. Preferrably ones where the gates have locks…
It’s clear many joggers are like pawns in chess – they can only move in one direction – so WE need to dodge their sprays of sweat and snot, and and be fully alert to them suddenly appearing from behind us close enough to squeeze their water bottles. That’s not a euphemism.
Joggers, we know you are “in the zone” but just think of the extra Fitbit steps if you zig-zagged every once in a while…
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Allan Crow, Editor, Fife Free Press