i’m convinced that there are surely more true stories that are funnier (and odder )than any that can be made up. the old adage “fact is stranger than fiction” or whatever it is, definitely holds true…at least my life.

i was 12 or 13 at the time, not a child anymore, but quite the budding teenager, good grades and all that but for some time i had been puzzling over the queerest thing. so on this particular afternoon, i was in the car with my mother and younger brother, driving thru a well trafficked area, when i saw several signs on the side of the road, which got me remembering that i had a very important question to ask of my mom.

you see, there were so many signs i’d seen over the years that warned “Pedestrians stop here” and “Pedestrian crossing here” or “No Pedestrian crossing”, etc, that i was feeling a bit down and quite perplexed until this fateful afternoon when i decided it was time to clear up the conundrum.

in total innocence and honest wonder (now you must keep in mind that i was brought up in a jewish household, my dad being an Auschwitz survivor with his tales of the horrors of persecution having been ingrained in me for my entire childhood), i turned to my mom and asked her, “why is it that Pedestrians are so ostracized in our society?” Now, credit to my mom, she, straightfaced, turned her head slightly towards me to see if i might be joking. but one look at my solemn concerned little face told her otherwise. so barely keeping herself in check, she said, “what do you mean darling?”, to which i explained that for the life of me i could not figure out what these pedestrian people had done and why they were so restricted, why there had to be signs preventing them from crossing streets or entering areas.

“Who ARE the Pedestrians anyways?” I blurted out defiantly.

To which, all my mom could do was try and hold onto the steering wheel with her gut-retching laughter.


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