Doin’ the Little Schmuck Trot

Do you do the Schmuck Trot? You know, that little two or three step symbolic run across the road when a driver stops and signals you to cross? It’s usually accompanied by a nod, smile, or wave – and, since it’s only symbolic, it doesn’t hurry things up at all – but it’s kind of nice – and polite.

When I drive and stop for pedestrians when I don’t have to, I’m a little embarrassed to admit I like them to do the schmuck trot. I think of it as a little, visual ‘thank you’ – an acknowledgement of my ‘right-of-way’ sacrifice and generosity.

Of course, not everyone is appropriately grateful. Old people seem to take it for granted that you’re going to stop and can get positively snarly if you rev the engine a bit to hurry them along. Teenagers would rather be caught listening to Lawrence Welk than do the Schmuck Trot. They glare at you and almost DEMAND to be run over! One of these days they’re going to play that game with some maniac who’s just been told he’s got ‘don’t buy green bananas’ cancer and the last thing they’ll do on this earth is kiss the tread grooves of a speeding tire. I’d like to tell them: “accidents” happen all the time, pimple farms!

The worst? People from California. In their state, if a couple of clueless moonbeams is discussing the joy of soy and step off the curb – cars are legally required to slam on their brakes and let them cross. But this is New York! I wonder how many thousands of Left Coaster’s final thoughts were “But he was SUPPOSED to stop!” I know I can personally take credit for at least 2 direct hits and a dozen near misses. I heart New York!


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9 Responses to “Doin’ the Little Schmuck Trot”

  1. Bill says:

    As a more or less professional pedestrian, I am extremely cautious. Even so, I got clipped by a car on South Ave and have had numerous close calls. “Right on red after stop” has evolved into “right into the guy on foot”. Crosswalks are routinely encroached upon by motorists who don’t seem to understand how hazardous it is to stroll out into traffic and are apparently under the hillbilly impression the light will change more quickly if they straddle all the lines.

    For the jerk pedestrians who jaywalk, I have no sympathy. Run the morons over.

  2. petrena says:

    Couldn’t agree with you more fpaolo1! I too like a little “thank-you” while letting others cross.

    I wonder if anyone teaches their kids manners anymore? But then again, those kids are probably crossing in the crosswalk.

  3. Of course no-one teaches their kids manner anymore. With five ex wives or husbands and numerous liv-ins they don’t even know who’s kids are theirs. Unless a judge tells them to pay for them and then they aren’t kids they are expenses. In 25 years people will be saying they have been on their own since their parents moved their cribs into another room. In another house. In another town. But I am now witnessing something really strange on the street. Kids needing jobs are taking their peircings OUT and growing up normal.

  4. paolo. says:


    Thanks for reading my stuff – glad you “get” my humor. I always enjoy your comments in the D&C. You could teach a class on “How to Disagree Without Being Disagreeable”.

  5. petrena says:

    Thanks fpaolo. I try very hard to be civil but sometimes it’s difficult because people can get ya’ going. I do enjoy your blog very much (It’s pretty funny) and conversing with you. I’ll bet we have more in common than not 🙂

  6. petrena says:

    Joseph, my mother has three ex-husbands and we always had to use manners or we would catch the back of her hand. Honestly! But I hope you’re right and we are seeing a change.

  7. petrena says:

    Oh fpaolo, I just bookmarked your page. That way I can check in without having to find you on the comment pages.

  8. “DTM’s” is a new slang I learned from my grandson, the shoulda, coulda, been a wild one. AND all his young freinds. This generation is growing up seeing EVERYBODY being fed anti-depressants, even babies and pets. They call the bad drugs DTM’s- Drugs from the Man.In two years they have gone from wiseguys to young adults and I am surprised. They love the music of our 70’s Paolo and party like we did-?do? But the wiseguys call me sir and i hate that. Don’t eat the brown acid.

  9. Lorraine says:

    I actually do not like to cross in front of anyone(or vehicle). ESPECIALLY when they wave me across. It’s like…sudden death? You NEVER know. Assume NOTHING.

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