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!

If you make dull presentations, you will be run over at:

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6 Responses to “Doin’ the Little Schmuck Trot”

  1. Joseph Belle-Isle says:

    That’s kind of like when NY cops had red lights and I moved to a cop with blue lights state. “Didn’t i see the police light flashing behind me?” Try telling him sure, “But I didn’t know what it was.”

  2. Frank Paolo says:

    Nice to hear from you again, J B-I!

    Best line to use when a cop pulls you over and asks, “Do you know why I stopped you?” – “God no! I was kind of hoping YOU knew why you pulled me over!”

  3. Brenda says:

    Here’s a nice little trick for those “world revolves around me” teenagers. As they are meandering across the street like they have no where to be (which they probably don’t) and right when they give you that billigerant “I dare you look” – return their look with feigned indifference and lay on your horn for a good 10 seconds. When the little puke practically jumps out of their skin and fear momentarily flashes in their eyes, smile at them and wave.

  4. Joseph Belle-Isle says:

    The thing about those little punk teenagers is they WILL get older. When I was early 20’s and just liberated from the Army we played frisbee on Monroe Ave. The trick was we would try and bounce it off the top of a moving car and get it to the guy across the street. We tried to bounce one off the top of a cop car and it hit it sideways and fell in the road. The cop stopped, grabbed the frisbee and laughed and threw it back, and drove on. Five of the guys had rented a three story house just off the Avenue that was a constant party in those days of open house neighborhood parties, and the police used the spot just across from them to take turns sleeping. We didn’t see them and they didn’t see us.

  5. Joseph Belle-Isle says:

    “Do’in the little smuck trot,” would make a good name for a song.

  6. Paul says:

    I love the link that you included, an actual link that works. Cool. And I like that sign a lot.

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