The "C" Branch

Jaded commentary on random shit, with an extra helping of cynicism, satire and general contempt for society & Western culture, religion, politics, celebrities, technology, business & more.

Things You Learn In the City – Part I

Posted by Chris DeMarco on Friday, October 12th, 2007 at 3:43 pm


After living in the city for a couple months now, I’ve realized there are many things you quickly discover when you “live in the center of it all.” Here are some useful things to know for your next trip downtown.

1. It’s actually better to not look around.
Many people expect that the greatest danger when living in the city is that of being attacked or mugged while walking along the street. Consequently, they look around and try to stay aware of the people around them and their other surroundings. I have discovered that this is actually ineffective in protecting you from your greatest danger, and you are better off looking down. This is because your greatest danger in the city is the sidewalk. That’s right, the sidewalk. Always look down while you walk so that you see all the cracks in the sidewalk and don’t trip and fall. Of course you could learn the hard way, but I have found that in this case it’s actually not so great.

2. Friendly animals are not necessarily rabid.
In the city, animals are accustomed to being around people all the time, and tend to be much less frightened by them than animals in the suburbs or country. It is not unusual for animals, particularly squirrels and pigeons, to approach you expecting you to feed them. They are not dangerous! Unless they are charging at you and foaming at the mouth, you have nothing to worry about.

3. Racism doesn’t work on squirrels, either.
While we’re on the topic of animals…for some reason, black squirrels seem to be more popular in the city than they are in the suburbs. I assure you, however, they are no less squirrely than regular squirrels. They still chase each other around, nag you for food, bury food in random places, and run in the middle of the road just as much as any other squirrel. Just like with people, color doesn’t matter. Imagine that… So, don’t feel deprived in any way when it comes to squirrels.

4. Avoid creepy looking drunk people.
You will likely discover many creepy people in the city. Characteristics of such people include drunkenness, standing in the middle of the road, cursing to themselves, holding a bottle of vodka, and slowly waddling toward you. These people are sometimes harmless but often are extremely dangerous. Individuals who also hold a cigarette in their free hand (the other is holding the bottle) are the most dangerous. For your own safety, avoid confrontation with such people and without drawing attention to yourself, get away from them. I don’t imagine it is pleasant to be beaten upside the head with a sharp broken glass bottle.

5. Smoke means walk the other direction.
Sometimes you will see billows of smoke floating across the sky. This generally indicates that something is on fire. It is not a good idea to walk in the direction toward the fire, because of some of the basic principles of fire. First, fire spreads, and you don’t want it to spread on top of you. Second, fire ignites flammable things like gas lines and other things that would cause explosions. The more distant you are from an explosion, the safer you are. But, most importantly of all, smoke is bad for your lungs, so just get away from it.

If you follow these simple and practical tips, you will be just fine on your next trip to the city. Just remember to be safe, be smart, and understand what your real dangers are.

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