I’m hereby hijacking this comic to vent a little spleen. I am feeling some righteous anger, and I have a rather simple question to ask.

When did everyone become complete self-centered $#!holes?!?!

Okay, I’m on campus this morning crossing between buildings. It was about 40 and bucketing rain yesterday, and of course it is below freezing today, so there is ice everywhere. The sidewalks have been sprayed with liquid de-icer, so they are pretty clear, but because the sidewalks are covered with liquid de-icer, you can’t actually see where the ice patches are.

As I said, I’m crossing between buildings with people passing on either side. I take a single step and hit a patch of ice. BOOM!! I’m on the ground. Now, I’m not a small guy. To see me slip and slam into the ground is a sight to behold. First there is the exciting moment of an impossibly heavy object suspended in mid-air. Next, there’s the thunderous crash as my ponderous frame hits the concrete, followed by the short punctuated sound of the back of my head hitting the sidewalk. Finally, we have the tremors as the sidewalk vibrates from the shock.

In other words, when I go down on a sidewalk full of people, it’s simply not possible that no one noticed.

Not one frickin’ person stopped to help me up. Not one person stopped to check for blood. Not one person even slowed and grunted "Are you okay"? Not one. As I looked up from the ground, I noticed that the person nearest to me didn’t even break stride as he strolled by, and he is one of my clients!!! From a group that we daily bend over backwards to help out.

I’d like to propose an experiment for you guys. This spring, on a nice sunny day, take your bike out to the side of the road and pretend to be changing a flat. You will notice that every cyclist that passes will check on you. Whether they stop and offer to help or just slow and ask if you have everything you need, no cyclist will pass without making sure you are okay. This behavior is so common that it actually gets a bit annoying if you take too much time changing the flat. That is the way cyclist are.

What is the deal on the sidewalks, then? If I see someone go down, I make sure they are okay. It’s common courtesy…or at least I thought it was. I guess it’s uncommon courtesy these days.