Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Special Report: Crossing Guards Uncovered

Who made the decision that if one crossing guard at an  intersection is good, three crossing guards must be better?  Is it so they have someone to high-five each time they get one across the street?  "Hey, Frank, good job!  Not like that last one!  Now that was close!  Belly bumps all around!"

Maybe it's so they have some protection on the mean streets of Mayberry.  "Cover me, Doris, I'm goin' across!"  Do people steer clear of neighborhoods where the crossing guards work in pairs or more? 

Or are they really crossing guards?  Perhaps it's a violent gang of car jackers disguised as senior citizens in polyester pants and day-glow vests?  Do they have stop signs tattooed on their forearms?  Is there a family riding through town, the mother yelling, "Oh My Gosh, Kids, roll up the windows!  Did you see those three crossing guards over there?!  Rolling stops, Ed, rolling stops!" just like my mother used to scream in West Philly?

Or perhaps a fifth grader was nabbed jaywalking.  "Your Honor, as counsel for the defense, it is our position an additional crossing guard could have prevented this."

I'll bet it was pretty lonely when crossing guards were working solo.  No one to run for coffee while the other ones "held down the fort." (That's something all old guys say when someone is left to do the job alone.)  How can one guard possibly execute the Three Stooges eyepoke without at least one other stooge to do the eyepoke block?  And the Thursday morning book discussion?  Very boring with just one.  "So, Gladys what did you think of this week's selection?"  "Well, Gladys, I thought it was a trifling piece of refuse."  "Gladys!  How dare you?!  My grandson is a world renowned author and teacher."  "Gladys, I hate to say this, but your grandson is a world renowned nincompoop!"

Maybe through the years it really has become necessary to have multiple guards.  You know, in case one breaks a hip.  "Man down, man down!  I'll get Bill; you go on without us, Al!"  Or maybe the field is so flooded with "Pedestrian Facilitators," we just don't have enough intersections at which to place them.  Maybe we should be thinking in terms of more crosswalks for these dedicated men and women.

And to the crossing guard at the end of my street:  Kudos to you for being "Best Accessorized."  If the reflective vest, the fluorescent flags, the Thermos and camping chair weren't enough, those headphones really make the ensemble.  I just wonder how many times low flying aircraft have mistaken you for ground control at PHL.

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