I’m beginning to think that the government needs to implement a law banning walking without due care and attention. On health and safety grounds, if nothing else. For instance – to take three examples from just five minutes on my way to the station this morning – the man who chose to walk down the middle of the road while sending a text message, the guy craning his head round to see what the ambulance was doing while simultaneously crossing the road (suddenly I understood the full force of the phrase ‘rubbernecking’ – he’d got his head twisted so far round he looked like a barn owl) and, most dangerous of all, the (yes) middle-aged chap who’d come to a halt right in front of the only in-bound ticket barrier while he tried to find where he’d hidden his oyster card. And if you’re wondering what’s so risky about the latter, consider that I’d already had to negotiate my way around the first two, and I was in no mood to be further delayed.
Sometimes, just sometimes, ‘budge up’ might actually be justified. Although on this occasion I confined myself to the most withering ‘excuse me’ I could muster.