Can I start by saying that I fully accept that it is everybody’s God given right to dawdle if they choose. Whether it be through old age, infirmity or inclination that they see fit to walk at a snail’s pace, so be it. But can I just say, on behalf of the rest of us, if you do choose to dawdle, can you please for the love of God get out of the bloody way?
It can be almost unbearably annoying to get stuck behind a two mph roadblock that restricts you to walking at the kind of pace that would send a sloth into a rage of impatient apoplexy. Heaven help you if you get two together, a dawdling duo, then all chance of overtaking is lost and you are left bobbing and weaving from side to side like some kind of frustrated boy racer in a souped up Citroen Saxo. And to make matters worse the dawdlers seem to have a Puffer fish like ability to swell to twice their normal size, just to ensure there is no available route past.
But worse than the dawdler, so much worse than the humble dawdler, is the slaloming dawdler. Those people with the sixth sense or hidden eyes in the back of their head who know exactly when you try to pass and then totter over to block your path. You go to overtake on the right; they meander over to the right. You quickly make a dash to the left, but too late, they’re already there. Stumbling across with all the time in the world and not a care to speak of.
Dawdlers are usually to be found at airports or train stations, or indeed any other location frequented by people in a hurry. Shopping centres on a Saturday afternoon are also a popular venue, and it is of course here that they can really spread out with shopping bags or other props to hinder a safe passage through to the car park before your ticket runs out.
Is it not reasonable to suggest a dawdler lane? Perhaps even an unspoken agreement that the sauntering strollers among us stick to the right hand side of the path, and let the rest of us by at a respectable pace? This way they will be far less annoying; we might become friends, we may even wave at them as we pass. If there are any renegade slaloming dawdlers however, then I can only suggest that they are rounded up and carted off to a countryside exile where they can take up as much room as they want and wander off dawdling to their hearts content.