Friday, April 28, 2006

It's Not My Fault You're Lost

This week I noticed an odd trend. When it's raining, lost people are more rude and demanding.

You see, in a normal week, in addition to the normal whackjobs and beggars that talk to me, I typically get asked for directions 2 or maybe 3 times. Typically these people are quite friendly, which is only appropriate since I'm helping them out. But for some reason, when it's raining, they seem to feel that I'm somehow obligated to help them.

For instance, yesterday as I was walking to work in the rain, a guy yelled at me from across the street I had already crossed. He said something about directions; I couldn't really hear him that well. Then he crooked his finger and gave me the come hither while shouting something else. This guy actually thought I was going to stop what I was doing and backtrack across a street in the rain, just for the privilege of helping him out. I basically just shook my head and kept walking, and which point he yelled something rude.

This is just an example - I've been in similar situations before, usually in the rain.

So I was pondering this on my walk. Why do the rude people only come out in the rain? Am I being less patient because of the rain? Do the nice people stay indoors or drive? Do the rude like to be wet because it gives them an excuse?

The best reason I can think of is this. There are fewer people out walking around in the rain, for obvious reasons, which means less people to ask directions of. Also, few people enjoy walking in the rain, so those that are out will tend to be less helpful. Which means that if you're lost, you'll have a harder time finding anyway to ask directions, and probably be more frustrated. So on average, your typical lost person will be more annoyed, and have spent more time lost, so they're more likely to be impolite about the whole situation.

Or am I just trying too hard here? Anyone else have some theories or evidence?

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