New York: City of Peeves #48

The Wide Arm Swinger

armswing.jpgHabitat: Sidewalks, narrow stairways, subway platforms, fashion runways

Description: Unfazed by respect for personal space, the Wide Arm Swinger prefers to invade your space in places where clearance is at a premium – often with devastating consequences. While arm-swinging is a pretty common motion when walking, most people will typically keep their hands at their sides, inches from their thighs, to avoid taking up too much space across the plain of the sidewalk, stairway, or platform. The Wide Arm Swinger prefers to extend one or both hands beyond this point – up to a foot away from her body. This restricts the amount of space allotted to “pass” her on either side as she walks slowly down the sidewalk.

The added consequence of being in close proximity to the Wide Arm Swinger is the potential for a sexual assault charge on your record. Since her arms are at crotch-level while swinging her arms, a passing male may be the victim of an unintentional and uncomfortable brush-up in a rather inconvenient region of the body. While this is 99% the fault of the Wide Arm Swinger, she is typically oblivious to her wrongdoing and may not hesitate to threaten male passers-by with the possibility of appearing on a Sexual Offender Watch List. 

Rating on the Peevery Scale:




Filed under City of Peeves

8 responses to “New York: City of Peeves #48

  1. It’s because their other arm is holding a purse, so they need to overcompensate with the swinging arm… I always think the result looks like a Nazi goosestep.

  2. rbobf

    have you noticed that about 99% of the things/people in new york are annoying? i think next you should write about

    1. how slow tourists walk
    2. the lack of available cabs when it’s raining
    3. how hard bags of airline peanuts are to open
    4. hipsters

    that will for sure spice up this blog and not be tedious at ALL

  3. Robbie

    I think it is either a subconscious way to maintain balance or they are fully intent on touching crotch.

  4. Jimmy

    If Tom Brady is ok with the Yankees, so am I.

  5. Jimmy: Thanks for contributing something relevant to the conversation. Seriously.

  6. Gwin

    It’s not just women who do this – men do it too (often with large, pointy umbrellas to boot).

    I find that men in general are less concerned about disrupting others’ personal space in public. Two cases in point (one general, one specific):

    – Men sitting with their legs wide open on the subway
    – The dude who, after hitting me in the head with his elbow while sitting on a crowded plane, told the person on the other end of his loud cell phone conversation that I was a bitch for moving his elbow away from my head. WTF!!

  7. Some lady was wide-arm swinging and talking the other day while I was walking down the stairs to the subway, and she hit me across the face. She didn’t even notice.

  8. Kerry

    I am 9 months pregnant, one week overdue. Last night I was walking down Avenue A and got wacked in the belly by a close passer/wide arm swinger. To his credit he did turn around to apologize but was then so horrified he hit a pregnant woman’s belly that he skittered off. I felt avenged.

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