Jaywalking

So I just had a false Aha! moment. Or rather an Aha! moment that happened to be incorrect.

It happened at the end of the first show in the series Mr. Selfridge. As Mr. Selfridge and his wife walk away from the store (after it’s first day open) they are crossing the street in a diagonal fashion. The camera is initially a close-up just ahead of them backing away in front but then switches to another one further back so you can see the whole street and the few cars passing in the street and the pedestrians crossing the street.

And in a few seconds my train of thought went:

  • Note the people crossing at any point in all directions, jaywalking.
  • Note the lack of any road markings denoting pedestrian crosswalks – it is 1909
  • Thought: Gee I bet when they decided to restrict pedestrians to the new painted lines in later years it might have been hard.
  • Because those pedestrians would have been crossing at any place they want just like I see them doing in front of me on the screen looking like a bunch of crows, or a bunch of … Jays?

That’s when the Aha! moment happened.

Alas it was not to be. I checked and there’s no mention about birds. It was fun for a few moments. And I got to watch my mind make that split second connection and come to a conclusion that appeared to make sense even though it’s wrong.

Maybe I’ll use it in a story someday. Have one character explain to another character this alternate reason for why it’s called jaywalking. Then sit back and check every year or so to see if it’s penetrated the culture … am I that devious?

Do Jays even walk about? Well they likely do because they are members of the Crow family.

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