The Seven Yard Rule

Hey everyone, I know it’s been a little while… and I’m sorry. Did you miss me? Are you feeling alone in the world without my occasionally biting, yet ingenious rhetoric? Do you sometimes lie awake at night, staring at the ceiling, and think “Why have you forsaken me, Vandersun!? WHY?”

I thought as much.

By way of excuse, I offer you this slightly enigmatic explanation: the best is yet to come, my friends. You can take this little tidbit and run with it, or you can spend endless hours trying to prize further information from me, and upon failing, curse my future progeny. Make of it what you will, but know that I am otherwise engaged in a task most impressive.

Anyway, today’s topic is one that I’ve often wondered about, but never blogged about. It is of course, the always unspoken, never recorded yet nonetheless universal “Seven Yard Rule.” What do you mean you’ve never heard of it? Preposterous! I shall explain…

Picture this: You’re walking down a long, practically empty hallway. In either direction, there are no doors, perpendicular passages, or escape routes of any kind. All of a sudden, someone enters the hallway at the other end, traveling in the other direction. Panic sets in. You’re facing each other, approaching ever so slowly. It’s inevitable that your paths will soon intersect. Social morays dictate that you will acknowledge them in some way, yet at the same time you both instinctively fear the intimacy of prolonged eye contact. You see them, and they see you. But the distance is still too great for a the traditional nod or muttered “how are you?” to be anything other than awkward and ineffectual.

What do you do? The answer is obvious, and like I said before, completely programmed into your very being. You continue walking, staring at the floor or pretending great interest in your cell phone or other electronic device. Perhaps even the texture of the walls. You look at anything, everything EXCEPT the person in your path…Until they are EXACTLY SEVEN YARDS AWAY.

At this point, you will both look up at the EXACT same moment, regard one another as though seeing each other for the first time. Then you’ll exchange the socially appropriate smile, nod or “how are you?” if occasion permits. Once you’ve passed, a small sigh of relief will pass your lips. The moment of inevitable social interaction has passed. That is, until the next unlucky pedestrian happens by…

That, my friends, is the Seven Yard Rule.

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