While I love visiting the downtown area, there is one thing that I will never get used to.

Picture It

Let's say it's a beautiful day, you just got done eating lunch at Anima Cucina or Fireflour, Blarney, or even India Clay Oven.. you're chatting with your friend walking to the nearest crosswalk, because you parked two blocks away from your destination (Parking downtown is kind of the worst during the lunch hour).

You get to the corner of the street, you lean over and push the little button on the light post, so you can cross. You're in mid-conversation, you're having a great time, but.... all of a sudden, something barks at you.

No, it's not a dog. No, it's not a man catcalling you as he drives through the stoplight. It's the crosswalk guide.

The Weird Thing

You know what I'm talking about, right? Bismarck's crosswalk voice is the most abrupt and forceful sounding thing ever.

It haunts my dreams.

It's the sound of my dad's voice telling me I'm grounded. It's awful.

Not Cool, Bro. 

Don't lie, you hate it too. You hear "Walk. Now." --The robot voice on these downtown crossing signals is nothing short of terrifying. It is something I'll never get used to, personally.

I've heard cattle and sheep herded more gently than this. I've heard mothers scolding their kid at Walmart take a more gentle tone.

Why is it yelling at us? 

It makes me jump every time I hear it. That said, I do appreciate the brevity and how clearly I can understand the robot voice, but I'm less than thrilled about the tone.

I almost don't want to cross the street when it tells me. I want to rebel against this robot-person who thinks they can tell me what to do. How dare you?

As dumb as this may sound, you know it's true. It's weird. Thank you for listening to my rant.


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