Often heard coming from the mouths of bored police officers, this phrase can make one wonder what all the rapists and murderers are doing while a cop harasses you for standing around. Sure, the police are great; we probably couldn't get by without them, but being ordered to "move along" can greatly lessen my respect for an individual officer. For example...

Just tonight I was at a high school football game. The marching band gets the third quarter off, so I was up at the concession stand getting some food, as hungry trumpeters are wont to do. The concession stand is at the south end zone of the field, past the track and a twenty foot wall. The ground on the other side, however, slopes upward, so that people in front of the concession stand can see only a three to four foot wall. Since the wall overlooks the football field lengthwise and there is a constant crowd milling around with freshly-bought food, there are usually dozens of people lined up on the wall, using the six inch width as a table. (For stadium food, six inches is plenty since one rarely needs more than a place to sit one's drink while unwrapping one's hamburger.) I was enjoying my food, the game, and a closeup of the homecoming floats when I was instructed to "move along" by my school's SRO. Standing more or less alone, I don't believe I was obstructing the flow of people back and forth. Hell, there's huge, gently sloping grassy space just behind me where hyper junior high kids run around like little yardapes. Besides that, the sidewalk next to the wall could accomodate six or seven people abreast, more than is usually possible in a chaotic crowd-type situation. Anyhoo, I backed off and stood off in the grassy area just next to the sidewalk, nonplussed over what crime, exactly, I had been committing. Maybe the sidewalk is only used for holding people up between the hours of 8 AM and 9 PM? Perhaps I was simply taking up too much space?

Sorry about taking up space. As a being made of matter I am wont to do so.

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