Years ago I helped my son devise a skit for scout camp based on one of George Carlin's routines. (Don't worry Mothers, it was one of Carlin's milder, clean routines.) My son later spruced it up for a two person quick skit in a theater production class.
In the camp skit, a camp counselor, (always pick them for the stooges,) dressed in a lab coat and carrying a clipboard explained, "Comedian George Carlin noticed that we all do something, and have been doing it since we walked out of the caves, yet we don't have a name for it. If we are walking down a street we can describe how we walked; sauntered, staggered, skipped, sashayed, even schlepted. But when someone is walking toward us and as we get there, if they step to the same side we step to and immediately step to the other side just as we do, there is no way to explain this in the retelling, other than to completely describe the whole sidestep and sidestep routine. We've been doing this since we walked out of the caves, yet no simple word ever developed to describe this."
The scout camp counselor then announced that by the use of a time machine built in the scout camp's secret laboratory, he would travel back to the day that words were invented and in the interest of science try to discover why no word ever developed to describe this accidental meeting on the street.
The tin foil and cardboard box time machine was pushed on stage and the "scientist" stepped through into the past, just as two scouts dressed as cavemen walked onstage. They carried clubs, had shaggy wigs and seemed to be wearing furry cloaks, (which looked suspiciously like inside-out raincoat liners,) but I digress.
One caveman extended his palm and the other looked at something he held and said , "Ummm?" The first caveman plucked something from the outstretched palm, swallowed it and said "Berry!" The scientist scribbled on his clipboard and addressed the audience "Oh, this is exciting, I think they are inventing words!"
The second caveman, plucked a berry from his companions hand, sniffed it, ate it, then with a big smile agreed, "Berry!"
The cavemen proceeded across the stage, and one shouted "Ow!" Then he pointed toward his foot and the other caveman knealt down scanning the ground, then said "Rock!" The first caveman repeated "Rock?" And the second vigourously nodded and said "Rock! Sharp rock!" His companion repeated "Sharp rock, ow!" They both nodded vigorously as the scientist scribbled on his clipboard, and excitely told the audience, "They are inventing both words and sentences today! The time machine landed me exactly at the perfect time!"
The cavemen, noticing the scientist, began to walk toward him. The scientist addressed the audience, "I shall now block their path, in the hope that I can discover why no word ever developed to describe an accidental street meeting."
The first caveman approached and as he stepped to the side to go around the scientist, the scientist stepped to the same side thus blocking his path. So the caveman stepped to the other side and the scientist repeated the action. Furrowing his charcoal smeared brow in confused, the caveman scratched his head and the scientist turned to the audience saying, "This is exciting, I think we are about to find out why no word was invented for this type of accidental meeting!"
However, even as the scientist spoke, facing the audience, the caveman was winding up behind him with the club and KABONK! He nailed the scientist who collpased to the ground amid the laughter from the audience. The first caveman stepped over the prone body of the scientist, turned and with the help of the other caveman, dragged the limp scientist across the stage and to the cat-calling delight of the audience stuffed him back through the time machine.
The cavemen then shook hands, bowed to the audience and walked off stage to laughter and applause.
Unfortunately that leaves us still without the word to explain this common occurance. George Carlin had suggested calling it "A Carlin," and I for one think that would be perfect.