War. Pestilence. Famine. Listening to your iPod in a crosswalk.
A state lawmaker is convinced that "iPod oblivion" - the zoned-out state of the earbud-wearing generation - can be a ticket to the Great Beyond.
So state Sen. Carl Kruger, a Brooklyn Democrat, wants to slap pedestrians with $100 fines for using electronic gadgets - cell phones, iPods, Blackberrys and the like - while crossing the street.
"This is not an intrusion into someone's lifestyle," said Kruger, who cites two men killed in his borough while listening to tunes through earphones - one by a bus and one by a car - as reason for the law. "This is government recognizing that there's a safety issue."
But the measure seemed a little too Big Brother for many in Manhattan, where pedestrians gabbing on cell phones are as common as overpriced apartments.
"I'm a grown adult. I can take care of myself," raged pedestrian Peter Kraft, 30, of Brooklyn. "What are we, 3 years old? The government should not be my nanny."