Sunday, October 12, 2014

Mr. Murphy, I Should Have Stayed Home

A disabled train somewhere west of Hicksville snarled LIRR traffic on Friday morning.  The platform was packed. A Brooklyn-bound train pulled in, and I happily got on. The throng on the platform wanted to go to Penn Station in Manhattan, and very few boarded. My final destination being downtown Manhattan, it's just as convenient to go to Brooklyn or Penn. I sat down, looked out at the commuters waiting on the platform, and thought, "TTIV 1, Train Delays 0."

Little did I realize that Murphy's Law would apply.

We moved at a brisk 4 MPH all the way to Brooklyn, and arrived about 25 minutes later than scheduled. However, I'm sure the LIRR on-time statistics will reflect "on time arrival." Then they'll put out self-congratulatory flyers on all the train seats one morning indicating that the line has been 98% on time for the quarter. They need to consult my 4-year old son on how to tell time.

Sorry, I'm deviating from topic. I do that. 

Once in the LIRR Atlantic Terminal in Brooklyn, I headed to the subway. I looked past the turnstiles, to see that the platform was packed. Great. A water main break at Canal Street was causing subway delays. It was really crowded, and I let three trains go by before I finally shoehorned myself into a subway car. 

When I boarded with the other 829 people into this car, I stepped in sticky mystery liquid. It was all over the floor. You couldn't go anywhere in this car without stepping into it. Gross. I felt like I was on the floor of a cotton candy factory. 

At the next stop, the conductor announced we would be delayed. As we stood there, a foul odor filled the car. I attributed the odor to the woman standing next to me, although I have no proof. She must have eaten a bean, cauliflower, and broccoli burrito for dinner the prior night. To make matters worse, she was swaying back and forth, presumably to the music in her head. She kept banging into me. Zero concept of personal space.

To top it all off, the train doors were open, and there was a guy standing by the doors slamming his hand over and over on the outside of the train car out of frustration. Who knows why, perhaps he was trying to get the attention of the conductors. I guess in his mind, banging the outside of the train with his hand would will us to move. I don't know if that worked, but he DID succeed in terrifying the people directly around him.

What else could have gone wrong? I'm not sure, but if Ebola symptoms appear in 18-20 days, I will be certain I caught it on Friday morning. From a guy named Murphy.


Happy and safe commuting, and may you encounter uncommon sense.

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  1. It's a wonderful feeling to know the the infrastructure of this amazing city can be brought to a halt with just 1 water break.

    1. The infrastructure of this city is ridiculously old. stuff looks nice from above but very brittle beneath.