Friday, July 21, 2006

Misadventures on the Metro

chapter 15
I call it the claw. And I’m not talking about
the hand puppet brought to life by Jim Carey in Liar, Liar. It’s a two-finger, grab-for-dear-life lobster-style pinch hold I’ve been forced to use on the Metro.

I prefer a normal grip, but with summer crowding, it becomes necessary to employ creative methods for balancing on a moving train. So I use the claw.

It doesn’t always have to be that way.

Case in point: last night I headed home on a not-so-crowded train. Of course I was
reading, standing and holding a center pole to keep my body horizontal. I’ve developed a knack for turning pages without removing my hand from the pole (this method took months to master) and I’ve harnessed my psychic abilities to finish a page at the precise moment the train makes a stop. When this happens, I usually remove my pole-holding hand for my normal two-handed page turn, which is exactly what I did last night.

The train doors opened and a small crowd entered the car. I waited to grab the pole until the doors closed when I discovered my holding spot usurped. Though it was clear (at least to me), based on my proximity to the pole, I would need a holding spot once the train began moving, a sweaty man lazily leaned his entire body against the pole. I glanced back in search of another spot, but I was boxed in.

I thought about asking him to move, but he completely ignored me despite my being less than a foot away. I unleashed the claw.

Barely pinching the side of the pole not covered by his torso, my fingers instantly began to cramp and drip with sweat. With every turn my precariously-placed fingers slid forward and poked the “pole hog’s” side. He continued to ignore me.

I tried staring to get his attention. More ignoring. I cleared my throat. More ignoring.

By the time we reached my stop, my fingers were fatigued, stiff and covered in not only my sweat from exertion, but his NASTY body sweat.

Thank goodness for my econo-sized bottle of hand sanitizer. And no more Mrs. Niceguy for me. From now on my hand does not leave the pole until I'm off the train. So there. Good thing I've got the one-handed page turn thing down.


Charlei said...

Metro in DC? I don't know of many other Metros, but I can totally understand that one. The crowds are unbelievable during rush hour.

Miss M said...

Bec, you just need to be a little scarier. Why not break out some of your show tunes while on the Metro? That will definitely get you the space you desire :)

Chris and Becky Wickstrom said...

So you're saying my showtunes are scary? Pshaw! Besides, I'm too busy reading. :)

Dan said...

Hey, I couldn't help being that sweaty!