Thursday, June 12, 2008

Misadventures on the Metro

chapter 37
Few events provoke the life-sucking, soul-depleting, bang-my-head-against-my-desk DREAD I feel when I see a metro alert in my inbox. Alerts = major delays. Alerts are the equivalent of an awkward doctor exam involving a tiny paper nightgown and detailed, probing…questions.

They started popping up early Monday afternoon (the delays, not whatever you imagined when you read “paper nightgown”). Monday, as it happened, was also the day Mother Nature cranked the temperature and humidity levels so high that a mere glance out my window triggered glistening sweat droplets at my hairline. (I smartly applied liberal swipes of Secret in the morning. Just to be safe).

The first alert: delays due to mechanical difficulties.

Same with the second.

Then a third.

But by the fourth, the true story emerged – delays due to a train derailment. Shuttle service available...

Train. Derailment.

Shuttle. Service.


Immediately, my office swirled into a frenzy of complaints, vows to NEVER RIDE THE METRO AGAIN!!!!! and alternative planning. When my boss, who was heading in the general direction of my house, offered a ride, my co-worker and I abandoned our e-mail message compositions mid-sentence and sprinted for the elevator. Metro catastrophe narrowly averted!

Then yesterday happened.

As I weighed the wording of a critical e-mail message (ie: forwarded a butt joke), the dreaded alert showed its scummy face in my inbox. I gingerly opened what was sure to be bad news -- “delay due to mechanical difficulties.”

Knowing I would spend at least an hour sweating in a muggy station squished between sweaty strangers, I mustered my courage and rushed to the metro.

Little did I know…

I approached the platform to see a train from another line beckoning passengers with its wide-open doors. Fifteen minutes and about 300 people crowding the platform later, the train triumphantly announced the doors were closing and it disappeared into the black tunnel.

Less than a minute later, my (very, very crowded) train arrived. As I maneuvered onboard, I was blindsided by a cloud of hot, sticky air mixed with sweat, b.o., breath and – pardon my French – toots.

You can imagine how awesome it was to straddle a girl seated on the floor and struggle to remain upright as a short woman with junk in her trunk pressed her "junk" against my hamstrings. My damp pole-holding hand shifted with every bump and turn and I was in a constant battle to keep my forehead sweat from dripping in my eyes or dripping on the girl seated below.

I didn’t realize how sweaty I was until I got home and looked in my mirror. I saw me (at least I think it was me), but my shirt was a completely different color.

It’s safe to say I’m driving for the rest of the week.

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Anonymous said...

That is the greatest thing I have ever read! You are too funny, when are you going to write a book!!!!!

shaniqua said...

i thought of you yesterday when i heard about the problems metro was having on the news. i thought "ohhh, becky might have a great story."
sad...i know.

Jessica said...

I am so sorry about all the metro delays you had this week. I agree with the anxiety that metro delays provide when it is flaming hot outside.

My solution was to just have my water break on Monday so that I could have a reason to stay inside all week! Whatever works!

heidi said...

toots! that word kills me!

Rachel said...

It might be worth it to pay for gas! Glad you survived.

The Manns said...

I love it. Too funny. I never imagined how awesome it would be to straddle a strange girl, although I have had a strange girl straddle me... long story, never mind.