punkwalrus (punkwalrus) wrote,

Dumbass... the rules apply to you!

Yesterday on the Metro, we had a mishap.

There's several signs around the escalators in English, Spanish, and even pictograms that tell you not to drag your strollers on the escalators. But this one woman decided that her stroller was too important to wait for the urine-smelling elevator.

The escalators were narrow, and I was in a rush to get on the platform before the train left. I tried to pass this woman and her stroller, which by the way was unoccupied: the toddler was right next to her. She cut me off, stopped to rearrange her huge tote bag at the head of the stairs, and then blocked the up escalator so no one could walk around her. Fine lady, whatever. But to let her know she blocked the "allow passing on the left" rule, I stood RIGHT behind her.

In retrospect, this wasn't very smart.

The worst thing one can do on a escalator is block the exit point. Not many people do, but usually they are people on cell phones who stop immediately where the stairs end, and then the assembly line of those who have no room behind them will pile up like a jammed conveyor belt until they have no choice but to push the "escalump" (as the ad campaign on the Metro called it) out of the way quickly. And that's just what this woman did.


How she did it was something I am sure she didn't do on purpose. While exiting the top of the stairs, she tried to turn her stroller around so she could go off the stairs backwards, but the stroller JAMMED sideways across the walls of the escalator and stuck fast.

Of course, I was right behind her, and even The Flash wouldn't have been quick enough to unjam this device. Since the stairs were pushing me quickly forwards into the stroller at about shin level, I suddenly realized this wasn't going to end well. I tried to back up, but a bunch of commuters who were also in a hurry were right behind me. Quickly, I tried to leap over the stroller, but my foot caught on the fabric, and I was pitched forward into the grating where the vanishing stairs normally chew up people's loose shoelaces and flip flops like dozens of sets of dull scissors. The way I was falling, I pictured my hands breaking my fall... right on the sharp edges, where I would be fingerless for the rest of my life.

Thankfully, I managed to grab the railing in such a way that spun me around, and dragged me through her stroller. The stroller was made of some kind of plastic I think they make doll furniture out of, because as I spun backwards, it broke with several snapping noises. By this point, one of the commuters behind me grabbed me to keep me from falling while another ripped the broken stroller out of the way, and we all piled out quickly.

The woman was mildly apologetic, but it didn't help. And since the train was about to leave, I decided to grab it before I had to stand around for another 10 minutes and wait for the next one, awkwardly staring her down. I was unhurt, really. My shin was sore, but that went away by the time I got to my stop.

As the train pulled away, I saw a metro guard yelling at her. Good.
Tags: metro, stroller
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