Friday, August 04, 2006

Who's Who During a Metro Kickback

I haven't read (nor looked) for anything describing the fun kickback experienced when a Metro car comes to a stop. It's never a smooth experience and provides for some near-falls if you don't know what you're doing. In yet another reason why a pamphlet is needed for Metro virgins, the kickback is quite jolting when you don't know it's coming.

A ride starts innocently enough with that now annoying "doors closing" spastic xylophone background. Whether you're sitting or standing, the smooth acceleration is no cause for alarm because it doesn't require any need to brace yourself. As tunnel lights fly by the window, life seems good. A minute later, the lights don't pass as quickly and the next station is approaching. Those in the know naturally lean toward the front, but when the train finally stops, the jolt forces even the most experienced riders to take a studder step to regain their balance.

Today I noticed a few types of Metro riders before, during, and after the kickback. I'm sure I'm missing a few others, but today there was the:

- Nervous and overly cautions rider: Clutching onto one pole, not only with both hands, but both arms as well to hug it.

- Touristy (kid): Never holds onto any rail because either they don't think they need one or the parents don't know the danger. Yet when the train stops, they provide great fodder for everyone else because they just took a faceplant into the emergency procedures sign. It should be noted that a touristy teen also won't hold onto a rail, but they usually catch themselves before kissing the plastic.

- Experienced rider: Loosely grabs the rail with one hand because he/she knows how severely you must lean before the car stops.

Which ones have you seen? And no, you can't list the guy who wears his undershirt on the train while using the handrail as a clothing rack (to help carry clothes to change into at work later that week because it's so hot outside)...that would be me.

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