Friday, March 05, 2004

Miracle, in more ways than one

Last night, James and I went to see Miracle, the movie about the 1980 USA Olympic hockey team defeating the Russians. It was an excellent film. I was most impressed with the dramatic tension of the final game despite the fact that everyone in the audience knew the outcome, and probably (like me) how most of the goals were scored. I had a tough time telling the players apart (it took me a while to figure out that "Rizzo" was Mike Eruzione) but I don't think the individuals on the team were the point, with the possible exception of Jim Craig, the goalie. The point was that Herb Brooks molded the players into a cohesive whole that believed they could beat anyone. Even with the liberties taken by the filmmakers, it's a worthy treatment of the team and a tribute to the late Brooks, who died tragically in a car accident before the film was released.

I saw the other "miracle" of the evening on the way home. I was waiting on the uptown platform at the 33rd St. 6 train station, looking down the tracks to see if a train was coming. I noticed someone crossing the express tracks, from the downtown platform to the uptown side. This guy (and it had to be a guy, no woman is this dumb) was not a transit worker, just some fool in street clothes. He had apparently found himself on the wrong platform, and since 33rd Street isn't a transfer station, rather than leave the station, cross the street, and re-enter the subway on the uptown side (and pay another fare), he jumped off the downtown platform, walked across four sets of tracks (downtown local and express, uptown local and express) and hoisted himself back up the chest-high platform on the uptown side. The local train was at least a minute away as he did this, so he had time to get off the tracks, but just after he was safe on the uptown platform, an express rolled through the station. Had he tripped or accidentally touched the electrified third rail, he would have been crushed by the express. There are all sorts of wires and rails on the subway tracks, and I wouldn't want to try changing platforms even if the trains weren't running at all. There are too many things to trip or step on if you're not an experienced track worker. Besides, the fare is $2. How would you like to explain to your family, or have someone else explain to them, that you were so cheap that you tried crossing the tracks to avoid paying $2 but got hit by a train in the process? I'll pay the $2 again, thanks.

What a complete and utter dumbass.

No comments: