Beating the Buzzer

We 5:27 riders got a little peek under the conductor’s cap yesterday.

It was a few seconds shy of 5:27 when the train’s warning buzzer rang. I didn’t sprint–I knew there was no way the thing was shutting its doors for another 45 seconds or so, and made my way to the next car and an available seat. (In fact, it was the “judge’s bench”–that awkward, high, individual platform seat at the end of some old cars, where everyone is facing your grand, elevated self.)

The train shut its doors around 5:27:30 and set out around 5:28.

At 5:29, we screeched to a halt.

Presumably, a door opened somewhere.

The PA system crackled to life. I will paraphrase because I was too tired from work to write this down.

“John, I apologize,” one conductor said to the other across the PA system. “When they’re running, I’ll wait for them. When they start to walk, fuggedabboutit.”

Apparently some lazy, walking rider caught an 11th hour reprieve, and was permitted to board late.

From my judge’s bench, I shouted out a hearty “Guilty!” and banged my figurative gavel as we rolled toward the hinterlands.

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