Death on the Red Line Express

Today, coming home from a night of laughs, we were stuck on a ‘disabled’ train not quite able to pull into Davis Square.  It’s never a good sign when the intercom announcements are interrupted by bursts of laughter – it just doesn’t make one feel safe in the hands of the professionals.  The engine that couldn’t still thought it could, and we backslid down the slight rise halfway to Porter several times.  Fortunately, as the conductor kept mentioning in passing, the breaks still worked.  So at least we weren’t speeding to our deaths.  But it’s still pretty creepy realizing just how much the tracks cause each car to tilt, and seeing the ‘power rail’ sparking in giant arcs of power as the engine tried to tug us uphill.

I thought for awhile we would have to eat Lauren, as she was the one who jinxed us.  Seriously, it’s not a good idea to start talking about all the horrible mishaps that have befallen you on trains right as we’re about to pull into our station.  Simply not a good idea.  Still, i promised her we’d eat limbs first, so she’d still be alive for a few days at least, and Jeanne promised we’d start with her left arm since she didn’t really need that one anyway (see photographic evidence below, and thanks to the random stranger who took this photo and didn’t steal Jeanne’s phone).

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Fortunately for us all, the second engine they brought in to push us from behind was able to do the job, and Lauren offered us Swedish Fish to keep us off her limbs for awhile.  I’m not ashamed to say I accepted the bribe.

Monday mornings are weird.

Monday mornings are always a little disturbed.  No matter how early you go to bed the night before, Monday morning has a sledgehammer fist.  You only hope you’re able to duck in time.  And just like 87.5% of all statistics are made up on the spot, 52% of all dreams between Sunday and Monday are severely creeped out. Fortunately, there are a few clear markers you can use before leaving the house that will let you know if it’s worth it to even go to work, or if you should just crawl back into bed and pretend it’s still the weekend.

1) Your weekend injury is preventing you from getting to work on time.  Whether it’s the fact that the cut on your head is still throbbing or bleeding profusely (Corina) or that you can’t bear the thought of wearing shoes since your feet are still cut up so bad (myself), it’s a sure sign that the gods are against you.  Go back to bed.  Or, if you’re Corina, go to the hospital.

2) Your coffee/breakfast/morning sustenance is interrupted.  Whether you’re out of milk, ‘Mr. Coffee’s dead’, or all the Dunkin Donuts on your way to work have been taken over by terrorists, it’s not going to make for a pleasant day.  If you’re not getting your jump-start, you might as well go back to bed, because any work you attempt in the next 24-hour period is most likely going to be shoddy.  Increase everyone’s productivity with less time on the job.

3) The final check before leaving the house – all clothing is properly arranged over your body.  There’s nothing worse than realizing you’ve stepped outside (or further) only half-dressed.  If you get to the door and you’ve managed to mess up dressing yourself, there’s something seriously wrong.  In addition, at some point throughout the day, you’re going to embarrass yourself or your co-workers or both with your inability to maintain a normal human appearance.  Quit while you’re ahead.  Unfortunately I myself did not follow this simple rule, and did not realize my underwear was on inside-out until I arrived at work this morning.  Let’s hope this is the only faux-pas for the day.  Frankly, I’m not holding my breath.

My lovely iron lung.

My friends and I are still fans of the ‘your mom’ jokes.  It’s like fortune cookies ending with ‘in bed’ – almost any phrase, especially an insult, can be recast by tagging ‘your mom’ at the end.  Someone says you’re ugly?  Say “Your mom is ugly.”  Someone implies you’re not astute?  Say “Your mom is dumb.”  There are endless variations to such tags, ranging from ‘your dog’ to ‘your grandpappy’.  Some of them are more creative than others.  Personal favorites from my friends include ‘your baked goods’ and ‘your iron lung’.

Now, iron lungs aren’t naturally funny for the people who still use them.  They may look funny, no matter how many tasteful or fun stickers are plastered to the outside, but in reality they are a very serious and needed piece of equipment.  A real iron lung kept Dianne Odell alive for 50+ years, until power outages and a failure of the backup generator allowed her to slip away.  Iron lungs are still in use for particular medical conditions such as Ondine’s curse (great name for a medical condition), a form of apnea that can happen even when awake.  I would certainly not want to disrespect anyone who must make use of an iron lung.  Nor would I want to upset Ondine.  Still, there is a sense of the ridiculous that surrounds them.  Maybe it’s their big and bulky nature.  Or maybe it’s the fact that I don’t have one, making the ‘your iron lung’ comment completely ridiculous, in the same way that ‘your piebald horse’ would be equally ridiculous.

Wow.  That was pretty good.  I think ‘your piebald horse’ should make the top ten list of ‘your mom’ jokes.

Boy hits concrete pillar-saves lives.

I recently read this story about a bus driver in Ohio who broke a bunch of rules and probably had his bacon saved by an 11 year old kid.  Bus driver man, who holds a commercial license but was not registered with the state as required for school bus drivers, was off the bus buying gas when it started to roll.  He’s not supposed to get off any time during a route while there’s still kids inside, but maybe they forgot to tell him when he registered to be a bus driver.  Oh wait.

My favorite part of the story is about the little 11-year old boy who saved everyone.  He tried to pull the emergency brake once the bus started rolling, but evidently that didn’t work.  I don’t know about you, but I don’t even know where the emergency brake on a school bus is.  Good thing I’m not 11.  And hopefully school bus man knew enough to put the brake on before getting off the bus, but who knows.  Anyway, finally the kiddo just took the wheel and steered the bus into a giant pillar.  Plonk.  While expedient, it amused me no end.  Steering into giant pillars is why we don’t let 11-year olds drive.

Finally, there was the ending paragraph of this little article.  I will quote it here in its entirety for your amusement:

Officials at the school declined to comment. The bus is operated by Aqua Limousine Ground Transportation, he said. A message seeing comment was left with the company.

Ok, I know the standards of the Associated Press have been falling, and that we’re all under a deadline here, but really?   ‘He said’?  WHO said?  Was it that giant conglomeration of officials that refused to comment that somehow got turning into a singular pronoun?  Or were you trying to refer to the bus driver who isn’t mentioned in this paragraph at all?  And I would like to find any message that has the ability to see.  Are we using carrier pigeons?  Are they themselves the message, rather than simply message bearers?

Sigh.

Dreams

One of my co-workers told another co-worker that she had dreamed about him last night.  She said, “something bad happened to you.  You need to be careful,” in all seriousness.  My co-workers reaction was this: “it was the most uncomfortable conversation I’ve ever had with someone.  She is c-r-a-z-y.”  Despite the fact that the whole thing crosses questionable office etiquette lines and leads me to wonder about the gullibility levels of certain of my co-workers, I too had an unusual dream last night.  I feel an irrefutable need to share.

The dream started off with everyone I knew on a plane.  I do mean everyone – it was a big plane.  For coherency’s sake we’ll say it was one of those big tank-carrying planes, the c-5 galaxy.  Anyway, either there was already a bomb on the plane (Speed 3), or someone evil was trying to crash the plane or use it for nefarious purposes, so we built a bomb to blow it up first.  After we all jumped out with parachutes and life rafts.  Of course, the bomb accidentally went off early and everybody died, except for me and my dad, who happened to be near me and the door.  We grabbed a raft and hit the air.

There’s a moral to a story here.  Dreams about death are probably not to be shared.