Gopher At The Metro

Gopher's Ass

This was a funny picture of a gopher’s a*s.


The gopher’s is climbing along the side of the Metro. 


In NYC, they have rats almost this size.


Thank G-d, in Maryland, it’s more about bunnies, gophers, and deer. 


Not sure how this gopher gets any rest next to the trains zipping in and out of the station.


Maybe if you burrow further enough underground, you got a decent snooze zone. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Bystanders Standing By

Skirt

So I was on the Metro train coming home from the office. 


I was sitting on the left side of the car (riding backwards–which I hate) 


And a lady was sitting on the right side of the train (also riding backwards)


She was stylishly dressed, but also honestly a little seductive in a short skirt, knee-high boots, and bare legs. 


There was a older man sitting across from her (facing forward and facing her). 


At one point then some really weird stuff started to go down. 


This guy gets up and starts staring at this lady–but not just the lady, specifically at her legs.


But it get worse, he turns his head sideway–this way and that–very obviously trying to look under her skirt. 


These were not kids mind-you, but grown adults–and this behavior was not only unexpected, but completely shocking.


There are lots of other people around, and it seems like no one knows what to make of this guy or even cares.


Then he inches closer, as if to get a better look, and get this–100% true–he starts to sniff at her.


It was so scary to see this guy on the train acting all perverted–obviously some sort of serious sexual predator. 


My mind starts racing into whether I should get up and be prepared to confront him, so he doesn’t hurt this women, or if there is enough time, can I call for the cops.


But before anything else could unfold, the train pulls into the next station, the double doors open, and he quickly hops off. 


I turn my head to look at the women to make sure she is okay, and I see her breath out a deep-sigh of relief. 


This could’ve been really bad–he could’ve tried to attack her in broad daylight or even follow her off the train. 


The funny thing was that I didn’t see anyone say or do anything about it or even pay attention to the potentially dangerous situation unfolding that was obvious. 


The people were all around, but the bystanders were just that “standing (idly) by” and in no way seemed to pay any notice or they just didn’t want to get involved–it was like complete apathy. 


I hope for everyone’s sake–that people really do care and pay attention when there is danger about–and that it’s not just everyone for themselves.  


We are much stronger together, than when everyone is apathetic or just looking out for themselves. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Boarding 613

613.JPEG

So this was pretty amazing with the mystical number 613.

Today, it showed up on the arrivals board for the trains, and I literally had to run down the train platform to capture this photo after my daughter saw it in the distance from the escalator. 

Under destination (DEST) and minutes (MIN) for wait, the first line says boarding (BRD)–although just a moment before it said arriving (ARR). 

Then the next two lines has the trains arriving in 6 minutes and in 13 minutes, respectively.

Also note that this same morning I saw 613 twice more (for a total of 3 times) on the train car/doors and in the phone number for a truck parked in front of the grocery. 

I am no prophet, but I believe that something important or perhaps cataclysmic is about to happen (“arriving”) in the world. 

Interestingly enough, in 10 days is Passover–the redemption of the Jews from slavery in Egypt along with the giving of the 10 commandments (of the total 613) on Sinai. 

Now is a good time for faith, devotion, and prayer–that is my feeling for what it’s worth. 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Metro Doesn’t Always Get You There

Metro Ad.jpeg

So today the Washington D.C. Metro has a full suspension of service for at least 24 hours over the entire system


Metro says it is to check safety after a fire on the system on Monday, but the hastiness and extremeness of the action has many scratching their heads and asking “Terror Threat?”


Either way, better safe than sorry!


It’s funny because just on the way home yesterday, I took this photo of what I believe is a advertisement for taking Metro (instead of driving) or for some reason I took it as that. 


Metro is supposed to get you there, but doesn’t always. 


Still better than sitting in traffic or getting tickets downtown. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Broken Arm, Broken Metro

Broken Arm

So I spoke to a lady on the D.C. Metro yesterday.


Not old, not young–she was sitting in a handicapped seat. 


What happened to her?


She told me how this last year as she was riding the train, it had suddenly and ferociously jerked forward, and then backwards.


The fierceness of jerking motion breaking the top of her arm–the humerus–vertically right down the middle in a horrible break. 


As she was talking her eyes glazed over remembering what happened.


She found herself on the floor of the train lying in excruciating pain.


One kind lady stayed with her as the paramedics were on their way.


She overheard others on the train actually complaining in earshot that they were being delayed “because of her!”


She was taken to the ER, and ended up spending 2 1/2 months in the hospital and rehabilitation center. 


As explained, they couldn’t cast this type of break, and she wasn’t allowed to sleep laying down–she had to sleep in a chair–again she said how the pain was so bad and unlike anything she ever experienced, incuding childbirth and bypass heart surgery. 


Professionally, she was a lawyer for the government, but ended up not suing Metro, shaking her head that it just wasn’t worth it. 


In her wallet, she showed me her Metro disability card that they gave her so she could sit in the special seats now and get a reduced rate riding the train.


Shaking her head, she exclaimed that even though she is mostly healed now, she never stands on a moving train anymore, always making sure she is sitting and nestled next to something.


I could see the emotional pain on her face as she told me her story, and she seemed generally afraid of ever going through anything like that again. 


At the same time that she was talking to me, in eyesight was a younger man hanging out by the center doors on the metro, overfident and not holding on–actually leaning way back on his backback against the doors, almost daydreaming. 


Not everyone heard this lady’s story…maybe they should. 


Overall, Metro seems chronically underfunded or mismanaged and in desperate need of major repairs and replacements–train, tracks, escalators, elevators, everything. 


The system is a mess and it needs urgent attention. 


Why does it always take a tragedy to finally get action? 


Coincidentally, I saw today that Metro (WMATA) is advertising in the Wall Street Journal for a new General Manager and Chief Executive Officer–yep, good luck to that person, they will definitely need it and a lot more!  😉


(Source Photo: here with attribution to Christian).

L@@king The Other Way

Metro Crowds

So recovering from surgery and with my cane in hand the last number of weeks, I’ve had a chance to see the worst and best of people. 


Especially on the Metro, I’ve had people who quite simply refused to let me sit down–can you say look the other way or ignorance is bliss?


One guy the other day saw me holding on to the overhead rail with one hand and the cane in the other, he looked me in the eye, and then looked back down again to work on whatever notes he was writing…certainly more important. 


And even early on a couple of times (this was when it was still hard to really stand up for long) when I asked for one of the special access seats from completely healthy people sitting there, I usually got the stone cold kvetchy faces like “You talking to me?”


At other times, waiting to get on the Metro, I’ve had people rush in front of me, try to push me aside, or even nearly trample me when they felt I just wasn’t moving my limp leg fast enough. 


I think this has been particularly disheartening especially when I see this behavior coming from people of different faiths who were clearly observant at least in other ways…uh, don’t we answer to an even higher authority?


When some empathic folks at work recently asked me, how people were treating me on the Metro (yes, they know how it is!), I said feeling frustrated one day that the only difference between DC and NY is that in NY there was probably a greater chance of someone trying to actually push me (G-d forbid) in front of an oncoming train–yeah, at times it seriously felt that way. 


I will say that thank G-d not everyone is such a you know what!


Although truly it’s been the exception and not the rule, there have been some very nice people that did offer me a seat, let me go first, or didn’t rush me on/off the moving escalator. 


One lady in particular was extraordinarily wonderful, and when I was crossing a very wide two-way street with lots of cars and the light was getting ready to change, she walked by my side–literally shielding me from the oncoming traffic, and she said “Don’t worry, they won’t hit both of us!”


I remember learning in yeshiva some very basics of human decency…get up before the aged, remove an obstacle from before a blind person, and to take off a heavy burden from even your enemy’s stumbling animal.


I think these and other lessons in school and at home sensitized me to people’s pain and suffering and where possible to try and help–not that I am a saint, I’m not, but at least I feel my conscience talks to me.  😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Flashback Holocaust

Holocaust -Prints
So I wanted to share this amazing and scary story (true) that happened to me a number of years ago. 


I went with my daughter to visit the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. 


One of their exhibits is of a cattle car train used to transport Jews in the Holocaust to the infamous Auschwitz concentration camp. 


I remember how frightening it was to see this actual train car (the likes of which I had previously only seen in the movies) where hundreds of thousands of people were herded aboard like animals for the torturous trip to their ultimate murderous and inhuman deaths. 


At the exhibit, I’m not sure that I was supposed to do this, but being a very tactile person, I reached out to touch the train car, maybe partly because I could not believe this was the real thing where such human horrors had occurred. 


Immediately upon touching it, something happened to me–for a moment, everything went black and then I experienced an intense flashback (like being transported back in time and place) to literally being there with the actual people stuffed into these cattle cars–without food, water, sanitation, or enough air to breath–and I could see up close their anguished faces, and actually hear them screaming.


First, I thought I have a vivid imagination and that all the studies on the holocaust and my family being survivors had really had an impact on me. 


But then something else happened to me. 


When I left the Holocaust Museum, I started to get a crazy sharp pain in the side of my neck. Not a soar throat, but like my throat just wasn’t working right. 


I tried to sort of ignore it, but over the course of the day, it got worse and worse, as my breathing was becoming ever more difficult, and it felt like I was actually choking to death–my life was in danger. 


I was rushed to the hospital emergency room, and at first they weren’t sure what was happening to me, and so they started a whole series of tests. 


Crazy enough the tests revealed a deep tissue infection right in the side of my neck, and based on the danger to my breathing and swallowing, the doctors came in to talk with me about doing emergency throat emergency. 


I couldn’t believe what was happening–out of the blue, I touched that death car to Auschwitz and next thing I know, I had a severe tissue infection and my life was hanging by a thread. 


Again unexplainably, but thank G-d miraculously, overnight the dangerous infection literally just disappeared as mysteriously as it was born into my neck tissue–the doctors could not explain it!


The Holocaust which claimed six million Jewish lives–men, women, children–in perhaps the most evil and hideous human event in history, and felt like I had just been transported back in time and touched not just the car, but the actual history and event itself. 


I am left with this mysterious event in my life, it was scary and dangerous, and when they say don’t touch the exhibits, I think I will listen next time. 😉


(Source Photo: here with attribution to U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum)

Someone I Know And Didn’t Know

Be Batman

So this is a true story…


I am on the crowded metro coming home from the office, sitting facing backward and toward the middle of the car. 


There is some noise and rustling coming up from behind me, and I see people’s heads turning and startled looks on their faces. 


I turn around to see what is going on…


Someone in a wheelchair is screaming to get off the train. 


However, he is caught about halfway in between the closing metro doors, and can’t get back in or out and off the train. 


There is one guy who was apparently standing by the doors, and he is trying to get the door open, but can’t budge it.


Everyone else on this busy train seems just frozen, almost as if time had stopped (really). 


But the double train doors are wedged into the larger and smaller wheels (for hand turning) on the side of the wheelchair. 


The person in the chair is still calling out for help and to be released from the clasp of these heavy doors around him–in his seated position, his lower torso from his thighs down are positioned outside the train, but his upper body is still on the train. 


The conductor is trying to move the train again and again…and it’s not apparent whether the failsafe mechanism for the open door will work as the train is lurching forward and the doors are sort of vibrating in this quick open/close fashion. 


Then, I see someone spontaneously jump out of their seat.


They are racing to the wheelchair jammed in the doors.


I see them first try and push open on the left side…but it’s still not budging.


Then, they try and pull the other, right side, open towards them…but it’s to no avail as the forceful doors are wedged in on around the chair. 


With everything around them a blur of seats and faces, the person turns their head looking around for another way…


They see like a target standing out in the distance, an emergency intercom on the front wall of the train.


The person lunges toward it and hits the round button.


The conductor who is still fidgeting with the doors to get them closed and trying to move the train ever forward comes hastily on the speaker, but apparently not connecting the call to him with what’s going on with the doors and wheelchair says “Yeah, what’s the emergency?”


The person catching himself, musters the words to say into the comm device, “There is a wheelchair stuck in the train doors– OPEN THE DOORS!”


The conductor immediately reacts and the doors pull apart from both sides, and the wheelchair almost falls forward, the disabled person sort of thrown from the train, but finally on the platform, and wheeling themselves as quickly as they can towards the elevator to get away from this whole situation. 


With nothing left to do, the person who helped, let’s out a deep breath and is visibly shaken, but also glad to see the person in the wheelchair safe and on their way. 


As he is walking back to his seat, he realizes there are a lot of eyes on him that were just a blur before. 


At the same time, over the speaker system comes the relieved voice of the conductor with a simple “Thank you.”


I see the person sit down, calling his wife to tell her what happened, he starts to silently cry. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Soccer Soda On Metro


Watch what happens when people leave their trash on the Metro (Washington, DC). 



In this case, it’s a bottle and this one guy in jeans can’t seem to get rid of it. 



It’s sort of hilarious. 



First, the bottle is dumped by an uncaring passenger, it rolls around for awhile, and ends up sitting in the middle of the train car. 



The train stops at the station and the people coming aboard step around and over the water bottle. 



This guy in the center is irked by this bottle and just sort of blatantly kicks it at a women in winter boots standing by the doors. 



But it eventually rolls back and hits him in the foot.



He’s talking away (blah blah) on his cell, yet maneuvers the bottle ever so discretely to roll it backwards to someone else



But it ends up right back at him twice more.



Next stop, he runs off the train (and away from this bottle), but the person behind him kicks it after him and towards the doors.



Then this one lady with the orange bag and red purse gets up from her seat, and gives it a big kick right out the door.



She does this while the other people are boarding…oops watch out for the flying bottle.



Garbage left on the Metro…Goal! Score! 😉



(Source Video: Andy Blumenthal)

Our Lovely Metro System

Splatter
Ok, so grossed out the last few days on the Washington, D.C. Metro system.

 

This (see above) is what I was sitting next to this morning on the train.

 

And last night was even worse, I was about to sit on one of the seats, and this nice man stopped me.

 

Someone had actually spit on the seat–and just left it there for another unknowing person to sit in.

 

Thankfully, I was saved this indignity, and ended up sitting somewhere else.

 

But later on the train, I saw someone jump up and start cursing–apparently, he had sat right in it.

 

I saw another guy offer him a handkerchief, which was quite a nice gesture, considering.

 

At the same time, I saw a lady on the train wearing one of those surgical masks that cover your mouth and nose–maybe not the worst idea under these ill conditions. 😉

 

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)