Friday, October 26, 2012

Traumatized for life

My husband, who has only ever taken the GO train three times in his life, and on a Saturday, was unprepared for what he experienced Wednesday evening when he arrived before the train I was on pulled into the Oshawa GO station, at the peak of rush hour.

He made the mistake of waiting on the platform with our 7-year-old daughter in tow. He waited where the old ticket punch machines once stood. He stood right near the only pedestrian exit. He had nothing to fear. No reason to be concerned as he watched the train, with its heart shaped bullet-noise, clang its arrival.

The following is true, as it transpired, when I finally found him, at the far end of the Chrysler dealership parking lot, curled up in a fetal position on the pavement, my daughter peering down at him encouraging him to take a sip from her 5-Alive drinking box and patting him gently on the head.

"It was horrible. They were so many of them ... (mumble, mumble, incoherent). So I ran, I picked her up and ran, ran with her held high over my head like how Mufasa held Simba ... (incoherent) Lion King", he said.

"So many of what?! Mufasa? The hell you talking about?" I asked.

"Mummy! You should have seen all the people! It made daddy crazy," said my daughter, as she picked a gum wrapper off my husband's shoulder.

"It was like cockroaches ... thousand of cockroaches (incoherent). Remember that motel in Cornwall?  (Mumble) bathroom, opened cabinet doors ... all at once ... DO YOU REMEMBER?!" Screamed my husband as he ground his fists into his eyes.

"What happened?" I asked again, pulling out my phone and getting ready to call for paramedics.

"They came at me all at once. Jumping over benches and shit. Like fucking Gazelles!" He shouted.

"Language!" I yelled. My daughter clamped her hands over her ears.

Then it dawned on me.

Oh dear.

 I played the video for him on my tablet. "No," he said hoarsely, "It was worse. Way worse." So I played this video for him. He let out a scream that wasn't even human. "That was it but it was still worse," he whispered.

"Don't make me do this again."

Lessons learned, I told him. Lessons learned.


Dan-1 said...

Chances are he'd never survive a minute in the GO concourse at Union during rush hour...

Peter said...

That’s pretty tame compared to what happens in the Pickering West Tunnel when the LSE 16:10 arrives. It’s an Olympic sporting event down there -- definitely not for the faint of heart.

april said...

Sometimes, I think think would be fun to set up an invisible wire and watch all the people trip and fall down. They would just keep piling up on top of each others . . .like lemmings over a cliff.

Skin Man said...

I hate it when people are waiting right infront of the doors, or standing in front of the stairs!!!

Bicky said...

Is it wrong I giggled at his misfortune? I took the train into the city today as I had tickets to see La Cage aux Folles and had zero desire to drive downtown in the rain. Wholllle different crowd rides dem rails on da weekend.

Hope your hubby isn't scarred for life.

Squiggles said...

Split feelings on this post:

A) Hilarious. It made my Sunday morning; and

B) Oh, poor guy. It is a scary thing if you are not used to it.

At least I have learnt that if I am getting off the train at a different station, I give myself tons of time and hang back. Give the crazies the space and let the crazies win. It saves my sanity and provides comic fodder.

ExGOnowTTC said...

Ten bucks to anyone who can set donkey videos to Chariots of Fire.

Al said...

My Wife was getting picked up by a friend at Oshawa once, when she got in the car her friend says "what's going on, is there a bomb threat, did someone fire a gun, why is everyone running"?

My wife just laughed,

C.J. Smith said...

LOL. I understand the bomb threat question.

Kendra said...

I was taking the train to meet my mom in Oshawa once, and she said she was waiting in the parking lot- the train came in and she thought I'd be on it... She all of a sudden saw a hoard of people running to the parking lot. She thought something was wrong, got worried then when she looked around saw the chaos that insued as people attempted their exit from the parking lot. I emerged from the 3rd train (apparently the 2nd did the same but not as bad) and there were no runners. I have yet the see the phenomenom- perhaps this means I need to take the GO more often...

Jack C. said...

Yeah, what is it with the sprinters in Oshawa? Is it a case of Monkey See Monkey Do? Everyone else is sprinting; I guess I should, too.

There's much less sprinting in Ajax, although there is what I call the Crab Walk. This is where people get off the train, form a mushroom mob at the top of the stairs to the tunnel, and then "crab walk" side to side as a collective entity, everyone jockeying for position, everyone determined nobody will get ahead of them on the way downstairs.

You also see the Crab Walk in the morning. When the train pulls up, mobs of people Crab Walk from side to side, shuffling madly to ensure a preferred place in front of the doors. When the train lurches forward to line up with the accessibility ramp, the "amoeba" of commuters shuffles again in a collective course correction.. I feel like shouting, "It's Ajax! It's the 6:26! There are plenty of seats!"

Anonymous said...

My Husband, who is from a tiny town in southern N.B, was on a GO Train for the first time in June, also his first taste & smell & crowd 'swarm' was on the same day, he is legally blind & VERY shy, it really freaked him out, I was supposed to meet him at Oshawa & take him to toronto, but due to health issues & Wheeltrans being late picking me up in Etobicoke, I couldent make it to Oshawa in time, so we spoke on the phone of his uncle, who was bringing him into Toronto, (he was staying with family in Courtice) He panicked when they got to toronto, the concourse did it, the sea of people, he just froze, started shaking & just about busted up into tears of frustration when people kept pushing him closer to the edge... he finally got a TTC person that saw what was happening & they got him out, to breathe, outside & he called me, thankfully Wheeltrans had finally dropped me off at Union, 1 hr 45 minutes late..
We NEVER did Union again at rush hour, we would take TTC to Danforth, then get GO from there..
his first time going to Oshawa & getting off the Train scared the crap outta him as well, people literally PUSHED him down the flight of stairs in the traincar, & he fell, ppl, didnt stop to see if he was ok, just pushed him outta the way..
He from then on, never rode anywhere other than the Accessibility Coach, as close to the CSA as possible..
Now dont get me wrong, Chris is a really great guy, but not 'city trained' his town was so small that their big thing is the fish plant that produces Brunswick Sardines...
He carries a 52 inch whitecane too!