Sunday, November 15, 2009
There's an old notion that it's dangerous to stand near a speeding train because you'll get "sucked under the wheels." Not so, say the experts. I think they even did a Mythbusters episode where they parked a manikin near the tracks and let the trains roll. It survived.
Leave it to me to be the exception.
As a teen, my family sometimes took the train down to a day at the beach. I spent the day coasting the waves on a orange foam Boogie Board. It was almost as big as I was. A rubber and Velcro tether kept it leashed to my wrist. This came in handy: if a monster wave came I could duck under it without losing the board.
It was on dry land when things went wrong. We stood on the grass, waiting for the train home. One stopped, but when I got close I could see it wasn't the right one, and stepped back.
I didn't step back far enough. The train pulled away, creating a breeze that lifted my board like a kite. This was funny until I realized it was pulling me forward too. The train sped faster, and I found myself being tugged harder, hopping forward so as not to fall over.
I yelled and my dad pulled me away. I can't say for sure if I'd have been sucked under the train, but my board certainly would have. At the very least I'd have gone for a ride.