Sunday, November 15, 2009

The Exception

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.


Mean Jean said...

Hmmm. Something tells me you really don't know the old dirty joke about the effect of passing trains. I'll give you the punch-line: "come on train!"

I LOVE your illustration. I think it's the shadow.

Namowal said...

And I thought I knew 'em all!

Thanks, Mean Jean.

Linda said...

"It was on dry land when things went wrong."
Ha! Love that.

GhostBuild said...

Eeep! Such a close call!

Sally said...

this train stuff is making me sweat!

Namowal said...

Thanks, Linda.
Wait- now I'm wondering if I accidentally lifted "It was on dry land when things went wrong."

Hiya, Ghostbuild,
Glad you're still visiting this blog.

Isn't it weird how just reading about something scary can trigger the fear response. Intellectually, we know we're not in danger, yet part of our brain isn't so sure!

Sorry I haven't updated it more- I've been working nutty hours this week. More posts are underway.

booda baby said...

Wow. These are great pieces! (I just had to make a train to animate and WISH I'd thought to model it after these, instead of a snoozy side view steam engine. :\ )

Namowal said...

Thanks, Boodababy!