Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Stranger Than Fiction

Last Thursday I was forced to ride to Babylon and get Mrs Stevie to pick me up, drive me back to Wyandanch and drop me off by my car because of an accident at Roslyn Road, Mineola.

This is the crossing that the powers that be have decided must be replaced by an underpass. An underpass built in the most flood-prone bit of Long Island not actually located in the Atlantic Ocean. It appears that my skepticism is misplaced however inasmuch as the crossing seems to attract more than its share of idiots who don't understand that trains are heavy, fast and do not stop easily.

Thursday's disruption was even more bizarre than usual. In a scene taken directly from the cartoon show "South Park" a 63 year old woman drove onto the crossing, then turned onto the tracks.

It gets better.

Having driven onto the west-bound trackbed during the busiest time of the evening, and having the good fortune to have an off-duty EMT and Fireman nearby who leaped into action, this oddly deranged woman then argued with her would-be rescuers, insisting they stop so she could get her pocketbook. Apparently, she was pulled forcibly to safety despite her wishes, only seconds before the westbound train to Penn Station slammed into her Buick le Hazard, hurled it several tens of feet back into the crossing and turned it into so much scrap metal which blocked the crossing and brought the entire LIRR to a standstill (with the exception of the South Shore line) until a crane could be dispatched to the scene.

Normally I'd be superpissed at this turn of events, but all I could think of was that episode of "South Park" in which old people are depicted driving without due care and attention through street markets, people’s front rooms and in one case up a staircase, all the while peering around and asking "is this Costello Avenue?" in reedy voices. One would-be victim was yelling "Run! Run for your lives! Old people are driving!" which was hysterically funny at the time, and funny enough on Thursday to dull the pain.

Old people are driving.

Be afraid.

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