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Monday, March 8, 2010

Dude Forces Open Door and Briefly Breaks BART

Posted By on Mon, Mar 8, 2010 at 11:30 AM

click to enlarge You know who you are.
  • You know who you are.

Around 9 a.m. at the Glen Park BART station this morning, just when passenger morale dips to its lowest weekly point, a man forced open the door of a downtown-bound train. You know the guy -- the one who's late to work and instead of sucking up the three-minute wait until the next train comes decides he is Jason Bourne

Yet the scene quickly devolved from that of an action movie to a Seinfeld episode. Instead of bouncing back from the man's jarring like a champion, the door slyly rolled back into the car's frame. There it was: a gaping hole and a big problem.

The conductor got on the train-wide speaker system and intended to shame: "Whoever just forced the door open, if that door doesn't shut, we're going to have to take this whole car out of service."

click to enlarge Look at what you did. Just look....
  • Look at what you did. Just look....

A few seconds passed. The door did not move. Neither did the train. The guy realized his role had changed from cunning passenger beating the system to the Dude Who Broke BART. 

The conductor got back on the speaker: "Okay, the door isn't closing. You're going to have to tell me the number of your car with the open door." He walked bashfully over to the emergency telephone on the car and muttered something into the receiver. Seconds later, the conductor told everyone, "Okay, we're going to disembark."

Hundreds of commuters poured out, and their true Monday colors started to fly: Most were merely silent and comatose. Others reveled in the darkly cathartic experience of knowing today, it was someone else who messed up. "I hope they find that guy," a young prepster snarled. The man at fault loped out of the train with a slight red tint to his face, keeping it subtle (no large gestures, no grand pleas for forgiveness) so as not to draw the mob's attention to his indiscretion. Kind of like dealing a fart. He got out his Blackberry and started texting a message we imagine went something like this: "Just forced open a door and broke BART. Have become pariah."

BART spokesman Linton Johnson also went for the shame-factor for his public message to the door-holders: "That's 1,500 people looking at you because you decided to open the doors as they were closing."

Three BART employees descended upon the door and banged and pulled on it for what, to the man, must have seemed like an eternity. Nope, that bugger wasn't moving. A couple minutes later, another trained pulled up behind. Now the dude wasn't holding up just one train, but two. Another commuter grumbled: "He really messed it up, whoever he is." A girl with a European accent decided to take the high road and chat the pariah up. She was a cute blond, but we imagine the man would have spoken to a toothless leper at that point.  

Finally, the train limped off for maintenance, and the Pittsburg/Bay Point train rolled up -- the Carpathia to the man's Monday-morning Titanic. He got on, and his sympathetic audience had grown from just one girl to two. The topic of conversation: old Seinfeld episodes.

Photos   |   Francisco Barradas  

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Lauren Smiley


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