Friday, December 22, 2006

MRT Kicks Ass

The only reason taking the MRT hasn’t degenerated into a mass social suicide brought about by sweaty rush hour crowds and kiasu aunties plastering themselves at the door, is because it’s an absolute thrill to watch people get their asses kicked.

Wait, since when has the MRT become a circus of carnage, you ask? I’d share with you a social fact. More people get bruised taking the train than they do at Mr Miyagi’s dojo. Have you not seen the ass whooping the MRT has been handing out to idiots who attempt to rush in at the ‘door closing’ buzzer?

I’ve seen it all, people tripping over gaps, having their skirts clamped between doors or sometimes when I’m really lucky, people get crushed between doors and they delay my train for 7 seconds.

Just the other day, the door closed in on a guy’s elbow, nudged his arm laterally across his chest to punch the girl standing next to him, square in the forehead. I started giggling so badly I only needed an antenna to market myself as a vibrating handphone.

The moment was priceless. Her stunned expression mingled with exasperation and mild embarrassment as she brushed her fringe across her forehead, then pretended as if none of that shit ever happened. The moment was just too much for me to contain. I bit my lips, struggled against an inappropriate outburst, and then started counting sheep. The MRT kicked serious ass that day.

This now dethrones my previous favourite MRT story of the tripping Whale. The only thing that can possibly beat this is punching a Teletubby.

Commuter behaviour is closely pegged to temporal influence. People are dumbest at rush hours, which for those still packing lunch boxes, taking the school bus and ignorant to white collar tribulations, it’s between 5-7pm.

At this time, people tend to misjudge possibilities. They believe in running to squeeze into trains even from 20m out with the doors half closed and sardine packing 100 people into a single carriage is a minor discomfort they will sacrifice just to get home 3 mins earlier.

The greatest motivator to run, other than towards a pair of spread legs or an open bar (buffet table if you’re a Whale), is the door-closing siren. Never has there been a more apt system with a positive effect in simultaneously hastening the pace of the masses. It’s one of the rare times you’ll see Whales breaking out into short jogs or taking on the stairs two steps at a go. Asthma attacks, breaking wind and torrential floods of perspiration usually follow.

Is it really worth it?

You plunge yourself between the doors, throwing everything you have to prevent the doors from shutting. Your arms, legs, head and pride. All these, just to save 3 mins and now you have to stand through an entire ride in embarrassment, with me sniggering at you.

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