Thursday, March 01, 2012

Why public transport should run 24 hours

I was running, and I mean running, through Brunswick to make the last tram. Google maps told me it would take 35 minutes to get there on foot, but I only had 14, and so I ran and ran, the whole time wishing I had my skateboard.

I didn't have a choice, I had to make that tram, I live about an hour away from the city, so it's about a $90-$100 taxi ride. Despite all my better judgement, at one point in my desperation I considered hitchhiking to the tram stop, but the one time I did turn around and face what appeared to be the headlights of an approaching car, jogging backwards with my thumb out, it turned out that instead of a car it was two cyclists riding side by side. Ridiculous. I had to laugh.

But so I made the tram, just, and got back into the city a minute before one o'clock. The last train came at ten past one so I had just enough time to get a footlong sub from the beloved 24 hour Subway on Elizabeth street.

Walking into the station with my sub I spotted a man dressed as Spiderman, zipping up a gym bag. For whatever reason I decided to take a photo of him. I guess my Spidey Senses were tingling.
Walking into the underpass I saw a man who had gotten his foot stuck while jumping the fence to make the last train.

Despite Spiderman's cartoonish muscles and what you might have seen Spidey do in the comics and movies, Spiderman was no super hero.

Spiderman was more like the anti-hero in a painting by Brisbane artist Anthony Lister; he simply pointed out the obvious and then disappeared into the night, leaving me in charge.
For the second time in my life I called 000, and in a couple of minutes the paramedics were on their way. "Should we send Police as well?" they asked, "That's probably not necessary" I said, "Spiderman's already here".

Actually I didn't add that last part, but it was definitely implied.
The fallen guy must have landed hard, he'd cracked his head right open. He was losing a lot of blood very quickly. I then had to jump the fence myself. I was a lot better at it than he was.
The guy wasn't talking a whole lot of sense. Clearly he'd drank a lot more than I had. He kept trying to stand up and immediately stumbling back down. Me and this other guy helped him sit up and told him he really needed to just take a rest for a moment. "Na I gotta go I'm gonna miss the last train!" he yelped back. "Mate don't worry about that" we told him. There was no way he was leaving on a train, he was taking an ambulance.

The desperation in how he yelped reminded me of how I'd felt earlier when I'd considered hitch hiking. If I were in charge, public transport would run 24 hours. Even if they only ran trains once an hour between 1 and 5am. People make bad decisions when they're scrambling for a way out of the city, (let alone if they miss the last train and are stuck roaming around looking for a taxi).

I couldn't stick around any longer, I'd done my part, and I wasn't going to miss my last train. There was a small a crowd now, and so I ran up onto platform three and got inside the closest carriage just as the doors were closing.

As I began to eat my sub I immediately went for my water bottle.  When the sandwich artist had asked what salads I wanted I'd said, as I always say, "everything except jalapeños", but I mumble, and he must've heard, like has happened once or twice before, "everything and extra jalapeños".

I did my best to pick the suckers out, but those things have seeds, and you just can't get them all.  Very, very spicy. I guess no artist, sandwich or regular, can get it right all of the time, especially in the early hours, when even the Super Heros of the city have zipped up their gym bags and called it a day.

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