The weirdest movie-ish thing happened to me last night! I was going down to the ghetto to pick my boyfriend up, and his street, the block in front of his house, has train tracks turn onto it to run down the middle, you know, graded a few feet above the road and between the two lanes. At the corner there’s a girl who somehow (undoubtedly through some amazingly boneheaded move) has gotten her front wheel stuck on the tracks, not where they’re street level and drive-over-able, but where they’re real train tracks. So I drove down to the BF’s and started down there to see if she was okay and tell her, if she didn’t know, that these are really active tracks and she should definately not leave her car there, offer to call somebody, whatever. And I was kinda considering not going down there anyway, because a guy from further down the road had come up to help her, too.
Well, then the signal went on. :eek: When I say “active track”, I mean there’s a blind curve a short block from this intersection and that freight trains thunder through every few hours, and at night they go very fast. Girl is still in her car.
So, I ran down the embankment to get my boyfriend and his roomates, we haul ass down the street, we girls tried to wave the train down, the guys started pushing, and somehow the train stopped and they got the car off the tracks. (With girl. Did she think she needed to steer to “anywhere but in front of an oncoming freight train”?) Recall, the tracks are covered in those big cinder things, which make it damned hard to get a footing to push from, and the street is like a minefield with them and not at all safe to run on. The train stopped maybe thirty feet from the car; if it had been one of those fast ones, later at night, there’s no way he could have stopped. No idea if he’d have seen the car without us or not - her lights were on, but she was across the track and I don’t know how visible that sort of thing is from the train. Oh, and her front tire was flat, for extra fun.
Scared the living crap out of me. I’d like very much never, ever, ever to have to go into the hero business. How the hell do firemen and EMTs and police and people like that do this all the time? It sucks! I mean, I get a little nervous when I see an oncoming train that doesn’t have a car stuck in front of it, just because of how scary they are. I can’t believe there are really people who decide, “Yeah, I’ll run into burning buildings - not just if I happen to see one, but as a job. In fact, if you’ve got a burning building, give me a call and I’ll run into it.”
So, anyway, thank you, actual heroes who choose to do it for a living, because we all figured out last night that we’re definately not cut out for the job.