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Rant #100
(published September 19, 2002)
by Nicole Boback

Someone jumped in front of the Washington, D.C. Metrorail train on Friday, September 13, 2002 to commit suicide . . . and thus delayed rush hour traffic for at least an hour.

So it's Friday the 13th and you decide to kill yourself (and if you're Christian you were taught that that's a big no-no, particularly so, I would think, on a notoriously superstitious day). Instead of downing a few thousand aspirin and a bottle of vodka (because you know that, in real, non-syndicated life, that doesn't really work and you'll just end up sick and hospitalized), you decide to jump in front of a train. But the only place you can think to jump in front of a train (because you're not willing to schlep over the barbed wire and hurl yourself before an Amtrak) is on your morning commute. And, as the barbed wire fence also surrounds the aboveground Metro tracks, you decide to jump at union station, a hub of activity.

There's a chance that you may snag yourself on the high voltage rail, though its a pretty slim chance, as the rail is probably less than ten inches wide and only runs down one side of the track. But you're fairly certain that you'll successfully die if you jump in front of the train as it approaches, even though you're standing on the platform, which means that the train is preparing either to start or stop, in either case traveling quite slowly.

If the high voltage rail or the train itself doesn't lead to your demise, its possible that you'll be dragged for several hundred yards beneath the train, as there's a large gap between the rails, the bottom of the train, and the concrete. Which means that you probably wont die, and will end up in a second-rate psychiatric hospital (as riding the Metro to work clearly indicates that you are not of society's upper echelon) surrounded by medical school rejectees trying to convince you that your life really is worth living. And what do they know? Surely they haven't been subjected to your wife, who slept with your second-cousin while you were away on business in Idaho; or your boss, who belittles your contributions to the company, though you're the only loyal employee who has stuck it out for 17 years; or your father, a retired Navy officer, who refers to you only as Asshole.

And thus you decide to jump in front of a Metrorail train pulling into Union Station at 8:15 or so on the morning of Friday the 13th. Because if your luck is really so shitty that you aren't killed as planned by the oncoming train, there's a fair possibility that a mob of angry commuters, inconvenienced by your emotional turmoil and lacking any sense of humanity in their tiny corporate hearts, will bludgeon you to death.

If you do succeed in killing yourself, the mob of angry commuters will curse your soul as you ultimately get the boot from heavens gate for committing suicide, ensuring that you spend eternity burning in the fiery depths of hell.

It probably would have been a better idea to just call in sick and shoot up some heroin, escaping to that altered reality adored by rock stars and pop culture icons. At least no one else would be inconvenienced by an accidental overdose.

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