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Frustrated Commuter Attempts To Make Train Go Faster By Sighing And Shaking Her Head

QUEENS, NY—Slow service on the 179th Street bound F train led one frustrated commuter to take matters into her own hands. According to eyewitnesses, twenty-six-year-old Rachel Rowe began to sigh heavily and shake her head Tuesday morning when the conductor announced that passengers would be momentarily delayed due to train traffic ahead of them. The announcement was first made between the Roosevelt Island and 21st Street Queensbridge stops, but the train traffic continued. And so did Rowe’s outbursts. “When train traffic once again delayed us between the Forest Hills-71st Avenue and 75th Avenue stops, she began to make that clicking noise with her tongue that people make when they’re upset,” said fellow straphanger Patrick Downs. “And she didn’t just do it once or twice. It seemed like she was doing it every ten seconds. It was annoying.” Passenger Jessica Kaplan agreed with Downs, saying, “No one likes delays, but this constant sighing and tisking only adds to the annoyance.”

Others disagree. “Downs and Kaplan got off at the next stop, and that was before Rowe’s actions started working,” said Roger Wilhelmi. Wilhelmi was referring to the fact that when Rowe started to sigh and shake her head after the third delay of service, the train immediately began to move. “It was incredible,” said Wilhelmi, who along with his fellow passengers, gave Rowe a round of applause. “One man was so thankful that he even tried to give her money out of his pocket,” he said. “It was very touching.”

One group of people who didn’t find Rowe’s actions to be very touching was the NYPD, who immediately placed her under arrest. “Unless someone is specifically employed by the MTA, we can’t have people operating the trains on their own,” said Police Commissioner William Bratton. “As of now, we don’t know how this woman’s hemming and hawing resulted in her getting the train to move. But it did, and we can’t have your average citizen doing that. For now, we have to treat this as if it were an act of domestic terrorism.”

President Obama addressed the nation last night, saying, “Let this event be a stark reminder to all Americans that while we are winning the war against Al Qaeda and Isis, we must always remain vigilant against those who wish to do the United States harm.” The president’s comments were criticized on both sides of the political spectrum. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) referred to the president’s remarks as “unnecessary fear mongering,” while New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand referred to Rowe as “the most heroic commuter New York City has known since Bernard Goetz.” Senator Chuck Schumer agreed with his Democratic colleague, saying, “Instead of treating Miss Rowe as if she were some sort of pariah, why don’t we find a way for her to use her psychic gifts in a way that benefits the United States military? Like in that book and movie ‘The Men Who Stare at Goats,’ maybe Miss Rowe can learn how to walk through walls, or kill people just by staring at them.”

This isn’t the first time a train has resumed service due to the impatience of a passenger. In 1984, a stalled train in the London tube began moving again after an irate passenger muttered, “Oh, come on!”


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