Thursday, March 09, 2006

Get Off of Me!!!

There's an outside chance that I may be jinxed when it comes to public transportation. At least, that's the only rational explanation for all the misadventures I seem to have whenever I use the transit system.

Take today for instance. I was in New de Wolf buying a bag full of votives and some wall decorations, when I got a hankering for a good old-fashioned American/Belgian cheeseburger. Well, anyone that has been in Brussels for any amount of time knows that the best way to cure a craving for a A/B cheeseburger is at Fat Boy's at Place Luxembourg. So, I decided to walk on over.

During lunch, the rains came. Of course, not only was I sans (see, I'm learning) umbrella, but I was carrying two large, heavy, paper shopping bags. I figured it would be best to take the Metro back home.

I got on the Metro at the Troon station and changed trains at Arts de Loi. When I got on at Arts de Loi, I sat down in one of those sections with four seats, two seats facing forward with two seats directly across from them facing rearward. There was an old lady, who I will call Grandma Shamu, sitting on the aisle seat, facing the rear of the train. I took the inside seat, facing forward, which meant no one was sitting next to me and no one was sitting in front of me. There was plenty of room for my bags on the floor in front of me, and plenty of room for her luggage cart.

For some unknown reason, Grandma Shamu decides to move to the seat directly across from me. There is no longer enough room for my bags on the floor, so I place them on my lap. Now, both seats on the aisle are empty, but there is a luggage cart between them.

I have no idea what possessed Grandma to stand up just as the train was taking off, but she did. For about 2 seconds. Then she fell forward. Well, to be more precise, she fell on me, smashing my bags, as she straddled my legs, with one hand on each of my shoulders and her face touching mine. Yes, her face touching mine!

I turned my face sideways and tried to push her off me, which, had I succeeded, certainly would have defied the laws of physics, given Grandma Shamu's size, gravity, and the momentum of the moving train. Unfortunately, because of the geometry of the situation -- me seated, her on top of me, my hands wrapped around my bags which were smashed under her -- when I pushed up with my hands, they made contact with her body at about her waist. Considering that Grandma was staring down 80, that would make me pushing on her breasts! This did nothing to calm Grandma.

Flailing around like a fish out of water and shouting God knows what in French, Grandma took her right hand off my shoulder and tried to steady herself by grabbing her luggage cart. By definition, luggage carts roll. And, that's just what hers did -- toward the aisle. This prompted Grandma's left hand to go into hyper-grab. She is grabbing at my head, my shoulders, my ears, basically anything even remotely attached to my body.

Since my hands were still buried under her body, I was rendered basically defenseless, unless I resorted to spitting and biting, two thoughts which, I admit, did cross my mind. But, I could just see the headlines: American Woman Molests Elderly Lady on Metro and Then Spits On Her. Wouldn't that be something for the ole scrapbook?

At this point, I'm pretty sure Grandma has broken all 24 of my votives, along with a couple of my ribs, and quite possibly her right hip if she fell to the aisle, because with the death grip she had on my neck, I was going to end up on top of her!

Finally, two young guys came to the rescue and helped right Grandma. Oh, how I wished I understood French. I would have given anything to know what Grandma was saying to me, at the top of her lungs, as she got off the Metro at the next stop.

© 2006 Cindy Lane. All rights reserved.


Anonymous V-Grrrl said...


OK, I only know you through this blog, but I have to say, girl, you are a FREAK MAGNET!

Hopping people with imaginary friends, autograph seekers, old guys who make love to their cameras, encounters with curmudgeonly judges and bomb sniffing dogs, one legged smelly homeless people with toe cheese, obnoxious guys in yellow coats making comments on---well we won't GO THERE.

Your life is a SITCOM. Thanks for sharing it with us.

9:10 PM  
Blogger woman wandering said...

I got to the end of this one and said 'Dear God!' aloud.

I'm alone, I rarely talk to myself ... look what you've done :)

8:59 PM  

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