Okay, so you may or may not know that a tornado rolled through the core of Atlanta last night around 9:35pm or so. The SEC Tournament was in town, and I was actually on my way there, but I figured that since there would be LOTS of people around, I would be smart, and travel by MARTA
. I parked at the Inman Park/Reynoldstown Station.
That's how I found myself on the train on an elevated bridge when the tornado hit. It was a short train, only two cars. There were only around 15 people on board, total. My Mother had just called just before I boarded to see where I was, because she knew I was going out. I assured her that I was in a covered area, and that I was fine. She was very concerned, because their weather radio was telling her that the storm was on a path taking it straight through the city.
We're on the train, and I think the train operator (Ms. Arnold, I found out her name was) sensed something was amiss, so she slowed the train down. Just then, the wind picked up. And the hail started. I can say for a fact that there was at least
softball-sized hail, and definitely some that was bigger than that! I seent it with my own eyes.
I think Ms. Arnold was a bit more shaken up than the passengers were. From her vantage point and perspective at the front of the train, she actually saw it coming towards her from the east, traveling west, as the train was traveling west. She said that she could see the electric junction boxes on the telephone poles burn out in showers of sparks, one after the other, cascading up the street. She could also see random debris flying everywhich way. At some point she was trying to make an announcement to the train, and I was very impressed that she didn't utter any expletives in the commotion.
After things settled down a bit, she got us going again. But not for long. As she edged forward, we could see something across the tracks. Part of the guardrail that runs along the train tracks had come dislodged, and was laying all the way across the tracks. Well, let's go back to the station we just left. But there was something blocking the tracks there also. We were stuck.
The highlights of what happened next:
- As you can imagine, there was a...motley...cast of characters on the train. Most of them did not like being stuck. A few of them just kept pacing back and forth. By the end of it, a few of them REALLY had to pee. At least a couple of them had had a couple of drinks. I'm pretty sure I saw one girl smoking a cigarette. Lots of cussin'.
- MARTA had to send some technicians to walk along the tracks, clearing debris.
- Since there was a metal guardrail laying across the electrified track, they had to temporarily cut power to the rail (and the train), to move it.
- That motley cast I mentioned...did NOT like being stuck. In the dark.
1.5 hrs after the storm...we got moving.
So, just after the lights came back on, this exchange happened:
Random young dude who needs an English lesson: "I can borrow your phone(?)."
RYDWNEL: "I can borrow your phone(?)."
I hand him the phone.
He makes a call. Has a brief conversation.
Hands the phone back to me, without another word.
No thank you of any sort.
I had to force myself not to say: "Do you mean 'Excuse me, but can I please borrow your phone for a minute?'"
I mean, that's not a question. That's a statement. Home training, and fundamental education. It's not hard. I don't need the boy to be able to pick out participles and maintain complex patterns of subject-verb agreement. Just form a real sentence.
Jeez. Just say Thank You.
Know What I'm Sayin'??