by Jon Wolper
Stand back, this train’s doors are closing. Passengers, stand back, the doors are going to close. Please move as far away from the doors as physically possible. This is imperative; I have lost control of the doors. They went rogue on Wednesday. These doors do not care. They will close on you. They will close through you. They will gut you from your ears to your ankles and then repeatedly open and close on your spilling intestines like you were a rush-hour snack.
If there is no room on the train, you can stand on the platform, as there is another train directly behind us. There is also a train in front of us, and a train below us, which is part of a separate line entirely, which is information that has no bearing on this train in particular, but I thought you should know that our subway system has several lines because we pride ourselves on offering convenient travel options. There is also a train above us, in the metaphysical sense.
Passengers, please be advised that we will remain on the platform for several minutes, as the train in front of us is experiencing mechanical problems. If you see a fire, you’re wrong. You don’t see a fire. Those are mechanical problems. Please move to the center of the car, as the train in front of us will be offloading its passengers, and those passengers will walk back through the tunnel and board this train. Please allow every one of them to board, because they all have been inconvenienced. Please accept these passengers with open arms. Literally embrace them, if you have to, so we can maximize the number of people on this train.
They should be on their way. Stand back, doors closing. Just kidding. Doors remaining open for the foreseeable future. Again, just kidding. Who knows with these doors? I can just say it over and over. It’s whatever.
Stand back, doors opening.
Stand back, doors closing.
Customers, the doors are refusing to close, so we will offload this train if they continue to-- OK, now you’ve gone and done it. Christ. This train is out of service. Please return to the platform, and think about what you’ve done. The passengers from the train up ahead will be here soon, and they’re going to be super disappointed in you guys. I’ve just received word that the train behind us has offloaded as well, and those passengers will also be joining you on the platform. You will see them come out of the tunnel, their eyes alight with hope, and then you’ll see that hope extinguished as they realize that you fucked up their travel plans. The passengers on the train below us would give you all the middle finger, but they can’t because none of them can move their arms from their sides.
In fact, if everyone could just leave the station, that would be great. Keep in mind, though, that all turnstiles are down for repair. The platform is crumbling under your weight. We built this subway system in the middle of a sinkhole, so if you fall through the platform, you’ll fall for a very long time. There might be a way out of here through that sinkhole, actually. The doors are closing up here, but maybe they’re opening down there.
Jon Wolper is a writer based in Washington, D.C. His work has appeared in websites like McSweeney's and Splitsider. He tweets infrequently.