Thursday, July 17, 2008

How to break bus doors using only your foot

Yesterday Brendan and I were travelling on the #30 bus on the way down to the Caltrain Station. (More on this in another post.) Sitting on the bus once the crush of people had trickled off at Market St, I noticed a woman wearing large, bejewelled jandals (aka "flipflops") sitting a few seats away. They were the platform kind, about an inch thick at the bottom. Around the fork in the jandal strap, she had wrapped some kind of white padding to protect her feet, and it stood out against the bronze of the shoe. She also was on the larger side, and wore an orange shawl like a spiderweb over her shoulders.

When she stepped down to get off the bus, somehow this woman inexplicably managed to get her foot caught in the door. Since the doors open outwards, and she put her foot in the middle, I don't even know how that was possible. But there she was, stuck. Other people behind her urged her to push on the doors. She made a small attempt. Nothing happened.

People yelled to the bus driver to wait. The bus driver opened and closed the doors. Nothing happened. A man managed to push himself out of the space the stuck foot had made, and pull from the outside. Still nothing happened. The bus door made a continuous loud hissing sound. The bus driver sighed. People behind the woman urged her to push on the door again, and she made a half-hearted attempt.

Eventually the man who had pushed himself outside was heard telling her, "Let go of the... no, no... let go of the shoe, no, no, the shoe... let go of it!" But she refused to take her foot out of the shoe to get out. The man grabbed the shoe and pulled. With a pop, the doors swung open, hissing. The woman slowly climbed off the bus without even a thank-you. The man climbed back onto the bus and pushed the doors shut, since they were now broken and all the air which powered them was leaking out. The bus driver barked an order at everyone to get off at the front of the bus.

And that is how you break a bus door using only your foot.

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