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12:16pm on Friday, 13th July, 2007:

Get On!


Ah, Stanstead. It took only 40 minutes to get from the end of the queue to the point where they actually X-rayed my bag, so I even had time to buy a sandwich before heading for the gate.

To get to the gate required a short ride on one of those unmanned shuttle trains that airports have. I'd just missed one, so was among the first to board it.

Just as it was closing the doors to leave, a woman in her early 40s (but trying to look younger) tried to step through the gap. No way should she even have attempted it, it was obvious she'd get squashed, and of course she was. The doors detected that they were unable to close, and pulled back. Now the sane thing for her to do would have been to step back to the platform, but sadly she wasn't sane. She entered again, was again caught by the doors, but this time pushed them back.

"Get on, get on!", she shouted.

The doors had another try at closing, but they weren't strong enough to slice her in half.

"Get on! Come on, get on!"

It didn't seem to occur to her that perhaps she should have got off.

Outside were three children, aged maybe 7 to 11, none of whom were keen on risking death by obeying their (I assume) mother. One of the other passengers, closer to the door, helped pull it back, though, and they scrambled through, followed by a very angry-looking man.

"Don't you ever do that to me again!", he snarled.

She seemed to sense that there might have been some unsetlement in his demeanour, so didn't argue.

"Is this the right train?" she asked.

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Copyright © 2007 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).