Yesterday evening I did something I never thought I’d do: I voluntarily threw my backpack containing my MacBook Pro laptop from a Washington DC metro train onto the concrete platform beside the rails. The moral of this story is, don’t be slow getting on the metro.

Washingon DC Metro Map on my iPhone

Here’s the full story.

I had a wonderful opportunity last night to join about ten educators from Crescent Public Schools, which is one of the most innovative districts in Oklahoma, for dinner. They’ve just immersed (last year) all their high school students and teachers with laptops in a 1:1 initiative using Macbooks. We went to Phillips Seafood restaurant (an amazing place) and were headed back “home” for the evening on the metro. I was the last one to get on the train, and I guess I was a little slow. The metro door started to close just as I got on the train, and it actually closed on my backpack as well as my right arm.

The announcer’s voice came one saying the train was leaving, but my backpack and arm were stuck in the door. I had visions of the train starting to race into a tunnel, and both my backpack and arm being sheared off. The moment was a bit stressful, to say the least.

Finally I got my arm out of the backpack and door, and tried to pull my backpack into the train. It wouldn’t budge. Since it couldn’t come in, and I didn’t want it to be destroyed by the tunnel sticking out of the train, I decided to push it out of the train door and launch it onto the outside platform. I was able to do this, and the train door completely closed. Then it immediately opened.

I was able to jump out of the train, grab my backpack (containing my laptop) from the platform, and jump back into the train. The doors closed again, and we were off. Whew!

This experience may have been the ultimate test and testament to the durability of my MacBook Pro laptop, my Incase neoprene laptop sleeve as well as my Tripp-Lite padded backpack. The only damage my laptop appears to have sustained is a small bend in the metal to the right of my ethernet port and by my video adapter port. The video adapter still works, and it looks like the ethernet should as well, so I’d consider this a MAJOR close call with laptop damage. Disaster thinly averted. (Of course the fact that my arm wasn’t sheared off by a speeding subway train and something hanging out from a tunnel wall is the biggest good news.)

For future reference, DC metro trains have a red button above each doorway, as you can see in the image below which I snapped this morning. Pressing the button opens the doors, I think. That would have been something good to know about 10 pm last night.

The emergency door open button on the DC Metro

The first photo in this post, btw, is a screenshot from the free iPhone/iTouch app, DC Metro Map. Hat tip to Karen Montgomery for letting me know Metro map applications are available for the iPhone!

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  • Kansas Nana

    Good grief!1

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