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Friday the 13th – not really that scary, but let’s build a campfire anyways

August 13, 2010

Happy Friday the 13th y’all!  I hope that today treats you well, that you don’t hear any banjo music  and that the video store has your favorite horror movie to watch tonight.  In honor of the day, we’re going to post some transit horror stories, because I am a dork and like themes.  My post isn’t necessarily a story, as much as a word to know.  And a word to know that terrifies me.  One that I think about everytime I board the train.  It effects my ride.  It effects my choice of seat.  It looms over me every day.

Telescoping.

I know, I know.  Most of you have no idea what I’m talking about.  Let’s take a look at the Merriam-Webster definition of telescoping:

a transitive verb

1 : to become forced together lengthwise with one part entering another as the result of collision
2 : to slide or pass one within another like the cylindrical sections of a collapsible hand telescope
3 : to become compressed or condensed

transitive verb

1 : to cause to telescope
2 : compress, condense

And the CCTgirl definition?  Telescoping is what makes you have a really bad day. 

When two trains collide, like the WMATA accident last year, the collision results in telescoping – the first car of the second train smooshes up into the last car of the first, so that the cars are fused together in a twisted metal coffin of squished passengers.  To me, that’s some pretty scary stuff right there, and I refuse to ride in the first car, even though that’s where the operator is and a more fun place to be.  I just can’t do it.  With the luck I’ve had lately, the one time I caved and rode in the first car, that’d be the first major accident MARTA’s had in decades.  Or ever.  Whatever.

And ironically, this is the 13th word to know I’ve written.  Oooo super creepy!

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. theaccidentalcommuter permalink*
    August 13, 2010 1:18 pm

    After you first told me about telescoping I stopped riding in the front and back cars except for days when Five Points is totally packed and it’s physically impossible to board another car. The phrase “twisted metal coffin of squished passengers” has made me reconsider my choice to occasionally stray from my self-imposed rule.

    • CCTgirl permalink*
      August 13, 2010 1:24 pm

      You’re welcome. I like spreading my irrational fears.

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