Beyond the Yellow Line

I’ve been taking the subway for as long as I can remember. I would ride a train going to school, to the mall, to anywhere I wanted to go basically.

Do you know what the long yellow line about a meter away from the edge of the platform was for? Authorities say it was for the safety of the passengers.

Before the yellow line was drawn, many people would stand close to the edge of the platform. They did this thinking they’d get an edge above the rest when it came to getting on the train first. This works – sometimes. But common courtesy dictates that you let the people getting off out first before entering. Not many people thought this way – what was common courtesy after all when you were late for work or if you just wanted to get a seat before all of them were filled?

Hence, many people stood close to the edge of the platform. At first, nothing really happened. Until the day someone decided to push people off the edge just as a train was passing. No one really noticed at first, but the string of murders happened with increasing frequency. When the authorities started investigating, they couldn’t really pinpoint the crime to one killer. All they knew was that it happened when the rush was at its peak and the crowd was at its thickest. No one really noticed then. A hand would come out from within the crowd and push an unsuspecting, almost random, victim.

Once, the deaths became absurd. Why, you might ask? Well, the killer started pushing people wearing red. Anything red would do. A red shirt. A red scarf. Red shoes. Anything, so long as it was red.

This started a panic. It soon became noticeable that no one wore red during rush hour. Those who forgot where pushed to their deaths – poor people.

Then, the killer decided to push people who carried umbrellas. This baffled the authorities even more. Why umbrellas? They would ask while scratching their balding heads.

These particular killings brought the authorities to conclude that it was by one killer. This one they called the Subway Rush Killer. The name seems lame, but what could I do? I'm just relaying the story of the equally lame and unimaginative authorities.

Even with the warnings and the news spreading, people still stood close to the edge. They didn’t seem to care that their lives were in danger. Hence, the solution of the bright yellow line was implemented. Some genius in the transportation department suggested that if there was a yellow line painted a meter away from the edge that people wouldn’t cross it. Of course, the authorities liked this idea. They even added a penalty for those who crossed the line before the train was at a full stop.

I didn’t think the solution would work since it was so lame, but unfortunately, it did. People actually started staying behind the yellow line. Somehow, they felt that to go beyond it would be instinctively wrong, regardless of the penalties included with crossing the line.

Things got boring after that lame yellow line. The killings lessened exponentially. I never thought people would be so law-abiding in my city. Of course, this yellow line caught on in other places, even if there were no killings there. The transit authorities thought it was a good idea as well. It apparently kept order among the passengers. This was very disheartening to know. Why did it have to take a yellow line to tell people that what I was doing was dangerous?

1 comment:

  1. You ever hear about the blue mood lights police started putting up in areas with high crime? Suddenly the figures went down.


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