Hey folks, how did your 2005 begin? A glass of champagne? A memorable night out? An evacuation from a subway car?
Mine started off like many others, with a round of champagne as soon as the clock struck midnight. Most were in good spirits at the party, drifting between the kitchen and living room. I had my fair share of booze...don't ask me to remember what I had. The crowd gradually thinned, going home or to other destinations. I was one of the last to go, hopping onto a deserted train at Spadina around 2:20.
The first revellers hopped on at Osgoode. The driver came over the loudspeaker, chiding those on the station platform who dangled their legs onto the track. Cue maniacal laughter in my car. As the train filled up, the Osgoode crowd dangle from the handrails as if they were monkey bars. Nothing like piss-drunk kids for early morning entertainment.
Around 2:45, the train entered the tunnel leading into Eglinton station. Suddenly, it stopped and the lights went out. Announcements were made about a power outage, but that service would resume shortly. Some kids took this as an opportunity to slip out into the tight space outside between cars for a smoke. A few older passengers looked on in digust.
The power outage messages continued, though a vagueness crept into the operator's voice. These were followed by an announcement was made for the guard to come to the front of the train. The smokers came back into the car, followed shortly by an extremely angry TTC employee, wielding a bottle of wine. He shouted out threats to the smokers, salting his warning about what security would do to them with obscenities. A chill came over the other passengers, and I wondered if this guy was the cause of our problems.
Not the case. The voice of the same guy came over the loudspeaker, calmly indicating that the train would be evacuated. On the way out, I noticed several empty cartons of booze, so I now suspected the bottle he wielded was confiscated goods. The front of the train was at the edge of the Eglinton platform. Once off the train, I saw several firemen on thetrack, but couldn't tell what they were working around. Power was on in the station.
On the way out, I overheard others who had been in the station earlier: somebody had taken a drunken fall onto the track. Our train had just stopped short.
Welcome to 2005! - JB