Monday, November 3, 2014

Railway carriages.

Last week in rush hour I got on a subway car that was horribly crowded. I barely got on. We could have used the help of those Tokyo oshiya guys.

There were not too many smiling faces among those of who saw a woman on the car with a baby in an absolutely enormous carriage.

And I mean enormous. This thing looked like an Escalade. Not sure of the brand of the baby-toting device, but to give you an idea of the size:

Very similar.

I believe the carriage had fewer airbags and cup holders, however.

Probably no one without a baby could sympathize more than do I for the mom traveling with the kid. Nobody does this for fun. Sometimes you just have to go someplace, even if it means traveling at rush hour, and you can't just leave the kid at home with a bowl of water and some wee wee pads. But it's only in the last couple of years I've seen people bringing the kids in these humongous transporters on the train. You used to see kids only being shoved along in umbrella strollers, like this one:

They're called umbrella strollers because they fold up, not because they're as poorly made and likely to fall apart like those cheesy $5 street umbrellas that pop up for sale on rainy days. Although these strollers often do fall apart just that way, I hear.

The thing is, a kid in an umbrella stroller takes up no more deck space on the subway than would an average man. That's why they are, or were, the stroller of choice way back.

This may all be connected to the fact that many of us seem to be more and more inclined to bring tons of crap with us whenever we leave the house. Snacks, gym clothes, iPad, book, phone, floss, cosmetics, ever-present bottle of water... The woman may have packed along enough food for three days for all I know. Maybe she was running away to Mom's and taking the kid. But expensive as taxicabs are, sometimes you have to spring for one.

Then again, that stroller may not have fit in a cab.

I blame the Americans with Disabilities Act. In past years you wouldn't have even considered bringing a Buick-like carriage down to the subway because you wouldn't have been able to get the damn thing up and down the stairs. But now escalators and elevators are available at most stations in compliance with the ADA, and eventually will be in all stations. That's great for the wheelchairs, but now people bring huge carriages and shopping carts, and---not kidding here---cheapass companies send delivery boys out with hand trucks stacked with reams of paper, file carts stuffed with documents, even utility carts loaded with food for catering.

Hey, the subway is a people mover, not a people plus all kinds of crap mover. Get a truck.

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