News & Politics

We Wrote Some Even More Apocalyptic Alerts for Metro’s Construction Nightmare

WMATA says to use some trains only "if you have no other option." So when SHOULD you board?

Photograph by RJ Schmidt via Flickr.

If you’re a Red Line rider (or the Blue Line…or the Orange Line…or the Silver Line), you’ve probably heard the news: We’re all officially screwed!

With several stations shut down and track work upcoming, Metro has issued an alert with the kind of apocalyptic language usually reserved for a Doomsday meetup. Riders are firmly told to “use other modes of transportation” and “only use Metro if you have no other option.” These are not suggestions, delicate commuters, but rather inviolable commands from the public transportation gods—do not get on that damn train!

In the spirit of such dramatic jargon, here’s what we think the alerts should really say:

• If it’s raining profusely and your crappy CVS umbrella dies on you, don’t take Metro.

• If it’s hotter outside than Earth’s bubbling, molten core, and you’re dehydrated and close to blacking out, don’t take Metro.

• If you’ve had a hard day and all you’re craving is to be soothed by the sweet, sweet jazz music playing softly over the 100-year-old Metro station speakers, still don’t take Metro.

• If Susie from accounting is sitting next to you on the bus and won’t stop showing you photos of her sister’s best friend’s dog sitter’s kids (and literally not a single one of those children is cute, so you really have nothing to say), don’t take Metro.

• If you ate something weird for lunch and feel like you’re going to barf and just really, really have to get home but there’s no bus in sight and oh my god, you’re gonna throw up right on the sidewalk if you don’t get home, don’t take Metro.

• If your ex-boyfriend starts walking toward you on the street with his new flame and you have to evacuate but the only option is to throw yourself into oncoming traffic or run into the nearest Metro stop and get on a train, don’t take Metro.

• If our planet gets invaded by an alien species that has a strong aversion to public transportation and the only way to save yourself and continue the human race is to get on a train and hide, don’t take Metro.

• If you just got rejected from every grad school you applied to, your promotion was given to someone else, your rent check bounced, and your mom just called you to say your childhood dog died, and dammit all you want to do is put on your headphones and maybe listen to an Albert Camus book on tape and stare out the window at the pitch-black Metro tunnel as you plummet through the never-ending darkness and wonder, Wow, are we all just living in the same underground nightmare, waiting to wake up, don’t take Metro.

• If you get bitten by a rare form of bug and poison is slowly seeping through your veins and making your eyes bulge and your mouth foam and your limbs are starting to give out and there’s a weird ringing in your ears and you can feel your organs slowly shutting down like a chain of RadioShack franchises and dear god, is that the voice of your dead grandma talking to you, and your cell phone doesn’t work and the nearest hospital is a Metro stop away—okay, maybe then you can take Metro.

Mimi Montgomery Washingtonian
Home & Features Editor

Mimi Montgomery joined Washingtonian in 2018. She’s written for The Washington Post, Garden & Gun, Outside Magazine, Washington City Paper, DCist, and PoPVille. Originally from North Carolina, she now lives in Del Ray.