Nathan Macintosh

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Website for comedian Nathan Macintosh! Seen on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, The Late Show With Stephen Colbert, Conan on TBS and Just For Laughs!

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On a derailed train.

Yesterday, I was on a train that derailed in Connecticut. I was on the train headed to a show. It derailed right before it reached the stop I was getting off at. Here is a short recount of it.

I didn't want to leave as it was. I had hurt my foot two days before, and had stayed off of it so that it could heal. It was still pretty bad, but I had a show for a bit of money and can't really turn down money at this point. It's not a huge amount, but still. I just couldn't. So I grabbed a cane and dragged myself to this train. I'm walking as if I have already been in an accident.
"Hey, were you involved in a train wreck?"
"Not yet. I think that's coming."
People can be very nice, though. When I got onto the subway, people offered me their seats since as they could see that I was having a hard time.

I was very happy to get on the train to Connecticut. I just wanted to sit down after all of the traveling to get there. It's probably only about a half hour to get to the MTA North station, but with a cane? There are a million stairs in the city when you have to deal with them. When everything's working, they're just stairs. When you're dragging something? Stairs seem to not end. So I get on the train. I picked the second car closest to me as the first was full, and the second one was the closest. With a busted foot, that was my choice. That car ended up being the second last of the train with the direction we were going.

So, train leaves, and I was on it for almost two hours. I had never been to this part of Connecticut before, so I was watching the stops to make sure I didn't miss mine. Mine was next, and with my busted foot, I thought that maybe I should get up and wait by the door to save time. I decided not to, and I am very happy and lucky that I didn't. Five seconds after I had that thought, the train jumped and made a loud bang. We were going very fast, so at first it just seemed as if we had maybe hit something. Then it was clear that we had gone off the rails. The train was bouncing around; sparks and wood were flying past the windows. It felt as if the car I was in was going to tip. It stopped on a steep lean, but didn't tip.

As soon as we stopped, a woman was freaking out. Rightly so. This experience was pretty scary. There was a man across from me who kept saying in a calming voice, "We're all okay. Everybody's okay. We're all okay." The woman calmed down with this and people started to look for a way out. One side of the car was open, but people decided not to jump that because we could see live wires. The other side was opened, and people in the car started helping people down. When I got to the door, a man said he'd take my cane and help me down. I said, "Yeah. I apologize. I hurt my foot the other day." I had to sit down on the side of the train to get out, and there were people helping people down. These guys basically carried me to the ground and made sure I could stand.

Since nobody in my car was really hurt, I thought that maybe it wasn't that bad. Walking along the train, there were people who were bloody, had broken limbs, had clearly injured their necks. People we're crying all around, and everyone was in shock. We were all told to move to one side unless we were injured. Conductors and EMT's were walking up to everyone asking them if they were okay and if they needed any assistance.

One reason I'm writing about this is to say that it is amazing to be involved in something like this and see how fast people who don't know each other come together to help each other. Five minutes before this happened, everyone on the train is a stranger, then this happens, and everyone works together to find a solution to what has happened. It's nice to see how instinctual it seems to be in people. People say all the time that they don't like people, that people are jerks. No. People are just involved in what they are doing as we all are. But when something happens that wakes people up from that, you see that most people are great and mean well.

Again, the only reason I was on this train was to go to a show. So this happens, and I really didn't feel like doing it anymore. Being beside people who are seriously inured doesn't really make you want to tell jokes. Not me, anyway. Plus, I was shook from the crash. It didn't really hit me until about twenty minutes later, but it was jarring. This was at about 7:00 by now, and the show was at 8:30. Had to do it. I was still shocked by the whole thing, so I joked with the crowd, "I was in that train accident that happened a few hours ago, so if this doesn't go well it'll be the second train wreck I've been involved in tonight" or something like that. People laughed, and it made me a bit more comfortable just in the sense that I now had told them where I was at mentally. It's all that I was thinking about. The show ended up being fun. Afterwards, though, I was still in a weird place because of this crash.

On my way home to feel better about the whole thing, I was making fun of myself for it. It made me laugh that I was involved in a train derailment, and I can't even say that that's how I hurt my foot.
"Wow. You were on that train? That's how you sprained your foot?"
"No. I hurt it two days before doing the Ali Shuffle in a boxing class."
"...Oh. I was about to give you some sympathy sex, but a boxing class? Step your coordination up."
May seem weird to try to find the funny in it, but as a comedian that's just what my mind does. In all honesty, I'm lucky that I wasn't injured, and am very happy for that.

I hope everyone that was injured wasn't too badly hurt and that everyone will be okay. Below are some pictures I took and a link to a story about it.