It’s moving time again in Boston. Every spring and fall the dumpsters fill up with discarded furniture and the other detritus of migrant student life. Permanent residents pick through the leavings. Neon tickets for overflowing dumpsters collect on the doors of apartment buildings, though how they get back to the absentee landlords is beyond me.
This year, however, there’s a new participant in the dumpster-picking ritual: bedbugs. Allston is the hotbed of bedbug activity, but I spotted the new bedbug warning label [bottom of the page] on a lovely blue loveseat as far east as Back Bay. Somehow I doubt the Allston bedbugs are that close to Beacon Hill.
Gnomi provides a guide to Boston for the newbies, but she leaves out both the bedbug risk and another vital piece of information. As explained previously in this very blog, the wooden ties with long steel rods laid across them are train tracks. Trains run on them. If you are on the tracks when the train comes, you get squished. Surly T employees will have to scrape you off the rails, and that only makes them surlier.
I mention this because a New Zealander electrocuted himself at Haymarket station this weekend. The NZ news and the young man’s mother blame inexperience with the third rail of Boston transit. I fully admit that the DANGER THIRD RAIL signs are small and poorly-lit, and that they date back to a time when Bostonians were expected to read, understand, and obey simple English imperative sentences. Yet the unfortunate Kiwi does seem to have had a rudimentary knowledge of the English language—certainly enough to handle “no trespassing” and “danger,” if not up to the subtlety of “third rail.”
In any event, the argument from ignorance is bosh. Matthew Gallagher died because he was walking on the train tracks. The third rail was merely a complication—a bonus, if you will. The MBTA cannot save people from their own stupidity. Bad Transit should be recommending a Darwin Award for Gallagher, not a lawyer.