Jumping the Turnstile on the TTC

by Beth McAuley

Published at 2011-04-15

Okay, maybe I should’ve stayed out of it. But he caught my attention, and I wanted to see what he’d do.
This morning, at 9:22 to be precise, I was coming up from the College St. subway stop and there, at the turnstiles, was a tall young guy. He made an attempt to jump over, with one eye on the TTC collectors’ booth. He hesitated and then abandoned his attempt when one of the TTC collectors turned in his direction.
In the meantime, I had stopped walking and was standing there, waiting to see what this young guy was going to do. What he did was walk over to the turnstiles on the other side of the collectors’ booth. It was more crowded. Lots more people were coming out of the subway on that side of the station. When he saw his chance, he jumped.
I was astonished and called out, “Hey! You jumped!” I brought it to the attention of the TTC collector who said, “What can I do? I can’t do anything.”
In the meantime, an older man holding a cane saw this happening too and yelled out, “Hey! He jumped!”
Then the young guy said, “Who me? I didn’t jump, you f*&!ng bastard!”
And he hit him!
Then I said, “You did jump!”
“Who said I jumped!?” he yelled out as he walked quickly through the exit turnstiles.
He came up to me with as much aggression as he could muster, and yelled in my face, “You’re lucky I don’t punch girls, you f*&k!”
“So don’t jump!” I yelled to his back as he stormed off, but not before he yelled “F*g!” to the older man still standing there, stunned at being hit, but not stunned enough to yell back, “No, you’re the f*g!”
“Are you okay?” I called out to the older man, not bringing up the homophobic slurs just exchanged.
“Yeah, yeah,” he said.
Meanwhile the TTC collectors were enjoying the show!
So maybe I shouldn’t’ve said anything. Maybe I should’ve let the guy jump and go on his way.
But, hey! He jumped the queue. Should I have kept quiet? What if he did punch girls and decided to punch me in the face, like he threatened?! He probably does punch girls, just not in public.
Well, it got my adrenalin going and produced this blog.
Keep your eyes open. You just may spot a jumper in a subway station near you! And what if you do? Will you say something or let it slip by unnoticed?