Most public transit users know the pain of standing on a train platform or at a bus stop, arms crossed in silent consternation as they wonder what could be causing the freaking holdup. Are the workers on strike? Did someone die? Are the trains running on the Sunday schedule for some reason? Wait, is it Sunday?
Most riders must continue their lives without ever getting any answers, but that’s not the case for commuters on the Metro-North line in Southwestern Connecticut, who got to arrive at work this past Friday and tell their bosses that they were late because someone left a makeshift clock shaped like Futurama’s Bender above the train tracks that morning. The Stamford Advocate even tweeted this photo for proof:
A Public Works Department employee spotted the wooden clock around 5:30 a.m. on the Unquowa Road bridge, which is built directly above a set of train tracks. The clock was eventually revealed to be the shop class project of a local middle school student who had accidentally left it on the bridge while walking home, but it took a while for authorities to eliminate the more nefarious possibilities. “It had an antenna on top like from a building, and sort of looked like the Empire State Building,” police officer James Perez told the New York Daily News. “People were hesitant to get close to it. To have a facsimile of the Empire State Building on a bridge on a Friday - it could be something sinister.”
In the end, local authorities shut down trains for two hours and brought in a bomb-sniffing dog before service resumed. The student was not punished, and as of press time he has not set up an Etsy page to capitalize on the visibility of his work. Hopefully he gets to it before another cartoon-related bomb scare steals his thunder.