In case of emergency…just chill, dude

I was in the metro the other day.

As is the custom in all public transport, there was an emergency brake hidden in plain sight. Which is to say, not hidden at all.

Because I’m the type of person who’ll take pictures of the most mundane things, I snapped this photo:

Emergency Brake Copenhagen Metro

Nice composition. Good lighting effects.

A pretty standard emergency brake deal, right?

But then…suspense…music crescendos…a sudden twist! Let’s take a closer look at the instructions:

Emergency Brake Copenhagen Metro Instructions

Notice anything off?

No, not that. That’s just Danish alphabet. How judgmental of you!

Here, let me help:

Emergency Brake Instructions

See it now? Good!

Isn’t it a bit…man, you still haven’t seen it, have you?

I’m talking about this:

Emergency Brake Close-up

The train will stop at the next station?!


So let me get this straight: When I pull this emergency brake, it just gently reminds the train to please stop at the next station?

It’s a goddamn emergency brake. Shouldn’t it stop the moment you pull it? Nobody ever calls 911 to have a leisurely chat about when it would be most convenient for the next available police officer to pay a visit to their house and deal with the pesky “homicidal maniac” situation. Do they?

I would sort of understand the logic behind this brake if it were placed in an express train that skips a bunch of stations. But here’s the deal: The Copenhagen metro already stops at every single station. And these stations are no more than 2 minutes apart.

What’s your agenda here, Metro?

Emergency Brake Hammer

Oh! Oooooh! I see what this is. You’re just hoping someone mistakes it for an emergency hammer and starts to assemble their IKEA furniture directly in the train, don’t you? That’s when your staff shows up and “fines” them for “misuse,” right? Nice little racket you’ve got going on there, Metro. Bet you didn’t expect me to crack the puzzle so quickly. I’m on to you! I’ll be watching you from now on, with your fake “emergency brakes” and your oppressive “public decency” rules.

On second thought…I may be reading a bit too much into this. It’s probably a perfectly normal emergency brake that’s just learned to slow down and enjoy life. Maybe we can all learn a thing or two from it.

14 thoughts on “In case of emergency…just chill, dude

  1. I’m confused as to how it’s a hammer AND a break at the same time…….. Isn’t it attached to something? Is it on a superlong bungee cord or something that snaps it back in place after you’re done smashing the window or whatever?

    Really hope you’re never in a Danish train during an emergency!


    • Those are all very valid questions, on par with “why doesn’t an emergency brake immediately stop the train.”

      Maybe the idea is that you rip it out and use it to smash the train’s windows while the train slowly arrives at the next station. Then you jump out through the broken windows as soon as you reach the platform, yelling “I’m free. Free at last!”

      I think I may have seen that in a movie once.


  2. Some signs can be baffling. On a recent holiday in Mexico, there was a sign adjacent to the path through the hotel complex that read, ‘Please don’t walk on the grass’. Next to it was the outline of a man sprinting. So the message I took away was that walking on the grass is prohibited but it’s ok to run on it!


  3. Ha this post was just so funny Daniel, especially “It’s a goddamn emergency brake.” & the bit that follows about the police really cracked me up. Very well written


  4. I too love your blog tweaks! Great before, great now. See how easy I am to please?

    Wonder if the “emergency brake” is just a device to keep panic at bay? In the development room the discussion went…. “Go ahead and be honest about when the train will stop, no one will read it, and everyone will feel better with an emergency brake” Bahahahahaha! (That’s slightly evil laughter.)

    But they didn’t see Daniel Nest coming did they? Did they????
    Well played.


    • I do like your “placebo” theory. Why make a functioning device when you can replace it with a fake lever that gives people a false sense of control?!

      But they have underestimated my ability to be annoyingly inquisitive, haven’t they? Yes they have. YES THEY HAVE! HAHAHAHAHHAAKHHSHS *starts coughing profusely*


      • You dare me, eh? That’s exactly what I’m gonna tell the cops when they’re arresting me tomorrow. This is on you!

        And thanks…I did quite a few tweaks, including the front page and switching over to an orange theme (all links are orange, etc.). It’s just a mid-blog crisis, probably.


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