Catching a lift: Mattress on the Metrobus

February 14, 2014
(Ben Claassen III/For Express)
(Ben Claassen III/For Express)

Like millions of other people around the globe, I’ve been treated to a whole lot of inspiring athletic performances this week. But there’s one I just can’t stop thinking about.

It involved a daring stunt that demanded both strength and strategy. The crowd of spectators shrieked with disbelief. Was he really going to pull this one off? Yes! Yes! He’d be taking home the gold … mattress.

If you haven’t watched the YouTube video of a guy getting off a Metrobus with a full-sized block of foam, please do so now. (Search “dc bus mattress.”) I haven’t been able to track down his identity, but I recognize cojones when I see them. This move ranks up there with any quadruple toe loop or Yolo flip.

Maybe part of the reason it’s left such an impression on me is that I actually have experience in transporting stuff via transit. Lugging luggage or groceries on the Metro or the bus is tough enough, so I can fully appreciate the difficulty level here.

I also know exactly how annoyed I’d be if anyone attempted to take up that much space during rush hour. (Metro frowns on that practice, too.) Assuming, however, that he managed this feat without ruining anyone else’s day, this could be a new sport I would totally watch.

In search of more competitors, I surveyed my friends to find out about the largest things they’ve hauled by Metro or bus. And I found enough folks to field an entire team. There’s the dude who carried a 5-foot-tall poster about Jupiter, the woman who rode around with an Ikea headboard, and my accidental captain, who wound up on a bus with a flat-screen TV she’d bought on Craigslist. The plan had been to hail a cab, but she couldn’t find one. That’s when a bus driver spotted her, suggested she hop on board and helped her carry it on — where another passenger also pitched in.

(The true sign of a great Olympic sport? There are sappy stories about the competitors that make you tear up.)

My concern is that this event might not have much of a future. By the next Olympics, it’s conceivable that transit riders won’t need to carry anything other than a cellphone. A flurry of new apps devoted to delivery have landed in D.C. — Instacart does groceries, Washio handles laundry and Postmates promises to bring you absolutely anything. (A spokesperson explained that does not include furniture at this time. But it’s coming.)

So Mattress On The Bus Guy won’t get many more chances to shine. Good thing he’s probably well rested for whatever lies ahead.

Vicky Hallett is a MisFits columnist and the Fit editor for Express.
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Kristen Page-Kirby · February 14, 2014