The Thing I Like About …

Volcano: the part where Stan saves the train conductor.

Despite growing evidence to the contrary, Stan – who runs the transit authority – does not believe his trains are in danger.   He ignores Mike Roarke’s recommendation to suspend the train service, and, as disaster movies are wont to do, Stan’s trains are soon imperiled by a huge lava flow.

Rather than stand there befuddled and wondering what to do or how he could have been so wrong, Stan climbs into the disabled train with his crew and sets them to rescuing all the passengers.  He then makes his way to the front, where the conductor – who would not be there if Stan had not sent him to work – is near death from the heat.

The lava has flowed under the train by this time, and the heat is melting the windows and walls; as Stan picks up the conductor to carry him through the train, the rubber of his boots is melting to the train floor.  He never pauses or falters or weeps, but only says a prayer.  When he gets to the rear of the train,  he is able to throw the conductor to safety, but Stan himself is lost.

Stan’s ego did prevent him from seeing the danger coming, but, once he saw the lava with his own eyes, he didn’t waste any more time on his ego, or on panic or indecision or fear.  He went to work, and he saved the day.  When the world around him was literally on fire, he looked neither to the left nor the right, but only continued on his mission.  He’s … well, he’s way cool, and I hope, if I ever find myself up against the wall, that I can be like him.

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