Scutting: just don’t do it

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POSTED: April 19, 2012

Jutta and I are in Dublin on an Erasmus teaching exchange. We have been here several times; enough to be able to spot changes and developments. Since we were last here the LUAS, the overground metro system, has developed from a straight line into a line with a fork at either end. (This is the green line. The red line is something that we have never experienced, and since it does not connect to the green line at any point it is something that we may never experience.)

Yesterday we had to get off to change for Tallaght. While we were waiting we caught our first view of the notices we would see on many stops: notices warning us of the dangers of tram scutting.

An Irish rail problem

Apparently scutting involves hanging off the side of the LUAS vehicles, risking life and limb in search of a thrill. It is some form of train surfing. Hmmm. There is an obvious problem with this, which we examined in detail when we got off the tram.

The entire body of the LUAS trams is designed to be both smooth and slippery. There is no way that we could see that anyone could attach themselves to the outside of the vehicle even if they were paid to do it. Even if they were Tom Cruise. There are no handholds or footholds anywhere. The sides are convex not straight. The doors seal themselves, and there are no gutters or ridges.

We are now waiting with bated breath to catch a glimpse of a scutter, just to see how it is done. Every journey is an adventure in potential scutting for us.

Alternatively, we have scutters marked down as an urban 21st century equivalent of leprechauns. In this world, we expect that in a few years we will be in tourist shops buying official scutting jackets, not knowing who scutters were, or even if they existed, but dimly understanding that they had a cultural significance that we cannot comprehend.

Remember children: tram scutting can kill.