Saturday, April 21, 2007

Thoughts at 125 mph

Bad things about taking Amtrak to NYC
Having to listen to the conversations of your fellow passengers as they make plans to meet up with friends that night. I really don’t care which bar you’re going to, darling. Shut up.

Good things about taking Amtrak to NYC
The train crew says things like “Anyone wearing a Yankees cap pays a ten dollar surcharge” and “If you’re going to Boston, you’re on the wrong train” and “We’re now leaving beautiful downtown Mystic.”

And “A reminder that there’s no smoking in the restrooms.” Then darkly, menacingly, “you know who you are.”


Things you can see from the train
  • Go-kart tracks

  • Car graveyards

  • Backyard trampolines

  • Backyard swimming pools

  • The ocean

  • Cows

  • Horses

  • People graveyards

  • A Bridgeport Bluefish minor-league game

  • Pickup basketball

  • Warehouses, warehouses, warehouses

  • Swans in marshes

  • Canoeists in rivers

  • Many dilapidated barns

  • Boats in shrinkwrap

  • Klaff’s Decorative Hardware

  • Things that pass by just quickly enough to be seen but too quickly to be photographed.
Lunch: hotdogs and a nice half-bottle of Cab



Somewhere in northern Connecticut, a Scottish couple gets on the train. They’re both dressed upscale-casual, so the conductor asks, “You lookin’ for business class?”

The man answers in a long, befuddled, very Glaswegian sentence; I can understand him, but the guard is obviously struggling. “What? First? You want first class? What are you looking for?”

Somehow they manage to sort out the situation, just as I’m about to stand up and interject with “Oh stewardess, I speak jive” …

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