Saturday, August 22, 2009

Nighttime on the City of New Orleans

Right now, I am sitting on the train they call the City of New Orleans, am literally in Kankakee, and will have gone 500 miles since the day is done. Is it a bad sign when your life is plagiarising Arlo Guthrie songs? (Though, given the macabre quality of some folk songs, I guess I should be glad I'm not stuck in one of those old-school folk songs where a man takes his low-down woman, often named Bess, to the river and/or strangles her with her long, blonde hair).

I did not see any passing trains that have no names or freight cars full of old black men, but I did see the following (and I think Arlo Guthrie should update the song to reflect this).
  • Over two dozen people wearing Michael Jackson tribute shirts.
  • A conductor who called me "precious" and stopped the entire line of passengers with loud cries of, "People, you're going to have to step aside. Precious is coming through here."
  • A 20-something asshole who claimed (loudly) to have diplomatic immunity and that his passport was signed by the Minister of the Interior, remarked (loudly) that he had come from the Middle East and wondered if everyone thought he was going to blow up the train, noted (louder) that he was going to "pitch a tent in his girlfriend's p*ssy and camp there for 48 hours straight," (which sounds uncomfortable), then compelled the drunk chick he'd met on the train to burn his knuckle hair with her lighter, which she did and the entire train smelled like burnt hair.

Good morning, America, how are ya? Don't you know me, I'm you're foreign alien with a tenuous claim to be residing in your country. I'm the train they call the City of New Orleans. I'll be gone 2500 miles when the day is done.

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