Last night, I drove to the Metro-North Train, took it to Grand Central Station, took the Shuttle to the 1 Train to Penn Station, then hopped on an Amtrak train to arrive in DC by 12:30 at night. That's a long and annoying trip any time, but it was especially ridiculous last night. Here's why:
5: Oblivious conductor. Late night on the Amtrak train, a conductor came around for tickets from a recent stop. And with everyone who's been on the train a while sleeping or quietly doing their own thing, this conductor decided to have a conversation with someone, not using his inside voice.
4: Creepy guy. An old guy with long straggly grey hair was talking about the women he dates (to a woman in her early fifties): "The law won't let me sleep with them any younger, so..." What could possibly follow that? About an hour later, she was standing behind his seat giving him a shoulder rub. Sucker.
3: Two really chatty women. The Amtrak train would start and all was quiet, but as soon as we pulled into a new station, these two chatty women would start talking about just bullshit. A few minutes after we started moving, they got self-conscious and shut up again. One woman couldn't stand not talking. Even her travel companion didn't want to talk to her after a bit. But it was like a compulsion. She actually dropped this gem: "So what do you pay for a student ticket on Amtrak? I wonder if it's worth it.." A few observations: you aren't a student, so it's moot; you are already on the train, so it's moot; and it is not worth enrolling in college to get the student discount on the occasional Amtrak trip you take, no. Also, it's past 11p.m. Notice how everyone else is reading or sleeping? Take the hint. Even if you actually cared about student rates, now is not the time.
2: Crazy woman. There was a woman on Metro-North who got upset her about one-year-old (I have some experience in guessing ages of toddlers) putting her hands in her mouth, and so she slapped her hands--at first sort of shooing them away from her mouth, but then a little harder until the baby cried. She stopped as I was about to say something, then got off at the next stop. Nothing funny about this, but really sad and sort of indicative of how shitty the ride really was.
1: Weirdo. A guy gets on the Metro-North, and the conductor asks: "Do you work for the company or do you have a ticket?" The guy says, "Yes," and sits down. I think to myself that it was an odd question. The conductor comes to collect the ticket. The guy says the lady in the booth told him he's good. The conductor says you need a ticket. The guy says no, they told me you don't need one if you're only going one stop (he got on at Harlem 128th St., so one stop is Grand Central). The conductor chastises him and reminds him nothing in this world is free. Then after futzing with his computer ticket thing for a few minutes, the conductor says his computer is broken but next time the guy needs a ticket. Way to punctuate your point, dope. Of course, the guy wanted to complain to me after the conductor left--which was terrific.
Yeah, I realize complaining about my commute is becoming a normal thing around here, but it's so crazy sometimes, and this is my only outlet, so it is what it is. We'll be back with your regular programming tomorrow... In the meantime, like us to get a little more than just the daily post.