Sunday, July 02, 2006

All Aboard!

For Dim,

I don't like to fly. It's a very un-natural thing to do. I have flown and will fly again but I'd rather drive anywhere than take a plane. It's a control thing really. I have to trust that pilot with my life! I was in a math class when I was a sophomore in High School with all upper classmen. These were dumb upper classmen who couldn't keep up with their grade. One of these idiots became a pilot... Case closed.

Anyway, when I was 19 I had a chance to spend the summer in San Francisco living with my cousin and her husband. Living in New Jersey, that was going to be a long flight. After some discussion I decided the smart thing to do was take a train across country. I actually thought this would be cool for a few reasons..

1. I had just seen the movie "Before Sunrise" and figured I had a better than average chance of meeting a girl that looked like Julie Delpy. It was a three day trip and I assumed it would be enough time to sweep this girl off her feet and have a grand story to tell my friends when I got back to Jersey.

2. I had all these images of Bob Dylan songs in my head. Riding the rails would be cool!

3. It would be a great way to see the country.

4. It was much safer than flying.

As it turned out, I was a moron.

First off, the only women who ride these trains are scary looking. Look up any website dedicated to Meth abuse and you'll see a wide sampling of what they look like. Pale and bony and without a trace of personality. If Julie Delpy were a Meth Whore I would have been all set... As it was I spent the whole time avoiding any and all conversation with these girls.

Second, Bob Dylan never took Amtrak. There's only two types of people that take Amtrak.

1. White Trash - Most television shows fly their guests into town. Apparently the Jerry Springer Show send their's by rail.

2. The Amish - The Amish ride these trains in droves. A bunch of inbred, smelly people. The Amish don't believe in shaving or deodorant. A nice sight and smell inside an airtight cabin... And their conversations are fascinating...

Jeb-a-high-a: Pa, What's that!
Pa: I have no idea, Jeb.

It was a fucking power line!

Third, you don't see much of the country from the inside of a train. Sure there were moments of sheer beauty like when you travel through the Rocky Mountains or when you FIRST get to Utah. I say "first" because the first hour of the salt plains is lovely but by hour six you start to feel like your want to kill yourself.

Fucking Mormons.

There was an "observation car" with big windows so you could get a better view of sights. However, it was just a bigger view....I decided the same, smaller view, from my seat in coach would do.

Yes, I said coach... I sat in coach for the entire trip. People will say: "Why didn't you get a sleeper car?" Well, because they are really expensive and I figured the seat would be comfortable enough. After all the Amtrak salesperson assured me the seat reclined! The exact quote, as I remember it, was.. "Our over-sized seat reclines for a comfortable nights sleep"

Now, there are THREE "flaws" in this statement...

1. "The over-sized seat": If I were a midget this part would be true. I'm over six feet tall. Imagine the back seat of a sports car... Now shrink it!

2. "Reclines" - Sit up straight and lean back two inches.... That's the "recline" in these seats.

3. "Comfortable night's sleep" - The first half of the trip I had the window seat and could lean my head against the wall of the train. The second half I had the inside, aisle seat. Once again, this is were Ms. Delpy could have helped out. I didn't have her next to me, I had some guy to my right. Now, you can't sleep on your side on one of these trains without touching the people next to you. It's impossible! You have to sleep straight up in you "reclined" seat! If your a guy in this situation, as I was, and decide to sleep on your side, you encounter the following two scenarios:

1. Your ass is touching their ass = Gay

2. You have to spoon with the person next to you meaning your dick is touching their ass= Much more gay!

I slept sitting straight up with my hands in my lap!

Lastly, after all of this, I still had the "safer than flying" thing going for me.



Remember those beautiful Rocky Mountains? Well, they are magnificent! However, the train tracks are built into these mountains very tightly. At numerous points during the hours you spend going through them the trip takes on the look of "Big Thunder Railroad" at Disney World! Half the time you travel through there is a ledge about five yards from the side of the train. Over that ledge is a 1500 foot drop onto jagged rocks! If this train jumps the tracks your dead! I assure you, no less scary than looking out the window of the plane . In fact, it's scarier when you realize you may actually survive this fall! You'll be laying there with two broken legs, bleeding to death, with some guy's ass right on top of your face! At least with the plane crash you'll just be dead!

The "highlight" of the trip happened in Nebraska. After seven hours of fucking cornfields, night finally fell and it began to rain. I had been talking to this 82 year old man who had lived in this area of the country his entire life. He was taking his yearly trip out to Reno to gamble and bang whores! This was Lozo's kind of guy! Anyway, it starts to rain harder and harder and now the lightning starts. I look out the window and see this:

Holy Shit!

This is about 150 yards from us!

Then the train just stops! It just fucking stops and doesn't move for six hours. Now I'm sitting in the middle of a cornfield, inside a metal car staring at this:

I try and tell myself "this isn't so bad, I'm sure it's no big deal"

As I'm thinking this the old whore-fucker behind me pipes up with this:

"I've never seen lightning this bad"

Of which, I think to myself:

"Your FROM here! You've lived here your entire life.... 82 fucking years! I'm gonna die... I should have flown!"

Well, I survived to tell the tale and all told it only took 84 HOURS to get there!

I get off the train in California and my cousin just laughs at me. I deserved that... 84 hours of train food, no showers, man ass, "reclining" seats, Rocky-Mountain-impending-death, salt plains, Amish people, Meth girls, Springer guests, Whore-Fuckers and lightning!

All because I hated flying.

And I realize, as we're driving to my cousin's house, I get to do it all over again in seven weeks!


At 6:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That was sooo funny!!:) and the 84 hours it took you to get there you could have flown to Australia in about 10 hours.. And Since you dont like flying... You could have taken a ship with a bed that would have only taken about 5 days...

I didnt think the amish rode on trains as they shun all modern technology... umm.. thats interesting..

Seats on a plane are much like those on the amtrak... which when we were grown up translated to (amtrak) Assholes,morons,tramps,all other kins..

not very funny now looking at it.. t the amtrak meaning... oh well guess you had to be 8...

At 6:23 AM, Blogger Annoyed said...

I takes about 18 hours to fly to Australia from New York.

The one thing Amtrak has going for it=

No Funnel Web Siders

At 8:25 AM, Blogger Dim said...

Thanks for this. We have to go to a wedding on the west coast next September ('07) and my stomach is already tied up in knots over it. Pretty much decided that we were going to take the train, since I wouldn't be able to fly that distance.

So, sure, this was very funny and informative in the ways of the train. But fuck you. Thanks a bunch.

- D.

At 9:00 AM, Blogger Jenny G said...

That was hilarious! I took Amtrak my freshman year in college to visit my boyfriend in Philly. I didn't mind it, but then again it was only a 2-hour ride, and I usually had a row to myself.

The Amish are getting a lot more lax about modern technology. Most of them have phones in the barns, if not right in their homes, and some have trucks. Not all of them do though; there was a hitching post at the KMart in the town where I went to college.

At 10:53 AM, Blogger Annoyed said...


Go to the doctor and get a Prozac script! Or some kick ass sleeping pills.
I flew to L.A. last summer...the first time I was on a plane in ten was a breeze!

At 1:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

First: You went on a train and thought you would meet a girl?! You may as well join a bowling league for Christs sake!

Second: Fucking Pussy! Take a plane!


At 9:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

so True annoyed, However, funnel Web spider bites are a rarity now a days.. it's those brown snakes you have to be wary of... they hide all over the place and have even been known to be found on a plane... and train...


At 10:16 PM, Blogger Rusty said...

That was one of the funniest things I've ever read! I HATE flying, but I'll do it and not worry about it anymore, really. If I die, I die.

But this? THIS?! Comedic genius:
1. Your ass is touching their ass = Gay

2. You have to spoon with the person next to you meaning your dick is touching their ass= Much more gay!

I laughed out loud!

At 11:21 PM, Blogger Road to the Isles said...

um, the Julie D. thing was pretty optimistic, at least you got the train part right!

At 6:34 AM, Blogger Hotwire said...

i once took a train from atlanta to philadelphia on an october weekend where the clocks got moved back, so i'm thinking, since the schedule says we'll get to philly at 9:00am we'll actually get there at 8:00am. but no. what amtrak does to make sure the schedule stays true during the time change is they, at 2:00am, stop on the tracks for an hour. yes, stop. i think when we 'spring forward' they have to get superman to fly around the world real fast so time stands still for an hour... anyway, after being pissed off at this, ms. delpy and i got a big laugh out of the whole thing.

At 12:20 PM, Blogger Jocular Schlemiel said...

Dude, I always think I am going to meet chicks, especially at hotel bars and airport bars.

But hey, what's the problem? You don't like to sleep nuts to butts?

At 5:40 PM, Blogger Debbie said...

Oh dear. Is flying that bad? I've only taken a train once and I have to agree with you on all of your points about the passengers. It was strange.

At 8:30 PM, Blogger rosiegirl said...

umm, so after all of this, why didn't you just trade in your train ticket and fly home instead? Or did you?


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