Sunday, December 07, 2008

Live blogging the The Amtrak Wolverine

12:10 So far so good. I took a half day today. I brought my luggage with me, and am now on my way to visit the agent and her wife in Detroit. Normally, I would drive, but at the last minute I decided to give the train a shot. It's shit ass cold, so I took a cab from the courthouse to Union Station. It took me about 5 minutes to get my tickets. Then Artful, whose office is across the street from the train station, ran over to bring me diet cokes, Season 3 of Arrested Development, a documentary on how Miami became the cocaine capital of the world, and a book about hunting down Pablo Escobar. Smart dude. I had already brought with me season 2 of Boston Legal, and the autobiography of Julia Phillips, who is the first woman to win the Oscar for Best Picture. There's no shortage of entertainment.
Then, I went over to the food court and got three chicken tacos. for $6.00. At the airport, that would have cost me $10.00. I got on the train, noticed there was a shit-ton of legroom, and no one sitting next to me. So far, I don't know WHAT the hell Carrie Bradshaw was bitching about. This seems freakin' awesome! No one telling me what to make sure my tray table is up and my seat is in its upright position. No one telling me not to use my computer. Admittedly, I haven't seen the bar car, and I haven't seen the bathroom, but for now, I have no complaints. And off we go departing exactly on time at 12:15...

12:36 It seems we've stopped for no apparent reason.

12:46 Still Stopped. The conductor tried to inform us through the PA system what was going on. But apparently the PA system wasn't working. So all we know is "thank you for patience. We will...soon...signal...time...with."

12:49 Awwwwww.... because the PA system isn't working, the train conductor PERSONALLY went to each car to inform us that there is a delay due to a freight train, and as soon as we get a signal that the freight train is gone, we shall continue on our quest to the Motor City and beyond.
12:54 Apparently the PA system is working again. They are telling us A. That the bar car is now open and it is in the front of the car. B. We cannot smoke. C. That the bathrooms are unisex, so please knock before going in, and D. to please remember to flush the toilets when we are done. We are still not moving.

12:58 Ok. we are moving.

1:27 We're stopped again. There's a train crew working on the tracks. I wanna be annoyed, but I just feel really badly for the poor guys working on the tracks. It's really cold outside. And I'm watching Boston Legal with a diet coke. My tacos were delightful by the way. After I finish this episode of Boston Legal, I'm..EEEEEEEWWWWWWWWWWWW... the guy across from me is eating a banana. In case you don't know this about me, I fucking HATE bananas. Everything about them makes me sick, and EWWWWWWWWWWWWWW he just draped his gross banana peel across his pant legs!!! omg I have to take a picture.
This is the single worst thing that could POSSIBLY HAPPEN.
Eww. And the train is STILL not moving. The workers have GOT to get off the tracks. OK. We're moving. I can just block this out. Uggh. Stupid banana fumes have permeated through my diet coke can and now my delicious diet coke is ruined.
1:43 The banana is still there. How can a person just sit there with a banana peel on his knee? What's next tying a used condom around his wrist? This is BEYOND unacceptable. And now I have to pee. Maybe I should switch to a beverage of the alcoholic variety.
1:50 Thankfully, the banana peel and its owner have left.

2:40 I wanna make love to the Amtrak. It's divine. The bathroom, of course, was a little gross. But the bar car? Sublime. The bar car operator? Delightful. My beverage of choice? Pinot Grigio. In a little bit, I might go get some pretzels. This is, with the exception of the early delays and Banana Man, the most relaxing travel experience I've had in America. No one is talking on cell phones. No babies are crying. No... yawn.... I think I might close my eyes for awhile...

2:58 Too filled with joy to possibly sleep. Denny shot his therapist. Giggle giggle giggle.

3:14 I think I've decided to throw away at least 50% of my wardrobe. It's snowing in Kalamazoo. I wonder if Kalamazoo is hiring prosecutors.

3:32 The train may or may not have hit a deer or perhaps a person. We have stopped while the situation is investigated. Based on the findings, we may or may not continue to the next stop. Banana Man has returned. Some other guy in a bad sweater asked me what the Dow closed at. Ooooh. We're moving! I guess we didn't hit anything.

4:53 (actually 5:53 because of the time change. I'm almost there. The agent is already at the station waiting for me. I'm so happy to be getting away for the weekend. I was just informed that the first thing we will be doing is decorating a Christmas tree. I don't even care. Bring on the fucking holiday cheer. Bring it on.

In closing, a haiku to Amtrak:
Oh Amtrak, My Love;
You made me not hate Christmas.
Just for today, though.


Arielle said...

One time I had to buy a very last minute Amtrak ticket and the only one left from NY to Boston was a first class ticket on the acela. It cost me about a bajillion dollars but it was heaven.

Pat Squidnatar said...

In the interest of full disclosure: I found Banana Man on Craigslist and sent him to you, my sweet, for all those times you judged me for indulging in potassium-rich goodness.

Draping the peel over his knee, though? I couldn't have planned that. Brilliant.

PS: I have that book about Escobar. My favorite is the picture of him when they finally kill him, belly out and all.

Scarlett O'Hara said...

i ALSO despise bananas!! And I've never met another person who shared my deep-rooted hatred! Bananas are disgusting, mushy, smelly, and downright foul. I am thrilled someone else sees the light.

This calls for drinks.

divine angst said...

V. lucky you did not hit a person. The last time I took Amtrak we hit a person and were stopped in the middle of nowhere for three and a half hours while they investigated. V. sad, but also, sigh. Made even more so by the idiot teenage girls behind me who bitched about being stopped and how ridiculous it was and how they were going to ask for their money back, for TWO HOURS. And the bitchy conductor. (To be fair, the train ride THERE was great, this was the ride BACK. No good.)

The Artful Blogger said...

What is it with all of this banana hate? I mean, without bananas, there would be one less euphemism for the word "crazy"! Without bananas, what the hell would Gwen Stefani be cheering about in "Hollaback Girl"?

On second thought, now that that stupid cheer is stuck in my head, I think that I hate bananas too (B! A-N-A-N-A-SSS!!!!!!)

This S*** is Squidnanas, S-Q-U-I-D-N-A-N-A-S said...

Thanks Artful, now it's in my head too. :(

Fannie said...

I love the Amtrak.

I want to gay marry it and have its babies.

Bananas too.

Grace said...

Well, Fannie...

The Texas Eagle Amtrak Line can take us to Walnut Creek, Arkansas, which is pretty close to Eureka Springs.

Yes. I looked it up.

Fannie said...

Well, that would certainly be an ideal spot for a HoMoSeXuAl HoNeYmOoN! At least, it would give the American Family Association some new fodder for a marketable video.

April said...

I heart Amtrak. My husband & I have traveled to Chicago from MI the past three years...every time by train. We've driven through Chicago on other trips and I absolutely dread it. I refrain from using the rest room though!! Public facilities, especially unisex, tend to give me the hebejeebies. The last trip the tracks were flooded and our 3hr trip turned into 7hrs...both ways...still love it!