The ride home is always entertaining, but sometimes it crosses over the line and becomes strange. Last night was an example of the strangeness that can enter into an otherwise routine commute home.
Everything was normal as we made our way out of Union Station. The regulars were in their standard seating positions and the LSA was doing brisk business. The only items out of place were Big Al and Mark (the banker), who huddled in the corner instead of assuming their normal positions standing in the condiment section of the Cafe Car.
Things deteriorated 10 minutes after leaving the station when the internal power supply cut off. The train got eerily quiet without the normal background noise of the air conditioning fans buzzing. At that point we knew that this trip was going to have issues.
Close your eyes and imagine a 2 hour train ride without lights, air conditioning, flushable toilets... Now think of that ride without beer! The horror! Luckily for us, Big Al was hiding in the corner because he had brought a six pack of beer with him, and he didn't want anyone to see it.
Beer problem solved, we now had to fill the unusual quiet with chatter. I have a limited number of topics to run through in my chat files, so we recycle topics quite regularly. Every now and then you get someone who drops a doozy. Yesterday's tidbit was provided by a random passenger who, after a whole hour of silence dropped this nugget:
"I don't like Swedish people. I'm just throwing that out there"
After the shock of this guy saying something, and after processing just how ridiculous it was, I replied the only way proper. "Me neither... I have always been partial to Norwegians."
Such was the 784 on 2/22.