September 16th, 00:28 | On trains
I would like to state, with finality and in a forthright fashion, that I hate the train.
I'm sure it's a very noble mode of transportation, steeped in tradition, and more eco-friendly and comfortable than the bus but you know what? It doesn't matter. It's official, and my bias is here to stay: I hate the goddamn train.
There are two main reasons for this hatred. The first involves comfort. At this point you'll no doubt think I'm crazy. lilephyte, you'll say, you get so much more legroom on the train, and people can't overflow into your seat. True, they can't. But it also means that if there's no one sitting beside me, as there wasn't, about halfway through my trip, I can't move the barrier up and comfortably stretch across the seats. I can do a weird kind of knee-bending-around-the-outside thing, but I mean come on. Even airplanes, those champions of discomfort, have liftable armrests. Seriously VIA, wtf? Further to that, I find the chairs themselves ruthlessly uncomfortable. I'm not saying I prefer the bus -- I think both were designed by someone who was differently proportionned than me, perhaps a relative of Barbie, or some form of bridge troll -- but at least on the bus, given an empty adjacent seat, there was the possibility of comfort. With the train? No way.
The second source of my loathing, and by far the most important, might just be circumstancial, but I'm taking it as a sign from the gods. Every time I've taken a train in the last month (that's three times, for the record) and on my previous occasion, there has inevitably been either one or two children (usually in the same family) in my car. Thus I, and every other passenger in that car, are regaled with screaming, loud off-key singing (not quite as bad), random shouts and possibly small feet pounding up and down the aisle if the kid is in the 6-8 range. Call me a bitch, I think that's a little socially inept.
I don't know whether people with small children just don't think the bus is good enough for their little cherubs, if they worry about the havoc that would ensue if they tried to coop the kids up in an even smaller space, or even if the bus-riding passengers just have the decency to drug their kids before boarding. Whatever it is, I have never encountered the Non-Stop Squalling Brat issue on a bus ride -- and that includes countless 5- and 3-hour trips, as well as one 11-hour monster from New York. I know my busses. And they're populated by the type of people who can sense when others are trying to sleep, or at least get some quiet, and have the decency to shut the fuck up.
The trains? Are a whole 'nother story. I feel the need to give credit to tonight's mother -- she did make valiant efforts to sooth, shush, and distract her younger spawn, and there would be stretches of up to four or five minutes when there would be -- my God -- enough quiet to actually hear the train on the rails. The rest of the four and half hours, however, was screaming. You can imagine how pleased I was about this. Seriously, it's an evening train. Most kids that age have a bedtime of seven or eight pm. After 9, they should be out, or at any rate quiet. They're too worked up about being on a train to settle down? NYQUIL. I mean, I'm not saying that I approve of drugging kids in general, but Christ Jesus, have some consideration for the other passengers. Four hours of constant screaming? Why is this socially acceptable? If you have that many kids, why aren't you renting a car, anyway?? It'd be cheaper, and possibly faster. Argh.
To add to my stellar train experience, I also forgot FilmGuru's book on the train as I deboarded. Yes, I am an idiot. I'm headed to their lost and found tomorrow, where I will hopefully find it, and, when they don't have it, will likely head off to Chapters in the afternoon. All of this is subsequent to my Possible Hottification at the hair-dressers, although after last time's two-hour manicure incident (I didn't tell you about that? Remind me to tell you) I am a little nervous.
In the meantime, it's bed for me. g'night all.
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