The train was crammed more than usual, as three prior trains were down for equipment repair. That meant extra stops and more people getting in with no seats available. Irritation was reflected on the faces of all around because our life patterns were altered.
In the mean time, I took it in stride and read about the comedians coming to Chicago for the weekend. I couldn’t help but wonder what type of jokes a comedian might share if he or she had been on the train. After all, weird things were happening like the conductor stating over the intercom, “And, the lady that ran around me at the last stop, shame on you.”
The train was so packed that the guy collecting the tickets couldn’t get into our car — A free train ride for all.
It was a perfect day to watch people’s behavior under stress. Many people tend to act in a very unorthodox manner when confronted with stress. A recent train newsletter talked about the woman last month who took off her blouse to put on deodorant.
Just last week minors were being a little too rambunctious after spending the day in downtown Chicago upset the man taking tickets. They were headed home on the train and didn’t even have enough money to buy a soft drink before our departure. Their exuberance got slightly loud and included a joke that climaxed with a profanity.
That was all the conductor needed to throw the kids off of the train at the next stop. As the train pulled out with the minors standing on a platform in a strange town, fear flooded their faces and they scrambled to find any money at the bottom of their pockets for a phone call.
One night I got to the station a bit early and climbed onto the train to get the best seat. I pulled out my iPad and played a few games while I waited. Then it dawned on me, no one else boarded the train. I figured the scheduled train shifted to a different track and I had boarded prior to the sign change.
I moved to the exit door and found myself locked in. After flipping a few levers, I noticed that a key switch was in the off position. I had to walk through every car toward the engine in hopes of finding someone with a key. The thought came to me that I was in the perfect set up for a horror film.
After opening a dozen heavy doors between cars (They are designed to open easier when in motion), I came upon a conductor reading a newspaper. His face turned white as I approached. He couldn’t fathom how I got onto a locked train. His color slowly returned once he realized I wasn’t a creature from The Walking Dead. He immediately let me out and told me which train to catch.
I never know what to expect riding the train, but I can tell you something unique or humorous will happen on Monday.