Friday, April 27, 2007

The Cheerleader and the Quiet Car

.""You haven't heard about the Cheerleader?" Skidmark asked with obvious glee.

"Oh no, not that story again." Jokeman whined.

"No, tell it!" Jamaica begged "It's a good story and she doesn't know. She wasn't ridin' den."

Skidmark assumed storytelling position, "Alright, alright. Gather 'round."

"Wait, wait." Jokeman opened a beer, "You want one Pahl?"

"No, I'm good."

"Okay, I'm ready."

"There was this guy...." Skidmark started in a timid voice.

"Fez!" everyone cheered.

"With a 23 inch . . . No, seriously, there was this girl about two years ago, who..."

"No it was longer than that," Pahl interupted "because Mitch was still riding when it happened and he hasn't been . . ."

"It doesn't matter! Who's telling the story anyway? Come on. So, anyway, a while back -- is that okay?" Skidmark glared -- "A while back there was this hot, hot, hot girl riding the train from D.C. All the guys noticed her because she was wearing THE classic sexy cheerleader outfit."

"I noticed her too!" Insisted Jamaica.

"Okay, all the guys and you."

"I didn't notice her."

"Okay, Jamaica and all the guys except Jokeman."

"Jamaica, I thought you liked the Amazon-type women." Jokeman asked.

"I can like more than one type of girl." She defended, "As long as dey're breathin.'"

"Well this chick was no Amazon" Skidmark continued "-- more like your classic helpless female type. You know, the kind you see in horror movies. So, apparently, she'd spent a long day in the city and decided to sleep in the quiet car on the ride home."

"Horror movie, helpless Cheerleader." The newbie summed up, "Okay, I can see where this is going."

"Nobody knows if she knew it was the quiet car 'cause we'd never seen her before. All we have are sightings of her there, draped - rather indelicately - across three seats.

"I almost got sat on once when I did that." Pahl threw in.

Skidmark plowed on, "These are confirmed sightings, because the way she was laid out provided quite a view. And when we heard about it, some folks had to make a few trips to the restroom in that car just for, uh, exploratory purposes."

Pahl continued, oblivious, with his own story "It was by Big Joan - the one who wears the pink coat all the time - looks like an elephant from a kid's show? I would've died, I know it. You ever see the cartoon of the big woman putting up posters for her lost dog and you can see him stuck in . . ."

"Anyway . . ." Began Skidmark impatiently.

"Sorry, but she really is . . ."


[Eye roll.]

"So anyway, her bag and stuff was stowed up on the overhead rack, and she's laying across the seats asleep, which was already earning her some angry looks from the quiet car folks. But then her phone went off."

A gasp of disbelief escaped the lips of the regulars with a good mix of "No!" and "Oh my God."

"But wait! There's more. She was asleep and didn't hear the first couple bars of her ringtone. Some obnoxious pop song, I think. Everyone else heard it, though. ALL eyes in the car were instantly open and shooting daggers at her. And a few of them started to stir and groan, like zombies rising from the graves."

"When she finally heard it, it was too late. It was in one of the overhead bags. It really was like one of those horror movies. The phone music was still going off and she was fumbling with her bags trying to find it, and she doesn't notice all the while that the quiet car zombies had started moving toward her. Slow. Menacing-like. Groaning and reaching for her."

"And I think" Skidmark reflected "that if she had just turned the thing off when she found it, things might have gone differently."

"What?" Asked the newbie nervously, "What did she do?"

"She, are you ready for this?" Skidmark paused and looked around. "She answered the phone."

Again, the crowd gasped, this time mingled with cries of disbelief, "No!"

"Yes!" Said Skidmark. "She answered the phone. 'Hello? Oh, HI Susan!' or something like that, and THEN she noticed all the zombies were closing in and she stopped talking. I don't know if she stopped on purpose or 'Susan' was talking then or if she suddenly understood the danger she was in. But she's not talking, she's backing up, because zombies are crammed in the aisle and pushing toward her while others are climbing and reaching over the seats to get at the cheerleader with the phone."

"They sort of herded her to the little alcove at the end of their car next to the engine. A witness on the scene . . ."

"Who?" Asked Pahl.


"Who was the witness?"

"Andy." Said three or four regulars at once.

"Andy?" Jokeman looked around in disbelief. "Kwazy Andy, the guy that quacks to himself under his breath?"

"Yep. And this is probably why he's 'Kwazy Andy' - because he used to be a quiet car regular. He saw the whole thing."

"Wow." Whispered the newbie.

"Yeh. He said he only caught a final glimpse of her through the mass of bodies and reaching hands and it looked as though she was about to scream but then the train whistle blew and he couldn't see her anymore."

"Wow" came the wide-eyed whisper again, "What did they do to her?"

"Nobody knows and Andy never said. She just...disappeared. We didn't see her get off at any of the stops. And we've never seen her since

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