Thursday, April 19, 2007

The Quiet Car

As I have said previously, regular commuters tend to find and use the same car of the train every time they ride. These cars, then, become known by a certain name and by its own peculiarities. I, for example, ride in the Loud Car, also falsely known as the Party Car. The actual Party Car is another portion of the train who perhaps used to party hearty, but not nearly as much as the Loud Car does now. Logically, if there is a loud car, there is also a quiet car. This is actually a train-approved practice to designate one car as THE quiet car. There are signs and announcements and everything.

"Welcome to the ssskkkrtttch train headed to skrtttackleshh will stop at shhhkreetech. There are two restrooms osshhkererrtrain one is in the last car one shhshrt next to the motor. The quiet car is the car next to the motor. Once again thsskehrkt....."

Now the kinds of people who ride in the quiet car have an AWFUL reputation. It's quite probable that they are very nice people but you wouldn't know it. A simple sneeze or audible (albeit unexpected) passing of gas is enough to get the most evil of looks from the sweetest of ladies. A whispered conversation will get you a "SHHH!" from fellow passengers and, oh, you'd better hope you remembered to turn off your cell phone. It's like the library, only in Hell.
I've ridden in the quiet car a couple times - just when I'm feeling anti-social - and I don't find it very relaxing at all. The hostility is palpable and it's not really that quiet being right next to the engine and whistle, and with the announcements at each stop and the constant stream of people coming through to the restroom. "Is someone in there?" "SHHHHH !"

For the most part, the folks in that car tend to quietly glare or sleep with their heads back against the seat and mouth agape. (I often wish I had the nerve, the aim and a little toy gun to shoot Tic Tacs in their mouth as I pass by.)

Picture it--The Quiet Car Regular sleeps fitfully, mouth agape, dreaming of the next mob riot, and all of a sudden ZZIPP!! "GACK! HACK! COUGH! I think I swallowed a minty bug!"

Coming soon, the story of the Cheerleader in the Quiet Car.

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