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Saturday, January 30, 2010

Day Two- There's nothing like a good nights sleep….and….that was nothing like a good nights sleep!

Schenectady, Utica, Syracuse, Rochester, Buffalo, Erie, Cleveland, Elyria, Sandusky, Toledo, Bryan, Waterloo, Elkhart, South Bend, Chicago

         Friday, Jan 29 - We are in Chicago! Arrived about 1130AM and the train to Fort Worth will leave in about 2 hours. Union Station! What can I say, busy, crowded, confusing, HUGE! Homeless panhandlers, Amish families and everything in between pushing and shoving their way in a mass of humanity, dragging anything from designer bags to Hefty trash can liners as luggage, looking like refugees in a apocalyptic Hollywood movie. First thing we did was go see the Grand Hall. I think this was the place they filmed the baby carriage scene in The Untouchables. After that we found one of the many food courts upstairs and in McDonald’s tried to get on the free WiFi. No luck! After eating its time to just sit and wait for our train to Texas, another sleeper car for the now stuck-up gypsies!! Well behaved Amish girls playing a game of cards on the station floor, fat obnoxious black lady arguing loudly into a cell phone with and an equally loud husband/boyfriend on the other end. A worn out looking blue collar worker comparing a grotesque knot on his bald head caused by a falling AC unit, (he never explains why he tried to break it’s fall with his noggin) with the Amish man’s even more enormous growth protruding from his Dutch boy hair cut and looking much like an old fashioned red Christmas tree bulb right on top of his head! Next up, another fat black lady who wants to plop right down next to me and asks ME if she will fit into “that tiny little chair”. Luckily she goes and sits with the loud cell phone lady before I have a chance to tell her that the “tiny little chair” would hold the entire Amish family, INCLUDING their Dad’s inflated hat stretcher!! Then a middle eastern looking man with three giant suitcases on a hand cart asks me if he can check these bags right here at the gate. I tell him I have no idea, that he better go ask an AmTrak person and he leaves the bags while he goes off looking for help. Now I am wondering just how many pounds of high explosives could be packed into those unattended suitcases and if I should be alarmed that he has gone off and left them right beside me. I will certainly feel like an ass if I report this and it turns out to be all his college dorm room stuff in them! I finally decide that if they detonate at least I will never hear or feel anything at this range. He does eventually come back and hauls them off to parts unknown! They announce the boarding of our train right on time and the mad rush to the gate by everyone seated begins like someone has just yelled, FIRE! Then and only then they announce to let seniors and handicapped load first and those people have to push through the crowd. Next they say people with small kids under ten can board and THEY have to fight through the long line. I notice now that the loud cell phone lady has become part of a family she obviously does not even know so that she can waddle onboard with their kids early! Maybe they meant anyone MENTALLY under ten? Finally the mass of regular travelers can board and again rush to the gate! Nope…not so fast…now a young guy shows up pushing his young buddy in a wheelchair and carrying their guitar cases apologizes for making everyone again step aside so they can board! I half heartedly wanted an air conditioner to drop on their heads! To quote Sean Connery in The Untouchables…,”they put one of us in the hospital, we send one of their’s to the morgue, that’s how we do things in Chicago!” I felt like now I knew what he was talking about!

1 comment:

  1. I just laughed out loud reading the line about the high explosives. How does it feel being the only normal people there?