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Strangeness on a Train

By John Saleeby
November 16th, 2003

Loose hearted lady
Sleepy was she
Love for the Devil
Brought her to me
- "Train Kept A' Rollin'"

Okay, I know those lyrics are from another song on the Aerosmith album with "Train Kept A' Rollin'" on it, but the lyrics to "Train Kept A' Rollin'" are really stupid. I only wanted to quote "Train Kept A' Rollin'" cause this an article about my train trip from Mississippi to New York and back and, I dunno, I just like Aerosmith!

And the bad news is, I wrote that paragraph on the way BACK from my nice restfull vacation! What did I write on my way up? We're not going to use any of that in the article. Acid Logic editor Wil Forbis is saving it for a future article entitled "Shocking Confessions Of A Slobbering Net Porn Addict!!!" Forbis says once I email it to him he owns it and can do whatever he wants with it. So now I'm gonna start up my own web site based on e mails I've recieved from Forbis called "Awake, White Man! Awaken And Arise!"

Yes, I was on vacation. I would rather have been on Vicodan, but now that Rush Limbaugh is in rehab, there's nothing left for the Genuinely Hip but heroin and after nine hundred and seventy Aerosmith interviews it suddenly struck me that heroin is bad and I decided to go on vacation - A Permament Vacation!

I like trains. My Dad was working on the railroad when I was a little kid. You always hear about people from the Wrong Side Of The Tracks and the Right Side Of The Tracks, I'm from The Tracks - No wonder there's no place for me in Bourgeois Society! In the summertime we'd vacation down at the Gulf Of Mexico in a little white house right across from the railroad tracks so me and my little sister could lose our minds and run around like monkeys everytime the train went by. One time we were eating Raisin Bran on the front porch and when we heard dat whistle a' blowin' down de line I ran inside the house hollering "THE RAISIN'S COMING!!! THE RAISIN'S COMING!!!" Things were never quite the same between my parents and me after that.

I was on The New Orleans Crescent, an Amtrak line running from New Orleans, Louisiana and New York, New York and back. In between New Orleans and New York it stops in Birmingham, Alabama, Atlanta, Georgia, Philedelphia, Pennsylvania and all kinds of lesser known places like Aeridian, Alabama, Geridian, Georgia, Peridian, Pennsylvania, and Meridian, Mississipi where I got on board(For anyone who is confused by that previous sentence, "Birmingham", "Atlanta", "Philedelphia" were the names of cities and "Alabama", "Georgia", and "Pennsylvania" were the names of states. "Aeridian", "Geridian", and "Peridian" were nutty joke names to go along with "Meredian" which is the name of an actual city which is still kind of a joke just on account of being in Mississippi).  

The first thing you do when boarding a train is run around looking for an empty seat next to a twenty three year old redheaded chick with big tits. Can't find one? Well, shit - Just sit anywhere. It don't make no difference , the whole damn trip is shot if you can't find a twenty three year old redheaded chick with big tits so just park it anywhere. I found two empty seats and stretched out with my feets sticking out the window and my head in the aisle so I could make eye contact with little kids and hypnotize them into keeping their damn traps shut. It's a twenty five hour trip but you're allowed to get up and walk around, unlike a plane where you just have to sit there and be quiet unless you are an Arab terrorist or that fat guy who plays guitar in R.E.M.

In the seats behind me were two sleeping creatures that I assumed to be Hobbits until I remembered those queers were just fictional so these guys must have been Europeans. Europeans? Uh oh, maybe they weren't sleeping. Maybe they were dead! But that couldn't be right - As we learned from the Holocaust, first you put the Europeans onto a train, then you get them off of the train, and then they die. Which reminds me of my favorite Hitler joke - Yes, Mussolini got the trains to run on time but it took a real genius to get six milion people to ride them against their will. No wonder my old stand up act didn't go over in them East Village Folk Clubs. I quietly eased back hoping that no one would make enough noise these characters up and force me to kick some Pixie ass.

But it was not to be. No, because sitting behind the sleeping Europeans were The Silliest Black Guys In The World. That was going to be the title of this article until a lesbian peeked over my shoulder and saw me writing this in an Upper West Side Starbucks a couple of days later. "'The Silliest Black Guys In The World'!!!" she screamed "That can't be the name of the article!!!" When you're a New Yorker you have the authority to edit every fucking goddam thing written in the United States. She wouldn't go away until I started crying and bought her a Grande Latte with a plastic snap on lid in the shape of Liz Phair's ass. But, Lawd Have Mussy!, were these Black Guys SILLY! I can't quote any of their wacky dialogue here, you'll swear I was making it all up -Like that story about making out with Jessica Biel in last week's article. They just started jokin' and kiddin' around and it was just like Rudy Ray Moore was Rudy Moore and Ray Moore. I can only hope that they were two guys who just happened to be sitting next to each other that particular day because if they had been two lifelong friends who always talk like that everywhere they go it is just a matter of time until they get murdered. I mean, these guys were so silly even JOHN SALEEBY couldn't put up with it!

But if anyone is offended by what I've had to say about those Black Guys just wait until you hear what I have to say about those European Guys once the Black Guys once the Black Guys woke em up with their silly ass chatter and they turned out to be DUTCH GUYS!!! Could anything be sillier than a Dutch Guy? Sure! How about two Dutch Guys? Could anything be sillier than two Dutch Guys? How about two Dutch Guys talking with The Silliest Black Guys In The World? God, what a silly discussion! Too bad I didn't have a tape recorder with me at the time. No, not so  could record their zany banter and play it back for you - So I could have tied up all four of them with the magnetic tape and smashed them all over the head with the recorder (Now that everybody's hip to box cutters the tape recorder in the new Travelin' Man's Terror Tool - You watch!)

After you've read enough of my Acid Logic stuff to know what kind of conversationalist I am you will be mighty proud of me to learn that, with these four cartoon characters driving the other pasengers off to the Lounge Car for enough booze to make being trapped on the same train with their flappin' gums for the next twenty hours tolerable, I was merciful enough to keep my mouth shut and not make a contribution to the contrifusion. That would have been just too much to process, like when Ted Nugent comes out right in the middle of an Aerosmith concert and there's a panicked stampede to the exits before he can start jamming with Joe Perry and everybody's head starts manufacturing so much ear wax to protect the eardrum that within ten seconds the entire crowd is buried beneath a bubbling brown lake of human mucus (Happened once in Texas in '78 - Forty thousand dead but at least they'd already seen Cheap Trick at their rockin' peak so they died happy). So I just played it cool, had a few beers, and sat back thinking Cool Beer Thoughts like "Football - Good! Carmine Electra - Hot! 'Maxim' - Informative And Entertaining!" Boy, is beer stupid or what? But inevitably . . . Suspicion! Paranoia! Projecting My Own Loathesome Qualities Onto Others! Hey, maybe I oughta drink that beer stuff more often!

After several hours of beer and listening to these Dutch twits share tales of their many travels across the USA with the curious Blackamoors my Evil White American Brain reached one inescapable conclusion - The Dutchmen were DRUG COURIERS! Yeah! Dig - All these two ever do is fly in from Amsterdam (You all know about Amsterdam. What's the first thing that comes to mind when you hear "Amsterdam"? Mmm  hmm, yeah (“Legal Prostitutes” -  ed Wil) and then they go to New York and then they go to Chicago and then they go San Francisco and then they go to Los Angeles and then they go to New Orleans . . . Well, maybe when a couple of really silly Black Guys listen to a couple of Decadent Dutch Dudes describe that kind of life they just hear what sounds like "Ain't Nothin' But A Party" but when the Evil White American Man hears it he hears DRUG COURIERS!

This was no time for jokes! Dutchmen were smuggling drugs and Black men were being so silly not even Russell Simmons could figure out a way to make a buck off of it. It had been made known to everyone within hearing range of these two that the Dutchers were going  to New York to catch the Sunday night flight to Amsterdam on a Singapore Airlines. Singapore Airlines! What kind of people take Singapore Airlines? Why not just come right out and announce to the World that you're a DRUG COURIER, ya Big Brazen Bastids? Building a MacGyver Radio out of a black ball point pen and a potato chip, I contacted my old frat buddy Tom Ridge at the Office Of Homeland Security and spilled the beans of Hans Brinker and Mister Annie Frank right then and there. And I'd do the same to you if you make a lotta noise while I'm trying to take a nap. Felt pretty good about it until Tom reminded me of the fifty bucks I still owe him for Who tickets. Shit! So next time I'm trying to take a nap go right ahead and make all the goddam noise you want - No way is Tom gettin' paid for those crappy tickets, they couldn't even get Keith Moon to show up!

Time for a cup of coffee. Beer is cute, but what is this - High School? Hey! The Old Lady working in the Lounge Car was the same Old Lady working in the Lounge Car when I took the Crescent two or three years ago! Thank God I'm not the only one who ain't gettin' nowhere in this Dog Eat Dog world. "Oh, you don't have to give me a tip!" she told the guy ahead of me "I just got a job writing for 'Late Nite With Conan O'Brien' and this is my last day on the job!" Dog Eat Dog? Make that a cup of coffee and a Hot Dog. Yeah, yeah, I know what that'll do to the inside of my stomach. I just wanna get the inside of my stomach in sync with the inside of my head. My god damn head.

Cause I made just one mistake. Pretty good by Saleeby standards, but still one too many when you're going up against the cold blooded efficiency of the Dutch Drug Lords. You see, as perfect as that loud son of a bitches' English was, when I thought he was saying "New York" he was actually saying "Newark", and when I saw those two merrily hop up and off of the train at the second stop away from New York City I knew there were gonna be some mighty pissed off Federal Agents waiting for my dumb ass in Penn Station. But it wasn't the first time I'd made the Ol' Lamp In My Face Routine with those boys and it probably won't be the last. Cause when you play the Humor Writing Game the Saleeby Way you see a side of things most people can only begin to imagine, much less try to pitch situation comedies to the UPN about. And in today's geopolitical atmosphere I'm not even sure why I bother. Guess deep down inside I'm just an Old Song And Dance Man.

By the time I was released from custody it was almost time for me to get right back on the Crescent and head back down South. And with the kind of   people I run around with in New York I was probably beter off wisin' off to the Feds in front of the Two way Mirror all week. It's like being on TV!

The train back was crowded. Very crowded. Almost TOO crowded. The perfect cover for . . . DUTCH DRUG COURIERS!!!

I ran up and down the aisles interrogating passengers -

"I said 'Dutch', not 'Duck'!"
"Don't apologise to me, just don't ever do it again! Dutch?"
"No, I paid for my ticket and my date's ticket."
"Huh? Oh, I get it."  


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