Excerpt from travel journal, Jan 3, 2000
"I continue my journey eastward, towards Los Angeles and a promising
career as a pornographic film actor"
I managed to pawn off the fawning attentions of the Pokemon
protégé next to me to another lad stationed in front
of both of us, letting them discuss Pikachus and holographic card collections
to their heart's delight. I then settled back in my chair, content to
sip my second Scotch and O.J. Suddenly, my seat partner appeared, a
young women whom had been absent from her chair when I'd gotten on,
though her jacket and sack of books from Barnes and Noble had illuminated
me to her presence. Right as the women was prodding me to get out of
my aisle seat and let her into to her window perch, an Am-Trak employee
ambled by and she pulled him aside for a bit of chat in the area in
between the individual train cars. "That's a bit odd," I thought, and
I cocked my ear to listen in on their conversation. Lo and Behold the
women was complaining about ME, saying there was no way she was going
to sit next to some drunk who was clearly smashed and would probably
be up all night listening a Whitesnake album he had cleverly purchased
in an Austin music shop for a pittence. (Actually, I had every intention
of staying up all night while listening to Hammer's "The Funky Headhunter"
album (his attempt at gangsta rap), an entirely different breed from
Whitesnake's power rock.)
Naturally, I was
quite offended. I'm hardly a drunk and would have gotten up and told
her so, if not for the fact that in my stupor I'd unbuttoned my pants
and let them fall to my ankles so that I was now incapable of walking.
Nonetheless, I couldn't see what this chick's problem was. So I sat
back and awaited what would befall me.
hearing what the price upgrade to a sleeper would be, the woman had
no choice but to return to her seat and endure me in all my swarthiness.
I remained calm and cheery upon her arrival and my keen aural senses
detected that she was even more lit up than me. "What wonderful
irony," I thought. In her inebriated state she'll be putty
in the hand of the old Forbis charm. Soon I had her babbling away about
her worthless life while she was no doubt mentally chastising herself
for being so initially resentful of me. I was quite certain that if
I so desired I would have been able to talk her into, quote, unquote,
"getting freaky" in one of the lower level bathrooms, but declined out
of loyalty to my wonderful girlfriend.
The next morning
after a fitful bought of sleep, I awoke and heeded the intercom message
that they were serving breakfast in the dining car. I sauntered several
cars over, claimed a booth and was immediately surrounded with three
other people who had a combined age of 437. "Jesus," I thought.
"I wonder if I'll get any interesting conversation out of these fossils.
They'll probably just want to discuss the life and times of Winston
Churchill or Glen MIller's newest hit." Surprisingly, I had an amicable
time and was forced to admit that sometimes bold generalizations and
cruel stereotypes about people can prove false.
Two of the three
people at my table were a couple from Europe - Dublin, actually, and
they were taking a month long tour of the states. I found their observations
about the differences between the U.S. and Europe fascinating (including
the wife's humorous anecdote about trying to get to the subway in Boston
and being pointed to the sandwhich shop.) Even more fascinating than
the couple's travel adventures was the length of the wife's nose hair.
Lord, the woman was a female Hitler! You'd think such appendages would
have been singed off in an IRA bombing, but old gal felt quite free
to let such viney roots hang free from her schnoz.
As we chatted in
the dining car a toddler a few booths away began to whine, despite her
parents admonitions against attempting such operatic feats in a crowded
area. I mentioned to my compatriots how it would be nice if all children
were hooked up to a traveling IV of morphine and could be made incontinent
at the push of a button. The shocked and frightened looks I received
from my table partners indicated they would have little interest in
my theory that the body of anyone over 65 could be converted into a
flavorless protein drink consumed by the young and attractive such as