Sunday, February 22, 2015

The Midnight Rider

I have a wrong train story to tell. One evening, I got on the Babylon train instead of the Ronkonkoma train, a mistake that cost me a lot of time. Bored, with time to kill, I opened up the computer and wrote about it to keep busy. To further entertain myself, I worked in Allman Brothers Band song references.

How many ABB references can you spot? Winner gets... well, the winner gets nothing, really. We don't have a budget for prizes at TTIV. The winner gets to name a band and I'll work its songs in as references in a future blog post.

Recently, I had a pretty challenging week at work and couldn't wait to get home. It was Friday night and I'd been in the office past 9 PM. Completely spent, I trudged to Penn Station and boarded my train. On went the headphones, on went some early Allman Brothers, and on I went to Zoned-Out Land.

Proper Scotch
I had a plastic cup of Dewars, the finest scotch Penn Station has to offer. At Penn Station, only the Schlitz of Scotch is available. You have to take the train from Grand Central if you want the good stuff. It's an SAT analogy when you think about it. Glenlivet is to Grand Central as Dewars is to Penn Station.

Anyway, the whipping post rope loosened, and consciousness faded to dreams. But when we got to Jamaica Station, I was jolted awake by the usual train announcements. I didn't really listen, as I was distracted by the two black-hearted women gossiping behind me. They spewed a litany of wasted words about Jessica and Melissa, presumably friends of theirs.

Maybe I should have listened more closely to the station announcements, because I was headed in the wrong direction. Instead of getting home by eleven, I would become a midnight rider. After Jamaica Station, I expected the next stop to be Mineola. Instead, we slowed down and the conductor announced, "next stop, Rockville Center."

Just peachy. It was late, and I couldn't assume when the phone rang that anyone would be up and across the floor to come get me. I knew there was only one way out. I'd get off at the next stop, Baldwin, and wait for the next westbound train returning to Jamaica.

Live at the Fillmore East album cover
At Baldwin, the schedule board said the next westbound train to Jamaica would arrive in 25 minutes. It was cold, so I went to the station's waiting room. I was hungry, and there was a vending machine. Most chips and pretzels were $1.75, but in my pocket I only had one more silver dollar. No snack for me.

Finally got on a westbound train. At Jamaica Station I exited and boarded an eastbound Ronkonkoma train. Now I ain't wasting time no more!

To make a long story short, which may be impossible at this point, I reached the end of the line a lot later than expected. I got home very late, but at least I was back where it all begins.

Every time I make a rookie mistake, my friends tell me I've been such a fool. Just need to forget it and look ahead. Hopefully a blue sky awaits next week, I can't deal with another stormy Monday.

Thanks for reading. Now you can get on with your life.

Happy and safe commuting, and may you encounter uncommon sense.
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  1. At least you didn't wind up in Georgia… :-)

    1. If it was warmer there, I wouldn't mind.

  2. Okay, here goes:

    Midnight Rider
    up and across the floor
    One way out
    one more silver dollar
    ain't wasting time no more
    where it all begins
    (my friends tell me that) I've been such a fool
    blue sky
    stormy Monday

    Don't let them catch you! :-)

    1. Thanks for playing "Spot the ABB on TTIV!" the answer key and the winner will be published Monday evening.