Quiet Car

I got out of work early and caught the 5:35pm train … grabbed a seat in the ‘quiet car’.  

  A Young 30-something year old gal walks her carry on down aisle and asks an older gentleman seated a few rows ahead by the window if the empty seat besides him is taken.  

The elder clears his throat and with the unexpected turn of his imminent good fortune, engages in an elaborate, cordial and slightly high pitched accommodation to her query. . . .
  
During their exchange of pleasantries, a man seated behind me, with thick wire glasses, barks: ‘ QUIET CAR !!”  as he intently stares at his laptop.
Before any muffled apology could come from the embarrassed young girl, I have turned around, half stood and loudly lipped to him :  “SHHHH!!”

. . . much to the chuckles, enjoyment and applause of those in the….QUIET CAR.   

 

 

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Siri

 

Just witnessed: 

Conductor walks by and somewhat cheerfully says: ‘found another cell phone on an empty seat – if it’s not soon claimed, well then it’s going all the way down Washington DC to forever lie in a bin full of other lost phones – ha.’

Guy sitting across from me (a professor I think) speaks up: “ask SIRI whose it is”

Conductor, perhaps not accustomed to being addressed, holds it up and smugly notes: ‘its locked…(dummy)’

Professor: “doesn’t matter, try: whose iPhone does this belong to?”

As if suddenly holding a live bird, the conductor nervously hands it over to the professor: ‘you do it’ ..and steps quickly back.
  
Sure enough, SIRI: ‘Michael Kansan’

Another conductor appears out of nowhere and checks his list to confirm
(the level of drama has risen noticeably in the recent seconds)
and exclaims, that Mr. Kansan is getting off at the next stop and is right now standing by the door, two cars back.
  
With the urgency and a nod of: ’I knew that’, the 1st conductor moves past him with good deed in hand. 
 

The professor just rolls his eyes and returns to his reading.  

 

 

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Baggage

Just got on the train, folks jockeying for seats in measured and purposeful ways.  Up ahead, a midwestern couple (grandparents I imagine), have completely clogged the aisle with two enormous black carry on bags (she in front & he stuck behind) .

With a nervous glance at the sudden building line of anxious faces behind him, he takes hold of the first trunk in an attempt to heave it high above his head to the racks. 

‘No Ned, no – please your back – the trip …oh please!
    
Impulse urges me to intervene, to push ahead of a the quietly waiting family in front of me and assist but this is a man of great pride, as he never hesitates to look around for help.   He is once again young on a train, with his bride before him.
A characteristic and determination that is instantly admirable.

I hold back.
  
Like a fake prop on stage, he impresses us all by deftly delivering the rear bag topside.   All are now patient as he looks to the next.
  
‘No! please, for Heavens sakes Ned, no you cannot (she pleads) – let me help’

I nudge past the children.
   
Ned quickly bear hugs the second trunk which appears to be bolted to the floor.   I move the three remaining feet to assist.   Seconds later, he somehow already has it to his waist and together we place it on top.
  
He is embarrassed. His eyes have shifted downward to the right in the waiting stillness.    It is then that I hear my voice, and it does not surprise me:

“Well. . . it’s certainly clear whose bag is whose.”

The woman appears slightly offended as I pass by and says:  ‘and what exactly does . . .that mean?’

“I too, am married myself ma’am”.
  

 

 

 

 

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