In case of emergency break glass. After scrutinizing the emergency kit carefully, there is a glaring exception. There is not a bottle of bourbon in there! If the conductor has to bash me out of my room with a sledge hammer or a crowbar, I’m going to need a good stiff drink. One itty-bitty band-aid won’t cut it.
During this journey I’ve gathered some tips. I hope will help me and whoever staggers in my footsteps. Now I’m speaking specifically of trains in the USA, Amtrak. The following are my informal rules for train travel.
Before boarding the train (pre-travel), try showering in a phone booth while clenching a toothbrush in your teeth. You lose points if you drop the toothbrush or jam it up your nose. You get a blue ribbon if the phone booth is on an angle. Add to that a gold star if you persuade a friend to load up the phone booth in his pickup truck and drive over speed bumps at 70 mph.
- Train travel is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna get. (Forest Gump) But get real, they are all chocolate.
- Wait until after dinner to have a drink. Any sooner and you will get so groggy that someone will have to drag you to dinner by your shirt collar, and that would be embarrassing.
- Don’t complain. Just don’t! In a delay or malfunction, everyone is in the same situation. Listening to others whine just makes it worse for everyone else. Trust me. (this works for life in general)
- Bring your emergency stash. A few miniatures of liquor will put a whole new light on any situation. I bought a little bottle of Chambord in Reno and we shared it right before pulling into Chicago.
- Don’t even bother to expect to get anywhere on time. Only one who succeeded at that was Mussolini. Not a good trade-off.
- Tip your car attendant well. He or she works their tail off. They can also make your life a living hell if you don’t behave. This is only an observation, of course. I never misbehave. Well not so bad I get in trouble on the train anyway.
- Get to the dining car early, they run out of the good stuff. But, the other stuff is good too, so don’t panic.
- Don’t get your knickers in a twist if the conductor sits down and eats the desert they told you they were out of. He can throw you off the train if you sass him.
- Pull your pants legs up in the restroom, unless you want the hem of your pants to become awash with God only knows what.
- Look out the window, relax and enjoy. It’s a nonstop show. Put away the laptop!