Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Train Gang

I think it is kind of funny how there is a little gang of people who all stand at the same spot on the train platform every morning. Back when we used to take the 7:56 Amtrak there was the foursome affectionately known as "the Russians" who we would often have to battle for seats. Nowadays we rarely see more than one or two of them at a time due to changes in the timetables, but as with each new train schedule, new groups emerge. Today on the platform was the British guy who looks like a cross between the evil boss from "Thirtysomething" and Gary Oldman with a pencil thin moustache. It is very hard to take anyone seriously who has a pencil thin moustache, even more hard when they show up on the platform in pink and white gingham trousers. He managed to pull off the look but it was very Lilly Pulitzer. Then there is the mysterious Indian guy in his thirties who never has anything with him other than a cell phone (and occasionally a provocatively titled book-- something about HSBC being "the Devil's bank"???) and of course, the card shuffler. The card shuffler is a man in his late fifties or early sixties (who oddly enough also works in my office building) and used to be the dealer on various interstate poker games on the old Amtrak. Due to the seating configurations on NJT trains, thankfully poker playing is no longer convienent. Many a trip I had wanted to rip the cards out of his hand, give him a $5 bill and then throw the deck off the train. People would settle up their scores upon reaching Penn Station and money would change hands, this practice never troubled the conductors, though let a little old lady get on in New Brunswick with an RTX fare her butt would get booted off the train by the time we reached Newark.

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