March 3rd

The Quiet Car

So Friday I had the pleasure of taking the Amtrak Acela Express down to Filthydelphia one of my favorite cities (but no more filthy than the big dirty apple—actually, for all it’s bad rap, and Rocky memories, a cleaner city than NY). But anyway, as I waited for the train to arrive, New Yorkers, true to form, in their most uncivilized fashion, swarmed the gate when the arrival of the train was announced. MOOOO, they sang out as they herded down the stairs. So many of us in fact, that the only car left with seats was THE QUIET CAR. THE QUIET CAR? What the fuck is a QUIET CAR. We’re in New York, God Dammit, no one is quiet in New York. No silence– ever.


“There is no talking in the quiet car, no cell phones, no coughing, no sneezing, no laughing, no noisemaking of any kind,” warns the conductor. “We have three cell phone friendly cars in front of the train.” You mean, where there are no seats? Where the cows have congregated?

There is no choice. I enter the QUIET CAR. I pull out my cell phone to check my messages. “Hey, no cell phones,” insists my neighbor. “I’m sorry,” you jack ass tattle tale. I am SURE this is the guy that all the kids beat up when he was 9. Payback is HELL. They will kick you off the train for less. I giggle to my cell mate. The man gives me a dirty look. THIS IS NO LAUGHING MATTER. He takes his silence very seriously.


I lean back in my chair with nothing to do. I’m not really used to ALL THIS QUIET. So quiet. Except for the guy behind me. Did you ever notice how LOUD key board typing is? Well neither did I. Until I came to the QUIET CAR. The man clearly has something much more important to do than I. He has a higher level job, probably a general manager of some financial institution. He makes a lot more money than I do and he’s probably 10 years younger. I want to yell: SHUT THE FUCK UP. We are IN A QUIET CAR, or didn’t you read the sign? Where did you learn to pound your key board?


I’m going to write a letter to Amtrak as soon as I get home.

Dear Amtrak,

I have something to add to that list of NO CAN Dos in the quiet car—no typing on your filthy laptops. For God sakes, can’t we get some QUIET in here??

Lara Dean

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